Pair of Dylan Lewis bronzes may top $250K in public auction

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla.– A pair of life-size bronze sculptures by renowned South African artist Dylan Lewis (b. 1954), titled “Leopard Crushing Serpent,” is the expected top lot at an auction planned for May 19 by Elite Decorative Arts starting at 1 p.m. (EST). The sale will be held in Elite Decorative Arts’ gallery at 1034 Gateway Boulevard in Boynton Beach, Fla. Internet bidding will be facilitated by LiveAuctioneers.com and phone and absentee bids will also be taken.

Dylan Lewis cat sculptures  Life-size bronze sculptures by South African artist Dylan Lewis titled “Leopard Crushing Serpent” (estimate $200,000-$250,000). Photo courtesy Elite Decorative Arts

The bronzes carry a presale estimate of $200,000 to $250,000. The works are rare – one is edition 6/8, the other 7/8 – and they are the only pair available; all the others are in private hands. Each figure is 53 inches tall by 71 inches long by 21 inches deep.

Dylan Lewis is considered one of the premier cat sculptors in the world. The work to be sold is pictured in the artist’s limited-edition book titled “Forces of Nature,” a signed copy of which will be included in the lot. In June 2011, Christie’s in London conducted an auction dedicated solely to Lewis’ works titled “Predators and Prey II: the Dylan Lewis Bronzes.”

Three bronzes, in addition to the Lewis work, are expected to attract keen bidder interest. The first is a sculpture by Lynn Chadwick (Br., 1914-2003), titled “Winged Figures Version I” (estimate $50,000-$70,000). It depicts a male and female winged figure, each with a gilded, geometric-shape face.

The second is a bronze sculpture with gold patina by Pierre Arman (Fr./Am., 1928-2005), titled “Violin and Trumpet” (estimate $10,000-$40,000). One of a limited edition of eight, the work has an abstract design that fuses a violin and trumpet. It is signed to the front and numbered, and sits on a black marble base (overall height: 23 1/4 inches).


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Lynn Chadwick bronze sculptures  Bronze sculpture by Lynn Chadwick (Br., 1914-2003), titled “Winged Figures Version I” (estimate $50,000-$70,000).

The third is a large bronze sculpture depicting Joan of Arc entering Orleans with a fan, by the French artist Emmanuel Fremiet (1824-1910). The work, featuring a two-tone gilded design and signed to the bronze base (and mounted on a red marble base) is overall 25 1/2 inches tall. It is unique in that Joan of Arc’s head and hand are ivory. It is expected to command $8,000 to $10,000.

Along with the Lewis sculpture and other bronzes, the auction will feature a selection of fine antiques, to include original paintings, porcelain, art glass, estate jewelry, silver, ivory, jade, Asian antiques and more.

Headlining the Asian objects category is an antique Chinese hand-carved ivory chess set with wooden box (estimate $7,000-$10,000). The set, having ivory and tea stained colors in 32 pieces, holds the Qianlong four-character archaic reign mark. The set has emperor and empress pieces for each side, containing mother-of-pearl inlay. All pieces are relief carved throughout.

Also sold will be a pair of large and impressive 18th or 19th century carved ivory emperor and empress figures, with fitted wooden bases (estimate $5,000-$7,000). Each piece is a carved figure seated on a throne, in relief carved royal robes. Each surmounts an ivory base with fence and 3-panel reticulated screen, with calligraphy dating the pieces to the Qianlong period.

Joan Miro print  Original hand-signed aquatint and carborundum etching by Joan Miro, titled “Sala Gaspar Barcelona” (estimate $6,000-$8,000).

Returning to artwork, an original hand-signed aquatint and carborundum etching by renowned Spanish artist Joan Miro (1893-1983), titled “Sala Gaspar Barcelona,” carries a presale estimate of $6,000 to $8,000. The etching, hand-signed lower right, measures 41 inches by 26 inches, plus a mat and frame. It also comes with a certificate of authenticity and an appraisal.

Previews will be held on Friday, May 18, from 11-5, and Saturday, May 19, the date of sale, from 11 a.m. until the first gavel comes down at 1 p.m. Elite Decorative Arts is located in the Quantum Town Center, at 1034 Gateway Boulevard (Suites 106-108) in Boynton Beach, a town situated along Florida’s Gold Coast, half-way between Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale.

Elite Decorative Arts has two big sales lined up for back-to-back days in June: a fine decorative arts auction on Saturday, June 23, and a sale dedicated to fine bronze, artwork, art glass, porcelain, estate jewelry, silver, ivory, jade, Asian antiques and more on Sunday, June 24.

For more information, contact Elite Decorative Arts at 561- 200-0893 or info[at]eliteauction.com.

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Oriental carved chess set  Antique Chinese hand-carved ivory chess set, fully relief carved throughout, Qianlong period (estimate $7,000-$10,000).

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