All auctions in one place

Search settings
  • Porcelain & Pottery

    11 461 For sale

    481 845 Sold

  • 0—192 000 000 USD
  • 2 Oct 1989—13 Oct 2017

A pair of early george iii mahogany hall benches circa 1760, attributed

Each with a scrolled serpentine toprail centred by foliage and flanked by turned finials above a panelled back edged with foliate and bead-and-reel ornament, the scrolled arms with bead-and-reel edging above a solid seat with ribbon-and-rosette carved edge and a fluted frieze, on baluster legs headed with foliage and with guilloche carved bun feet, the reverse of one bench inscribed in pencil to the back 'Thomas'(?) These magnificent hall benches are part of a set of six first recorded in the collection of Thomas Villiers, 2nd Earl of Clarendon of the second creation (1753-1824). The benches are thought to have been commissioned by the Earl’s father, Thomas Villiers 1st Earl of Clarendon (1709-1786), for the newly acquired family seat, The Grove in Hertfordshire (fig.2). They appear in the 1824 Inventory of the The Grove taken by J Orchard as ‘6 carved mahogany Hall Sofas’. The inventory is accompanied by sketches showing all six benches in situ. (reproduced figs. 3-7). The Design and Benches: This type of wooden bench and matching hall furniture were created by William Kent for the great entrance halls of the newly built Palladian mansions of the 18th century. They were the first furnishings to greet any visitor and, through the use of quality materials, skilled workmanship and exquisite design Kent was able to communicate the grandeur, wealth and taste of his patrons (Susan Weber, William Kent Designing Georgian Britain, London, 2013 p. 481). The design for these antique-fluted and temple-pedimented benches derived directly from Palladio. This was promoted by Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington and his creative partner William Kent.  The influence of these two men, as well as Inigo Jones, on 18th century English architecture and design was unparalleled. These designs were popularised in John Vardy’s, Some designs of Mr Inigo Jones and Mr William Kent, 1744, the ionic wave-scrolls and the acanthus wrapped volutes seen in Vardy’s book clearly evolved into the more soberly designed hall furniture  (J. Vardy, Some designs of Mr Inigo Jones and Mr William Kent, London, 1744. Plate 43). As with all ‘Kentian’ furniture the architecture of the room, in which it would sit, was paramount in the conception of the piece. Susan Weber notes that the motifs in the hall benches such as the gadrooned mouldings and scrolled arms often mirror the friezes and decoration that frame the room (Susan Weber, William Kent Designing Georgian Britain, London, 2013 p. 458). The first examples of benches of this type were commissioned for the Stone Hall at Houghton. Kent was employed by Sir Robert Walpole to build a grand house that reflected the first British Prime Minister’s status. Here the design of the room flows into the furniture, only interrupted by the contrast in materials. These were executed by James Richards whose career was built upon Royal commissions from Kent. (A. Moore, Houghton Hall, London, 1996 p. 116). Further to this in 1731 Kent designed a set of hall furniture for Lodge Park, Sherborne including “2 mahogany settees for ye dining room at ye Lodge carved” (Papers of the Dutton family quoted in Gilbert, James Moore the Younger, p.148-9) now in the collection Temple Newsam, Leeds. These benches demonstrate the more experimental baroque characteristics typical of this earlier style of hall bench. William Cavendish the 3rd Duke of Devonshire commissioned a set of six benches for the hall of Devonshire House in London of almost identical design to the Clarendon pair (fig. 8). This set would undoubtedly be known to Linnell whose workshop was behind Devonshire House in Berkeley Square. The Clarendon pair of benches with their sphere-capped pillars, columnar legs and torus-moulded seats comes from the second group of this design circa 1760. A sketch of John Linnell’s relating to a very similar hall settee can be found in a folio of his designs dated circa 1758-60 in the Victoria and Albert Museum (H. Hayward and P. Kirkham, William and John Linnell, vol. II, London, 1980 fig. 229), Susan Weber in her accompanying monograph to the William Kent exhibition (V&A 22nd March – 14th July) notes that John Linnell was most likely following a drawing by his father William of a William Kent bench (Susan Weber, William Kent Designing Georgian Britain, London, 2013 p. 488) (fig. 9). Hayward and Kirkham posit that both William and John Linnell were employed by Kent as cabinet makers having executed a table for James West (1703-1772) at Alscot Park. This working relationship between the Linnell firm and Kent is further enforced by a set of garden benches at Rousham circa 1738. The firm carved seven external, painted, benches to sit in the alcoves above the river at Praeneste in arguably Kent’s finest landscape garden. At the beginning of the 1760s John Linnell was breaking with the declining Rococo tradition and focusing more on the decorative motifs of neo-classicism found in his father’s work (H. Hayward and P. Kirkham, William and John Linnell, vol. I, London, 1980, p. 79). We know that an identical pair, to the ones which are offered here, was created by John Linnell for Grimsthorpe Castle. They were presumably commissioned by Peregrine Bertie, 3rd Duke of Ancaster, one can see that Ancaster was a debtor of the Linnell firm on the death of William Linnell in 1763 (ibid, p.86). This later commission from the Linnell firm is further underlined by the commission they received from the Countess of Leicester at Holkham, although built in the 1740s the grand apartment which contains the hall was not furnished until 1760 coinciding with and or creating the second wave of Kentian inspired furniture. The key figure in all of this would appear to be Mathew Brettingham.  