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  • Garden Statuary at Sotheby's Amsterdam
    April 15, 2005 AMSTERDAM.

    A composition stone bust of Pan, with vine entwined hair and looking to sinister, his shoulders draped with an animal skin, on a circular fluted pedestal, height overall 188cm.

    Sculptures, ornaments, fountains, finials, vases, planters, urns, basins, sundials, keystones and garden seats, will be offered at Sotheby's Amsterdam on Wednesday 18 May 2005. It is the third time that Sotheby's in Amsterdam devotes a sale to the subject of garden sculpture and architectural ornaments.

    The sale will offer an abundance of various stone, bronze, lead and cast iron sculptures of classical maidens, gods, goddesses and putti, but also amusing pieces such as a life-size composition stone crocodile or a pair of cast iron bull dogs, the latter with quizzical expression.

    Among the highlights of this collection are a rare French Val d'Osne stamped cast iron group of Diana and Endymion, third quarter 19th century (height overall 342cm, estimate ˆ150.000-200.000), a pair of impressive Italian white marble lions made after Canova and a set of five rare and unusual Northern Mediterranean white marble busts, probably 16th or 17th century. A large white marble figure of Victory on a freestone and marble pedestal, overall 4 meters high, is signed E. RAMBAUX and dated 1892 (ˆ 18.000-22.000). An impressive set of four carved Vicenza stone figures representing the Four Seasons, each maiden in classical dress holding an attribute, is estimated ˆ50.000-80.000. Attractive is a pair of carved Vicenza stone figures of lantern bearers, each standing next to a tree trunk and wearing a hat and 18th century dress (height overall 225cm, ˆ15.000-20.000).

    The sale offers items for every taste. Delightful is a French 19th century carved limestone figure of a scantily clad child holding a butterfly (estimate ˆ3.500-4.500). A composition stone bust of Pan, with vine entwined hair, his shoulders draped with an animal skin, measuring 188cm including his circular fluted pedestal, is estimated ˆ2.000-2.500. A carved Vicenza stone standing putto, with a bow and quiver on his back and a fowl in his right hand is estimated ˆ1.500-2.000.

    Other interesting pieces are a well carved Italian white marble seat with realistically carved fauns and a large pair of French carved limestone fruit and flower baskets, 18th century. The sale also offers a choice of planters and urns, such as a pair of Adam style lead lidded urns, of fluted tapering circular form, height 57cm, estimate ˆ1.500-2.000 and a pair of cast-iron and wooden Versailles planters, height 84cm, estimate ˆ 2.000-3.000

    The interest in decorative works of art for garden and terrace is still growing. The combination of nature and man-made artefacts results in surprising and exciting scenery. Summer, with its flowering, colourful plants and green shrubbery, shows sculpture at its finest. But in winter, when the skies are grey and the gardens are empty and bare, an elegant sculpture or a good ornament can make a world of difference

    The interior of a home is pre-eminently an expression of its residents, and substantial attention is being paid to the decoration of it. Art and antiques are carefully selected to embellish the various rooms and to enhance the aesthetic experience of the house. Although the garden is generally considered "the extra room", it is self-evidently not to be lived in daily. However, the garden is an undisputed extension piece of a house and tasteful interior and a fine sculpture or a monumental garden urn can make a wonderful addition to the overall experience of one's home.

    The Piet Jonker Collection - From the beautiful estate Lindenhoff in Baambrugge near Abcoude (Netherlands), Piet Jonker leads a renowned international enterprise that is specialised in historic building materials. Inspired by the decorative materials that he saw in the much awarded advertising campaign for Grolsch beer ("Vakmanschap is Meesterschap" photographed by Paul Huf), Piet Jonker started collecting old utensils. He became fascinated by the old materials and decided to concentrate on historic building materials that are indispensable for the restoration of monuments, such as flag stones, wooden floors, chimneys and wall tiles. A visit to Sotheby's Billingshurst, situated in a beautiful, garden surrounded country house in West Sussex (UK), opened his eyes to the beauty of garden sculpture set in the right environment. Piet Jonker expanded his collection with stone sculpture and ornaments and displayed these in a Renaissance garden especially designed for this purpose.

    Piet Jonker is exited by the challenge to compile a sale of garden ornaments; sales that have already been successful in England and in the southern European countries for many years. The sale will offer an abundance of stone, bronze, lead and cast iron sculptures of impressive Diana's and Apollo's, but also attractive stone musicians, putti and lion-shaped gatekeepers.