Electric lamp by Austrian sculptor Gustav Gurschner – estimate €25,000-30,000 at Lempertz.

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He also created more spectacular works of art, such as several electric lamps which incorporated a nautilus shell and the figure of a mermaid, who almost appears to be flying over the crest of a wave.

Lamps of this type rarely appear on the auction market and so Lempertz in Cologne is expecting considerable interest when it offers this 21in (53cm) high example on May 20 with a guide of €25,000-30,000.

It is signed and dated 899, which corresponds to the date of other known versions. One lamp is documented in a photo from the winter exhibition, held in 1899-1900 at the Museum für angewandte Kunst (Museum for Applied Arts) in Vienna.

Gurschner did not solely devote himself to decorative arts: in 1914, he designed uniforms for Prince Wilhelm of Wied, who was sovereign of the Principality of Albania, and later organised a small private army to help the prince in his conflict with rebels who were trying to depose him. Gurschner’s assistance was to no avail: after six months, the prince was driven from the country.