His employment at the Grove, conducted just after his work at Holkham had concluded, would most likely have tied in with the commission of these hall benches. Brettingham’s style reflected the influence Burlington and Kent would have had on him whilst working at Holkham. When asked by the Earl of Clarendon to update The Grove he would undoubtedly have employed John Linnell with whom he had worked at Kedleston and Holkham. The Earls of Clarendon: The Earldom of Clarendon was first created in 1661 for the statesmen Edward Hyde. The title passed through  four generations until the 4th Earl of Clarendon’s son suddenly died falling from his horse in Paris leaving no male heir. The 4th Earl died in 1753 leaving only daughters, on his death the title expired. Thomas Villiers, the second son of the second Earl of Jersey, was a prominent Whig politician and political envoy. In 1752 Villiers married Charlotte Capell daughter of the 3rd Earl of Essex and granddaughter of Henry Hyde 4th Earl of Clarendon. Villiers was a highly cultivated figure. He chose to follow his grandfather, 1st Earl of Jersey, into the diplomatic services. During his career Villiers held many important public positions most notably Lord Commissioner of the Admiralty (1748-1756) and Postmaster General (1763-1765). He also served as envoy to Poland, Lithuania and to The Elector of Saxony, receiving a Baronetcy of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1782. Villiers was made Baron Hyde in 1756 ‘In recognition of his diplomatic services in Dresden, Vienna and Berlin’ (John Cussans, History Of Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire, 1881) reviving his wife’s ancestral title. In 1776 whilst holding the position of Chancellor to the Duchy of Lancaster Baron Hyde was created 1st Earl Clarendon of the second creation. Since then the Clarendons went on to shape the political landscape of the 19th Century, perhaps most significantly by George Villiers the 4th Earl. Foreign Secretary three times and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland from 1847-1852, he was offered both the Governor-Generalship of India and Canada but was reluctant to leave European Politics. The 4th Earl’s commitment to his work and his desire for peace with in the British Empire is best highlighted by a contemporary remarking on his death that ‘Lord Clarendon continued to devote every faculty of his mind and every instant of his life to the public service; and he expired surrounded by the boxes and papers of his office on 27 June 1870’ (Sir Herbert Eustace Maxwell, The Life and letters of George William Frederick 4. Earl of Clarendon, London, 1913) He received the Order of the Garter and Bath from Queen Victoria for his services to the government. The Grove: Thomas Villiers purchased The Grove, an Elizabethan house, in 1753 from Lord Doneraile. During 1740s Lord Doneraile had carried out alterations to the west wing and the chapel, apparently being punished by ghostly apparitions for turning the chapel into a kitchen. Fortunately the future Clarendons managed to redesign the property without any such sinister happenings. Having bought the Grove Thomas Villiers immediately set to work to create a country seat befitting a man of ambition and intelligence. Mathew Brettingham was appointed head architect, charged with changing the Grove into a contemporary Palladian country house. Brettingham’s account book confirms that he worked at the Grove from 1754-61 and bills now held in the Bodleian library detail invoices of work completed. Sir Robert Taylor is also purported to have carried out work at The Grove. In his 1967 article in Country Life Marcus Binney states that Taylor made substantial alterations and additions in the early 1780s, creating larger rooms and grander fire-places to suit Thomas Villiers’s status (Marcus Binney ‘The Villas of Sir Robert Taylor’ Country Life Magazine, July 1967). Throughout the course of the 19th century The Grove, particularly under George Villiers 4th Earl of Clarendon’s tenure, became a political and social powerhouse. To mark it being put on the market The Times noted that it was ‘One of the great political houses of the 19th Century. In these degenerate days it may be necessary to call it The Grove, Watford, but, to our grandfathers, The Grove needed no suffixes’ (The Times, 20 February 1936). Due to its proximity to London, Lord Clarendon’s house has been credited with being the progenitor of the long weekend. Members of the political and social elite would often spend their weekends. King Edward VII visited The Grove to stay with the 5th Earl in 1909. Hall furniture from this period is rarely seen at auction. Most recently, a pair of chairs commissioned by Edwin Lascelles for Harewood House, executed by John Linnell, was sold in the Simon Sainsbury sale Christie’s, London, 18th June 2008, lot 10. Four chairs and a single bench of the same suite had previously been offered by the Earl of Harewood at Christie’s, London, 28th June, 1951, lot 64. However, the sale that most pertains to this pair were a pair of benches from the original six commissioned for the Grove was sold at Christie’s, London, 11th April 1985, lot 130.

