On The Square

Ribbid-Ribbid! Bidsquares Enchanting Results at Rago

By Jessica Helen Weinberg

Oct 26,2017 | 10:55 EDT

A young princess finds her heart in loves hidden amphibious depths while King Dumpling feasts on gnocchi inside a thick gold frame. Rago Auctions, Curiouser & Curiouser sale on October 22nd was no ordinary catalog, offering items cloaked in folklore and tightly tailored to the niche of both outsider art and one-of-a-kind oddities.

Bidsquare’s online bidders clicked and waved their mouses like magic wands - bopping items on their heads and growing bids to twice their estimated size *poof!* Nearly 75% of all participating online bidders came through Bidsquare totaling over $160,000 of wins and securing the top 3 highest sales. 

Here are some of the curious characters that enchanted the Curiouser & Curiouser charts:

Lot 142, The Frog Prince, Terra-cotta with a fine polychrome, leathery glaze, German, 19th c; Sold For $37,120

Hopping over 4x the low estimate of $9,000 is this handsome chap titled, The Frog Prince. His namesake, the classic fairy tale best known through the Brothers Grimms written version, can partly be traced back to Roman times and has been adapted into current titles and movies such as The Princess and the Frog as well as Prince Charming.

This lifelike sculpture portrays an impressive narrative and certainly deserves these royal auction results. Between the exceptional casting of its leathery skin and the proportional crown that continues down and around his fly focused eyes - Id say hes toadally kissable!

Lot 88, Marco Marcuoula, Re del Carnevale di Verona (King Dumpling, King of Carnival of Verona, Oil on canvas; Sold for $25,600

Marco Marcuoula (1740-1793) was an important painter of prestigious Venetian residences and “grotesques” whose paintings permanently reside in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago. The celebration depicted here by Marcuoula is of the Verona Carnival, an event and legacy that carries nearly 480 years of joy in the mediaeval Italian city marking the end of the troubled period of starvation that plagued Verona in the 1500’s.

The jubilant, potato filled, festival is thrown each year and revolves around an actual “King Dumping” who roams Verona equipped with an oversized fork to provide gnocchi to all who attend. In Lot 88, Marco Marcuoula depicts his subjects with monstrous noses and expressions making this piece a bizarre find, rich in history and style. Now lean back and mangiare!

Lot 39, Life-Size Articulated Artist Mannequin, France, 1860; Sold for $46,080.00

This beautifully carved mannequin went well against the grain of its low estimate and polished the top of Rago’s Curiouser & Curiouser sale selling for a total of $46,080.00. Reaching their peak of manufacture and popularity in France circa 1850, "Mannequin Articulé" would be listed in the inventory of important artists possessions at that time. Keenly sought after by collectors, desirability and rarity is defined by size, quality, condition, antiquity and, particularly, the deftness of the carving. This example came from Ann Morriss Manhattan shop window and had never been offered for sale before. Standing at nearly 5 feet tall, this wooden specimen was definitely worth pining over!

In addition to lot 39, a Bidsquare bidder also purchased Lot 174, 27" Articulated Female Artist Mannequin, France, ca. 1880 for a total of $8,320. 

Weren't around to bid in Rago Auctions sales last weekend? You still can! Register today to browse and buy a combination of items from Ragos Curiouser & Curiouser catalog as well as their Great Estates sale in Rago Auctions, Great Estates & Curiouser and Curiouser Passed Lots, Timed Auction from October 23rd - November 6th. Exclusively only on Bidsquare! 

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Jessica Helen Weinberg | Senior Content Editor at Bidsquare