A Victorian sculpture discovered beneath an Australian home in the 1960s may be worth up to £4,500, according to recent valuations.
The marble sculpture by Achille Simonetti, an Italian artist, was found by Graeme Kerr while he lived at the property, bought in 1965. Now that he has moved back to Nantwich and is considering downsizing, he is going to sell the item at auction in November.
Kerr is a computer software developer and has offices in South Africa and the UK. A fifth generation Australian, he lived in Australia for a while until relocating to South Africa, where he also moved the sculpture.
The piece was discovered when Kerr was checking the wooden piles which the house was built on, and he spotted some white objects buried in the sand. These turned out to be various parts of the sculpture, which have now been fixed back together. The treasured item has travelled all over with Kerr – including Sydney, South Africa, Johannesburg, Durban and finally, Nantwich.
The sculpture was created during the 1890s by Simonetti and is called ‘Playmates’. It will be sold at auction in November, although Kerr explained:
“I’ll be sad to see it go but having rescued it and treasured it for 48 years, it’s time to give someone else the pleasure of owning it.”
The sculpture will be bought for a higher price at auction, as a buyer’s premium will be added. Objects of interest, including antique furniture, can be bought at a reasonable price in Preston – especially antique desks, which may have been used to display items similar to the sculpture.
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