  • GBRUnited Kingdom
  • 2014-07-09
Hammer price
Show price
Advert

An Italian gilt-bronze-pietre dure-and marble-mounted ebony and ebonised cabinet, Roman

An Italian gilt-bronze-pietre dure-and marble-mounted ebony and ebonised cabinet, Roman, mid 17th century, With a balustraded gallery surmounted by six flower-filled baluster vases above three frieze drawers above a central cupboard door centred by a scrolled boss and a profile cameo flanked on either side by a pair of Spanish portor and jasper columns with gilt-bronze Corinthian capitals opening to reveal a removable section containing three drawers above a further three drawers, flanked on either side by three drawers inlaid with geometric motifs, within gilt-bronze foliate border, the plain sides inlaid with pewter stringing above a breakfront base with three further drawers, the apron carved with an alternating ebonised and parcel-gilt band of acanthus and stylised egg and dart, the later stand with a frieze inlaid with pewter stringing with a patera mounted at each corner on six square tapering legs, similarly inlaid with pewter on gadrooned tapering feet, the drawers panelled with a quarter-veneered ground inlaid with a geometric motif in jasper within a Sicilian jasper border, six of the drawers with later oak trays; the whole veneered in lapis lazuli, various jaspers including Sicilian jaspers, cornelian, breccia, agate and calcedonio; the cabochons and cameo probably applied later; some replacements to bronzes Cabinet: 93cm high,118 cm. wide, 43 cm.deep; Stand: 96cm. high, 122.5cm. wide, 48.5cm. deep; 3ft. ¾in., 3ft. 10½in., 1ft. 5in., 3ft.1¾in., 4ft.¼in., 1ft. 7¼in.

