MONROVIA, Calif. — A design study model for what would eventually become the Beethoven monument in Frankfurt, Germany is the top lot in John Moran Auctioneers‘ Traditional Collector sale on Tuesday, September 26. The catalog is now open for bidding at LiveAuctioneers.
Georg Kolbe (1877-1947) is considered one of the leading German sculptors of his generation. Unfortunately, many of his works have not survived, owing to wartime bombings, melt-downs for military needs or outright confiscation. Those that still exist are found in institutions such as New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
The 33.25in-tall bronze model of his Beethoven monument depicts Ludwig van Beethoven with two female figures from Roman mythology who represent genius. In 1926, Kolbe was asked by the city of Berlin to create a Beethoven statue. He declined, due to limited availability, but returned to the project after the war. He finished the design but died in 1947, before the final could be cast. The monument was eventually installed in Frankfurt in 1951.
The model in Moran’s sale is stamped “GK I / H. Noack / Berlin” for the foundry, and has provenance to the Leonard Hutton Galleries in New York. It is estimated at $30,000-$50,000.
The Qianlong period of Chinese history covered much of the 18th century and saw a boom in prosperity, power and influence. A pair of flambé porcelain fanghu vases bearing a reign mark for the Qianlong period (1736-1795) features streaked transmutation glazing in blue, violent, maroon and pale green. The 12.5in-tall pair is estimated at $15,000-$20,000.
A painting in the style of Pierre Jacques Volaire (1729-1799) is another of the sale’s top lots. A pupil of French landscape painter Claude Joseph Vernet, Volaire also became known for his landscapes and maritime art. 1809 Eruption of Mt. Etna from Castiglione measures 21.5in high by 34.5in wide, appears unsigned and is in overall good condition with minor indications of later touching-up. It is estimated at $10,000-$15,000.