Chiparus' Almeria sculpture set to dazzle at Bonhams

Almeria, a sculpture by Chiparus, will highlight the art deco artefacts set to go under the hammer at Bonhams' 20th Century Decorative Arts sale in London on June 19.

With Gatsby fever well and truly upon us, prices are expected to soar as collectors clamour to recreate the decadent debauchery distilled in F Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald's timeless fictions.

Chiparus statue art deco
Chiparus’ sought after art deco statues encapsulate the spirit of the roaring twenties

A rare and iconic bronze and ivory sculpture by Paris-based Romanian sculptor Chiparus (1886-1947) is expected to achieve £200,000-300,000 ($313,170-469,756).

The circa 1925 sculpture is believed to have been modelled on eminent Polish ballerina Bronislava Nijinska.

It is estimated that the desirable decorative sculpture is one of a mere five extant examples, thus its considerable presale valuation.

Flappers and Philosophers
Flappers and Philosophers: the first copy with its correct jacket to come up for auction since 1977

Bonhams' Mark Oliver comments: "Almeria is probably in the top three most desirable Chiparus figures ever produced and one that is rarely available at auction."

In November 2012, Chiparus' Dolly Sisters sculpture sold for £277,250 ($439,466) at Bonhams. The sale price represented an impressive 38.6% increase on the item's £200,000 top estimate.

A host of flapper girl studies are also to feature at Bonhams, as well as period furniture and typically dramatic art deco lighting.

Artefacts relating to the jazz age are currently considered very hot property indeed. Earlier this week, a rare first edition of F Scott Fitzgerald's collected short stories Flappers and Philosophers brought $118,750 to Sotheby's.

For more information on the decorative arts of the art deco era, see our quick guide to identifying 1920s Lalique glassware.

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