Italian sculpture found in Borders set for auction

Antique specialist Theo Burrell with the long lost Italian bronze sculpture dating from the 18th Century. Picture: Contributed

Antique specialist Theo Burrell with the long lost Italian bronze sculpture dating from the 18th Century. Picture: Contributed

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A BRONZE sculpture described as an “Italian masterpiece found in the Scottish Borders” is set to be sold at auction in Edinburgh.

The sculpture, dating from the from the 18th Century, was created by Italian sculptor Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi. The piece, which depicts ‘Ganymede and the Eagle’, was discovered during a routine house valuation by auctioneers Lyon and Turnbull.

The antique has been valued at between £100,000 and £150,000 and will be sold at auction in Edinburgh on 22 April.

Trained as a medallist, Soldani-Benzi produced bronze reliefs, figures and busts, he went on to become one of the finest bronze casters in Europe. Some of his pieces can be seen at Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Douglas Girton, Specialist at Lyon & Turnbull said: “It’s not just an academic piece but is a beautiful work of art.

“It is a rare Italian bronze statue that’s been unaccounted for 300 years.

“It’s an Italian masterpiece found in the Scottish Borders. This is a major discovery of an extremely rare item.”

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