£250k life-size Tarquin statue for sale

For anyone who loves the ocean and has dreamed of bathing in a clamshell, Bonhams may have the object of their dreams in its Continental Furniture Sale on November 25, dominated by massive sculptures and private furniture collections from Greece, Spain and the Middle East.

The clamshell sculpture is an important Italian 19th century bronze and giant tropical Tridacna Gigas shell centrepiece attributed to Lodovico Pogliaghi. It consists of a large natural clamshell supported by three kneeling tritons and is estimated to sell for £20,000-30,000.

Lodovico Pogliaghi (b.1857 in Milan) is probably best known for his 1904-08 depiction of the Virgin Mary's Sorrows and Joys on the monumental bronze doors of the Duomo in Milan.

The sea world, as represented by the piece's giant clamshell, was particularly loved by Pogliaghi.

A Tridacna Gigas shell by Lodovico Pogliaghi (£20,000-30,000)
A Tridacna Gigas shell by Lodovico Pogliaghi (£20,000-30,000)

Also in the sale, a three ton, life-size, Italian 19th century white marble group shows Tarquin, one of the seven legendary kings of Rome, standing by a throne holding Lucretia's hand; with a scroll letter at her feet and a tiger to his right hand side.

The throne bears the inscriptions SPQR to the arm supports, and the back rail depicting the louve of Rome with Romulus and Remus, and it is decorated all over with grotesques, scrolling foliage, birds and putti.

The 55" wide, 64.5" deep, and 79" high sculpture is estimated to sell for £150,000-250,000.

An American Great Exhibition-style Steinway piano will also feature in the sale.

The unusual instrument is an important American late-19th century ormolu and porcelain-mountain, parcel-gilt, rosewood, tulipwood, sycamore, ebony, ebonised and marquetry upright piano by Steinway and Sons.

It was first owned by Henry Halsey (1821-1887), the Suffolk County, New York Sheriff, and estimated to bring £10,000 to £15,000.

"These are all objects that nobody could possibly miss or fail to comment on, real conversation pieces," says Francois Le Brun, Head of Bonhams Furniture and Works of Art Department.

"They would provide pleasure for years given their physical stature and class."

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