The Autocar Trophy, presented to Major A T G 'Goldie' Gardiner for the BRDC 500 Miles Race, Brooklan
Lot 461
The Autocar Trophy presented for the BRDC 500 Miles Race, Brooklands, 1934,
Sold for £7,130 (US$ 12,112) inc. premium
Lot Details
The Autocar Trophy presented for the BRDC 500 Miles Race, Brooklands, 1934,
the Art Deco gilt bronze figure of a dancer by Josef Lorenzl (1892-1950), on a green onyx pedestal, bearing an engraved presentation plaque inscribed 'B.R.D.C. 500 Miles Race, 1934 Presented by The Autocar M.G. Magnette (S) No.17 Class G Entered by Major A.T.G. Gardner Driven by Major A.T.G. Gardner & Dr J.D. Benjafield 97.85 M.P.H.', 49cm high overall.

Provenance: formerly the property of Lt. Col. Goldie Gardner, thence to his daughter.

Footnotes

  • Alfred Thomas Goldie Gardner was born on May 31st 1890 in Essex, his mother's maiden name being Goldie. His early motoring interest lay in motorcycles but the First World War interrupted his ambition to race them, and on the outbreak he joined the army, becoming the youngest Major in the British Forces. In 1917 his reconnaissance plane was brought down by enemy fire and he sustained leg and hip injuries that were to hospitalise him for two years and leave him disabled for the rest of his life. In this condition he began motor racing in 1924 and in 1930 he came to the attention of Cecil Kimber the managing director of M.G. and subsequently raced various of these cars with considerable success. In 1934 he bought a streamlined K3 Magnette and after accompanying Sir Malcolm Campbell to Daytona Beach to set a new Land Speed Record, his appetite was whetted for record-breaking, starting with a class record at Brooklands. In 1937 he went to Dessau in Germany where he created a new Flying Mile Record at 148.5mph. He went on to set further records at Montlhery in France and returned to Germany later in the year to set new records. He now had in mind achieving 200mph for which purpose George Eyston's Magic Magnette Ex 135 was acquired and modified to produce 196bhp. In November 1938 he returned to Germany and raised the record to 186mph. With the 200mph target still eluding him, in May 1939 he returned yet again to take the 1100cc record to 203mph, and with the engine rebored overnight he also took three 1500cc Class 'F' records. Further attempts at the 750cc records were stymied by the outbreak of war, and he first of all joined with Sir Malcolm Campbell in setting up the Mobile Special Constabulary (The Blue Birds) and then helped reorganise civilian transport in liberated Europe. Once the war had ended new Class 'H' (750cc) records were achieved in Italy and at Jabbeke, Belgium and then in 1947 Class 'I' (500cc) records were set, and in 1948 a Jaguar 2-litre experimental engine was borrowed to set Class 'E' (2000cc) records. This allowed him to claim records in 50% of the World International Classes. Further record-breaking continued at Jabbeke and in the USA through 1950-2 but in 1952 he suffered a cerebral haemorrhage and was forced to retire. He was holder of the OBE and received three British Racing Driver's Club Gold Stars. He died in 1958. Biography from the archive of the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu.

    When looking to the designs of the Art Deco period one talented sculptor and ceramist that cannot be ignored is Josef Lorenzl. A master designer, his Bronze statuettes and ceramic figural work epitomise the era perfectly. As like Preiss, Chiaparus and Kelety the other great sculptors from this period, Lorenzl was inspired by the female form and the new found freedom that women enjoyed, which he executed beautifully both in his bronze and ceramic designs.
    Although very little is known about Lorenzl's early life we are aware that he was born in Austria in 1892 and was soon to become one of the most talented sculptors of the Art Deco Period. He started by working for a bronze foundry in Vienna Arsenal where he produced stunning bronze statuettes. The majority of his works in bronze and ivory were of singular slim female nudes with long legs which conveyed elegance. His preference was for dancing poses which were not only evident in his singular statuettes but also in those attached to marble clocks, lampbases and bookends..
    Like his contemporaries Lorenzl work was created using "Chryselephantine", a Greek word which refers to the combination of various materials such as bronze, ivory, gold and silver. He signed his pieces in various ways sometimes abbreviating his name to "Lor" or "Enzl" but on some of the statuettes you will find an additional signature by Crejo. A talented painter who worked alongside Lorenzl, Crejo would paint decoration onto the statuettes such as flowers and these are the figures which bear his signature. Far more desirable with Crejo's painting these can command a premium at auction. Recently Bonhams sold an example of Lorenzl's work with Crejo decoration for £10,500 but the pieces created by Lorenzl alone generally fetch in the region of £600 - £1,200 depending on the subject matter.
    From his designs in bronze and ivory Lorenzl went on to work for the Austrian ceramics company Goldscheider. Again creating stunning sculptures of the female form collector's are more aware of this period and his sculptures in ceramic than they are of his earlier bronze and ivory statuettes. Inspired by shape and bold colours Lorenzl's sculptures had clean lines and geometric shapes. Although each piece possess great movement there was no intricacy or attention to detail and most of his figures wore their hair in the boyish bob which was fashionable at the time, making these simplistic and stylish figurines the epitome of Art Deco design.
    One of Lorenzl's friends Stephan Dakon who he had met whilst working at the bronze foundry had the same vision and style as Lorenzl so it was the obviously thing for Lorenzl to recommend Dakon to Goldscheider when he started to work for them. Taken on as a freelance designer Dakon was of the same mindset as Lorenzl and so much of their work was very similar. People at the time even believed that the two were in fact the same person.
    Both the artists had an interest in the female form, dance and theatrical costume. This was enhanced with Lorenzl when he took a trip to Paris and visited Folies Bergeres. Famous dancer Josephine Baker was on stage with her chorus dancers, all wearing extremely flamboyant costumes, Lorenzl was captivated by the glamour and outlandishness of the dancers and so on his return to Austria reproduced gorgeous figurines wearing vibrant coloured costumes and in various dance poses.
    He was also able to use his skill as a bronze sculptor to use the earthenware to his advantage. Carving delicate fingers and enhancing the women's female form Lorenzl set about producing some stunning sculptures. "Captured Bird" was one of his most popular and was created in many different colourways and sizes. This particular piece is of a dancing girl with a gossamer winged dress which was inspired by a dance performed by Niddy Impekoven and was also captured onto a lamp base with three figures of this elegant lady dancing around the stand.. Other dancing girl figurines which were created by Lorenzl include "Butterfly Wings," "Spider-Web Dress" and "The Arabian Dancer." Not only did all his creations represent the elegant and feminine side of a women but each were also very subtly seductive.
    Adapting his theme of dance Lorenzl also went on to produce the "Egyptian Dancer or Odalisque" in 1922. This particular piece was again reproduced with models wearing different coloured shawls and is one of the most recognisable figures today.
    By the 1930's Lorenzl and Dakon were the principle designers at Goldscheider, although there were many freelancers employed by the firm. It is here that we see another slight change to Lorenzl's work. Although he had used the naked female form in much of his bronze and ivory works it was during this period that he started to produce these mildly erotic yet beautiful nude figurines for Goldscheider. "Awaken" and "Nude with a Borzoi" are perfect examples of Lorenzl's talent for taking the naked female form and making it glamorous yet sophisticated.
    Lorenzl is considered the most important Goldscheider artist in the Art Deco period as his distinctive and stunning figurines are highly sought after by collectors. A celebrated sculptor with an eye for design Lorenzl epitomised the Art Deco era perfectly making him one of the most celebrated and iconic designers of the 20th Century.
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