Grand Tour antiquities offered at Bonhams auction

Antiquities collected as souvenirs during the Grand Tours of Europe will feature in an upcoming Bonhams auction.

The renowned collection of Kathleen and David Bikoff will be offered as part of the company's sale of Fine Furniture, Silver, Decorative Arts and Clocks next month in New York.

statue Bonhams Bikoff

The Bikoff collection includes souvenirs from across Europe

Featuring sculptures, artworks and decorative architectural pieces, the collection comprises around 100 lots acquired over years of careful curation.

"What makes this collection exceptional is the attention the Bikoffs paid to the aesthetic value of the types of marble selected, some of them quite rare, as well as the number of Grand Tour items of such fine quality," said Karl Green, Director of Furniture & Decorative Arts at Bonhams.

"They travelled the world in search of these objects and enjoyed them for decades, refusing all offers of purchase. It is only now that they have somewhat reluctantly decided to let these precious items go."

During the 18th and 19th centuries, many wealthy Englishmen would embark on a 'Grand Tour' - a trip around Europe that could last several years and take in historic cities such as Paris, Rome, Naples and Venice.

The trip would follow their formal education, and act as an elaborate 'Gap Year' before they returned to England to begin their working lives - usually armed with a wealth of extravagant souvenirs from across the continent.

Notable lots in the collection will include an 18th/19th century Italian Neoclassical style patinated bronze sculpture of Marcus Aurelius estimated at $8,000-12,000, and a mid-19th century French Neoclassical style repousse metal reduction of the Vendôme column, valued at $15,000-20,000.

'The Allure of Antiquity: The Bikoff Collection' sale takes place on March 4.

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