alabaster statuette of Saint Cecilia
An alabaster statuette of Saint Cecilia which realised €2.3m (£1.9m) in a sale held by Daguerre at Hotel Drouot.

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The 19½in (50cm) high statuette of the patron saint of music, carved en ronde bosse, is attributed to the Flemish sculptor Gil de Siloe c.1500 and easily overshot estimate of €80,000-100,000 to sell for a hammer price of €2.3m (£1.9m) to an American buyer.

The sale was held by Daguerre on December 12.

Late-Gothic Sculptor

Relatively little is known about Gil de Siloe, who is thought to have been born in Antwerp in 1440 and died in Burgos around 1501, but he was the principal exponent of late-Gothic sculpture working in Castile for the Catholic monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella.

This figure compares to others by him which share similar features of seated position and clothing that falls in complex, deep folds. The Saint Cecilia statuette here has survived in a fine state of preservation, say the auctioneers, and the finely detailed execution of the saint’s clothing, the carved chair on which she sits and the instrument she plays, all point to an object of private devotion intended for a high status Castilian patron.

Among other notable prices for classic antiques at Drouot were a marble-topped Louis XVI mahogany commode by Martin Carlin and an early 16th century Venetian enamelled copper footed bowl which realised €240,000 (£200,000) and €170,000 (£141,670) respectively at Beaussant-Lefèvre’s sale on December 9.

Meanwhile, an 18in (46cm) high bronze bust of a young bearded man portrayed à l’antique, catalogued as North Italian, 16th century, generated interest from multiple bidders in a November 23 sale held by Coutau-Bégarie,

It eclipse an attractive €10,000-15,000 guide and take €200,000 (£166,670).