Ivory flagellation beats estimates

A 30cm-tall, baroque ivory sculpture of the flagellation of Christ, attributed to the anonymous mid-17th-century Austrian carver known as the Master of the Martyrdom of St Sebastian, soared to a hammer price of €1.9m at the auction house Piasa in Paris on 17 December 2015 (€2.2m including premium; est €200,000-€300,000). Laurence Fligny, a specialist at the Paris-based auction house, said: “Baroque ivories of excellent quality are extremely rare and very sought after. There is a micro-market for such exquisite ivory artefacts.” Trade bidders in the room and on the phone drove up the price, she added. The sculpture came from a private collection in Paris. Piasa would not identify the buyer.