The opening session of the four-day Romano sale series, featuring 291 lots of Sculpture and Works of Art, ran to over 5 hours, with multiple bids extending the sale proceedings. The total raised was 4,704,700 ($6,941,785), comfortably within the pre-sale estimate of 3,741,550 - 5,589,970 for this first session, with significant activity from Italian buyers. The sale room, located on the long terrace running the length of Palazzo Magnani Feroni and overlooking the Palazzo gardens, was filled to capacity. This first sale session was 73% sold by lot and by value, and saw 62% of lots achieving prices above their pre-sale estimates.
Filippo Lotti, Managing Director, Sothebys
Italy and auctioneer for the sale, comments: We are extremely pleased that the wonderful selection of Works of Art in the first days sale attracted private collectors, trade and public institutions. This truly is a landmark sale, marking an extremely important collaboration between Sothebys team and Sovrintendenza Belle Arti of Florence, the authorities in the preservation of Italian heritage, which enabled such an extensive collection of treasures to reach todays enthusiastic buyers. In 1969 Sothebys held its inaugural sale in Italy in Florence, so we are very pleased to have been involved in the historic re-opening of Palazzo Magnani Feroni to the public and unveiling the treasures that had remained hidden in the Romano collection for over 50 years.
Mario Tavella, Sothebys Chairman , UK , and head of Single Owner Sales, comments: The freshness to the market of the wonderful items offered in this sale, and the unique opportunity that this palazzo sale has offered, has proven to be very successful. Sothebys Italy is proud to have made accessible to a wider audience the Romano treasures.
Francesco Morroni, Director, Furniture and Works of Art, Italy, said: This first day of the sale series offered masterpieces predominantly from Tuscany and Naples, reflecting the cultural background from which Salvatore Romano hailed, such as four terracotta life-size figures of Mars, Ceres, Orpheus and Flora attributed to Antonio Novelli (Florence) which sold for 162,750 (est. 100,000-150,000), and a 17th century figure of Saint Bruno by Cosimo Fanzago (Naples) which sold to a private European collector for 87,150 against a pre-sale estimate of 30,000-50,000.
Margaret Schwartz, Worldwide Senior Specialist in European Works of Art comments: We were thrilled to offer today a wide array of sculptural works that included some extremely sought after pieces, such as two terracotta female figures from the circle of Gianlorenzo Bernini which, after heated bidding, more than tripled their pre-sale high estimate, reaching 138,750 and 186,750 respectively (pre-sale estimate: 25,000-35,000); an extremely early, museum quality 6th century marble spiral twist column which fetched 276,750 against a pre-sale estimate of 100,000-150,000; and an exceptional pair of early 18th century carved limestone figures of Mars and Minerva which sold for 150,750, more than double the low estimate of 50,000-80,000. Todays sale results are testament to the continued tradition of collecting fine sculpture.