Giambologna bronze
'The Abduction of a Sabine', a bronze in the manner of Giambologna – £150,000 at Boningtons.

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Catalogued as “The Abduction of a Sabine” and “possibly 18th century or earlier in the manner of Giambologna”, the nearly 20in (50cm) high bronze on a later base was estimated at just £300-500.

Bidders believed it was likely to be early 17th century – perhaps by Gianfrancesco Susini or Ferdinando Tacca – with interest coming from the room, five phone lines and online bidders.

It was underbid on thesaleroom.com before two phone bidders battled it out past the £100,000 mark (plus 17.5% buyer’s premium).

Luke Bodalbhai, head of fine art at Boningtons, said: “People think the market slows in the summer but if auctions are online you can get results like this.” The vendor, a woman local to the Essex auction house, inherited it from her great-grandmother.

The Rape of the Sabine Women or the Abduction of a Sabine Woman was a theme favoured by European Renaissance artists.

But this two-figure model is in contrast to the more common three and quite different from Giambologna’s famous 1583 original version in the Loggia dei Lanzi in Florence.