Contemporary Stone Sculpture Buying Guide

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Contemporary Stone Sculpture Buying Guide

Carving stones is one of the oldest art forms in the world and has progressed to a level today where there are countless stone sculptures available to buy from various levels of artist. They can range from very small ornamental stone models to much enlarged and more expensive pieces, usually of a historical, religious or mystical connotation.

For more contemporary stone sculpture models then there are a number of buying considerations to think about and also where to go about making a purchase from. If choosing to shop online then check out eBay for any potential deals from the large selection of stone sculptures within its listings.

Stone Sculptures: A Background

Stone sculptures are a 3D type of art created when a natural stone is shaped by the controlled removal of some of its parts. They have progressed through time and a series of styles to the point where modern decorative types are easily accessible on the market to buy for the home. Historical stone sculptures such as the famous Venus de Milo or depictions of famous Roman generals are worth extraordinary amounts due to their historical significance.

Contemporary stone sculptures are developed using a variety of tools, both hand and mechanically powered, along with a number of glossy finishes to enhance their appearance. They range in style from depictions of real life humans and animals to creative ornamental models.

Different Materials of Stone Sculptures

There are no real limitations to which type of stones that can be carved, depending on the materials being used. The table below highlights some of the most popular materials used:

Stone Material



Commonly used by beginners for carving due to its soft nature. Soapstone is available in many different colours and textures making it a popular material to use.


Alabaster is slightly harder than soapstone but is still relatively easy to sculpt and can appear in a variety of beautiful colours. Its internal grains can add to its texture.


A sedimentary stone, Limestone is another popular material used for sculpting. It can be difficult to polish but can incorporate intricate details.


Marble is more difficult to manage and has a harder scratch resistance but can have a fantastic finishing look, again coming in different colours.


One of the hardest stones to shape that is found within contemporary sculptures is the granite model. It is more durable and robust than other materials.

Styles of Contemporary Stone Sculptures

The extensive nature of modern stone sculptures means that there are many different styles or themes that stones have been carved into. For example, sculptures ranging from different animals and mystical figures to angels and religious depictions are available on the market. Busts are another popular stone sculpture theme, where artists have skilfully chiselled out human features into the stone.

There is also a difference in the sizes of many different sculptures. They can range from miniature ornamental figures that can be placed on the mantelpiece, to bigger sized sculptures that can be placed in the corner of a room or outside.

Buying Considerations

Where to buy from is an important factor to think about for many people, mainly in relation to the size and weight of the stone sculpture. Buying a large and heavier stone sculpture may be difficult to transport back home in person for example; shopping online will save the hassle of doing this. The selection of models online will be much more extensive to choose from also, especially if buying on eBay where plenty of sculptures can be reviewed next to each other.

This section will look at some of the basic buying considerations for stone sculptures in relation to searching on eBay.

  • For the majority of buyers one of the main worries of making a purchase is about overpaying for the stone sculpture, especially if this a first-time venture. The best advice is to do research online and even from shops to acquire an average figure of what price to be paying.
  • The prices on eBay can vary depending on the buying format to the size, material and age of a sculpture. An auction for a small scaled decorative stone sculpture can go for as little as £1, whilst more esteemed pieces can fetch five figure sums.
  • Size considerations are important if a desired for the sculpture is known. For example, if buying for a ledge or mantelpiece then knowing exactly what size – usually displayed in inches – the stone sculpture is can help to make a more balanced view of what it will look like in respect to other ornaments around it.
  • If looking for outdoor models, then consider frost-proof stones that can withstand the cold weather that can affect the UK in the winter months. Check the details of the sculpture in the item description to check if this applies.
  • If there is an interest in certain areas such as animals, then look for these types of sculptures on eBay by typing in “elephant stone sculpture” for example and reviewing all the results.

Using eBay to Buy a Contemporary Stone Sculpture

Due to the popular nature of eBay, there are plenty of stone sculptures available within its listings. In this sense, the chance of finding a bargain is more likely. Remember that just because an item is second-hand doesn’t necessarily mean that is unusable or inadequate.

The broad style range of stone sculptures on the market can make it hard to pinpoint the exact model that is most suitable. Consider why you are buying the sculpture in the first place and what where exactly it will be positioned. Also scout around from different art or furniture websites to get a better idea of the average price. When a more informed decision can be made on which type of sculpture is fitting to buy then check out eBay to check out any potential deals.

How to use eBay

  • Search. First of all, bring up all the stone sculptures by typing this into the search bar at the top of the eBay home page. Then either click on the advanced search link next to the search bar or use the preference bar on the left hand side of the page to narrow the results down.
  • Sort by. Arrange the listings so the most desired models appear at the top of the page. They can be arranged by price, condition or by those ending soonest.
  • Seller format. Choose between using the Auction or Buy It Now formats depending on what type of sculpture is required and how soon it needs to be purchased. Look out for Best Offers or Second Chance items also.
  • Read the description. To avoid potential mix-ups and to make sure the purchase is a successful one, read the items description carefully and look out for any drawbacks or negative aspects to its condition. This is important if buying a second-hand sculpture as any potential damage can really affect its general appearance and even devalue it to a point that you have overpaid unnecessarily.
  • Photos. The item’s listing should have a photo attached to it; avoid buying those that don’t regardless of how inexpensive it may be. The picture should also be of the actual item being listed and not a generic stock photo that the seller has found from the internet. It is also preferable for the listing to have pictures taken from all angles of the sculpture – this can ensure that the seller is not hiding any major faults with the item.
  • Payment and postage. Also check out which payment methods the seller accepts and the delivery details to see if these are suitable. For larger stone sculptures then the cost of postage may exceed the budget already planned so take this into consideration also before making a bid.
  • Item Location. If wanting to either check out the stone sculpture before making a bid or collect it in person after it has been won then it is possible to sort the listings for UK only items and also those within a certain mileage of your location.
  • The seller. Click on the seller’s profile and review how many items they have previously sold, what their rating is and any feedback comments that have been left by others. Look out for sellers with 100% scores who have completed a lot of transactions.
  • Feedback. After the transaction has been completed and the stone sculpture has arrived in satisfactory condition, then leave feedback for the seller detailing their positive suitability as a seller. Likewise, if the purchase has been unsuccessful or the item is not as advertised then make sure to leave a negative review and contact eBay of how to resolve the issue.


There are many different styles of beautiful stone sculptures available to buy on eBay for a mixture of tastes and budgets. The contemporary stone model design has evolved with smooth, glossy surface finishes and a range of colours to enhance the furniture of a house inside or provide decorations for a garden outside. When coming to make a purchase then check out all the listings on eBay within the set budget and stay safe using the site by reviewing the Safety Centre guidelines.

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