The statue offered at Hargesheimer (25% buyer’s premium) on March 10-12 belongs to a group of Romanesque figures of this type created in the central French region of the Auvergne.
They were among the earliest representations of Virgin on the Seat of Holy Wisdom, known as Sedes Sapientiae. Mary is seated on the throne of Solomon, holding Christ, the embodiment of divine wisdom, on her lap.
The 2ft 2in (66cm) figure on offer for €18,000, which came from a local collection, could be dated to c.1200 and still had some traces of the original polychromy.
International competition emerged and after prolonged bidding the figure was knocked down to a Swiss collector on the phone for €85,000 (£70,835).