Charles V marble lions realise $12m at Christie’s

A pair of 14th century marble lions made for the tomb of Charles V of France sold for £9.3m ($12m) on Thursday.

They’re known as the Beauneveu Lions after maker Andre Beauneveu, a Flemish artist whose work was much admired across Europe.  

Lions Charles Christies

The lions were made for the tomb of Charles V

He also created effigies of Charles V and other members of his family, which remain on display at the Basilica of St Denis (resting place of most of France’s early kings) to this day.

Donald Johnston, Christie’s head of sculpture, said: “It is extraordinarily rare to offer any medieval work of art with such a fully documented provenance.

“The fact that this marble group was executed by one of the most important sculptors of the period and is part of an important royal commission makes it even more remarkable.

“The discovery of these lions in a private English collection is wonderful news for collectors and scholars who previously thought they had been lost during the French Revolution.”

The Maria Fitzherbert Jewel, a diamond studded locket given as a gift by the future George IV to his secret wife, made £341,000 ($438,800).

It beat its £120,000 ($154,461) estimate by 184.1%.

George VI and twice widowed Maria Fitzherbert wed in secret in 1785.

They lived together happily for many years, even though George had to marry Princess Caroline of Brunswick to keep his family happy.

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