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Bidding War for 70's Sculpture by Dorset Artist


10:35am 12th April 2013

A sculpture by a Dorset artist that was bought for £50 has sold for over £13,000 in Dorchester.

Duke's Auctioneers sold the onyx figure by Mary Spencer Watson from Swanage yesterday (11th April).

It's carved out of stone to form a female head, torso and thigh with one arm supporting the chin and hair coming over one shoulder.

The sculpture can be dated to 1975 and is recorded as having been exhibited at Dorset County Museum in 1976, but it only reappeared recently when it was purchased in a South Somerset auction as an unknown work for only £50.

Amy Brenan, a valuer at Duke's Auctioneers told Wessex FM more about the artist's work, 'It can't be ignored that her upbringing surrounded by beautiful Purbeck stone quarries has influenced her work.  In this sculpture, her inspiration from the earth's natural materials, in this case onyx (a type of quartz), is clear - she is making a direct comparison between two natural products - the human form and the earths form.'

Before auction the piece had an estimate of £3,000- 6,000, it sold for exactly £13, 145.

It's been bought by a South Dorset resident after a fierce bidding war, according to Duke's.

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