  • GBRUnited Kingdom
  • 2011-07-06
Hammer price
Show price

Coppia di commodes in legno dipinto e laccato con piani impiallacciati

Ciascuna di forma mossa e bombata, il piano mistilineo, tre cassetti sulla fronte, grembiale mosso, piedi a zoccolo intagliati e dorati, la decorazione a cineserie a rilievo dorate su fondo blu, applicazioni in metallo dorato; una firmata ad inchiostro sul piano ligneo: "Lorenzo Molinari"; cadute alla lacca, piccole mancanze ai marmi, crepe sui fianchi La sagoma di questa sontuosa coppia di mobili non è molto frequente a Roma; comunque alte zampe divaricate sormontate da un corpo sporgente e bombato con una strozzatura superiore, si ritrovano, piuttosto simili, in una coppia di commodes intarsiate, che appartenevano nel 1970 al Marchese Paolo Misciatelli (1). I mobili qui esaminati interessano soprattutto per la loro decorazione a chinoiseries dorate su fondo azzurro-verdastro, a leggero rilievo, come usa nei pochi esemplari finora ritenuti romani. A questa ubicazione geografica inclina anche il cospicuo piano in giallo antico, di notevole altezza, eseguito appunto in una nobile pietra di scavo. Non manca di sorprendere che per le maniglie e le bocchette delle serrature si siano utilizzate rifiniture piuttosto semplici, in ottone, di modello e, crediamo, di fattura inglese; ma stesse soluzioni si adoperano in ulteriori mobili laccati appartenenti ad altre famiglie patrizie romane come in un comò del Principe Don Urbano Barberini e in altri due una volta presso la Principessa Henriette Barberini. Del resto sappiamo che applicazioni di questo tipo vennero acquistate in varie città italiane come Genova (2). I nostri mobili, studiati dallo scrivente una trentina di anni fa, prima che comparissero nel catalogo di un’asta (3) provengono dalla Villa Borghese a Frascati e risultano illustrati in un opuscolo del 1978 (4). In quelle due pubblicazioni non si prendeva in considerazione il fatto che uno dei due comò sia firmato a inchiostro Lorenzo Molinari sul piano ligneo d’appoggio, al di sotto del marmo. Questi fatti ci hanno consentito di ritrovare i mobili in due inventari a noi noti, conservati nell’Archivio Segreto Vaticano, Archivio Borghese, fascio 4164: Inventario generale del mobilio, biancheria, rami, porcellane, cristalli...della Villa Taverna presso Frascati di proprietà di S.E. il Principe Don Paolo Borghese c. 111, Salotto della bo(na) mem(oria) della Principessa. del Vivaro...due comò a due tiratori forma urna centinata uso vieux laque a figure e animali sopra fondo blu e dorati con metalli, piano impellicciato di giallo centinato, 27 agosto 1887 (5). La villa in cui si trovavano questi arredi fu costruita fra il 1604 e il 1605 per il cardinale Ferdinando Taverna che la vendette nel giugno 1614 al Cardinale Scipione Borghese per 28.000 scudi. Il Cardinal Borghese fece poi ampliare e decorare la Villa sotto la guida dell’architetto Girolamo Rainaldi. Nel 1896 i Borghese la vendettero a Saverio Parisi (6) Nella stessa epoca in cui identificai la firma di Molinari il Dottor Lee Bimm ci comunicò di aver ritrovato diversi pagamenti nel fondo Borghese ad alcuni artigiani della stessa famiglia Molinari che egli riteneva in rapporto con il Lorenzo che qui firma uno dei due comò. A nostro avviso, però, le date in cui compare quel cognome nelle carte borghesiane (1733-37 e 1742, 1751-52) non sono appropriate all’epoca a cui risalgono i nostri mobili, certamente non anteriori al 1760 circa. Tantomeno un conto del 1733, di Francesco Molinari, può riguardare arredi come i nostri. Andrà infine tenuto presente che almeno in due occasioni Valeriano Molinari viene detto mercante, fornitore del Cardinale Francesco Borghese. Questi magnifici arredi diventano così una delle pietre miliari della storia della lacca in Italia. Note 1 G. Lizzani, Il mobile romano, Milano, 1970, fig. 205; nello stesso volume, a figg 197, 201, 202, si illustrano altri modelli che presentano affinità compositive, presso la Principessa Pallavicini e il Principe Odescalchi. 2 Lizzani, op.cit. figg. 196, 203, 204. Uno di questi mobili è illustrato anche a colori in Fasto romano, catalogo della mostra a cura di A.Gonzàlez-Palacios, Roma, Palazzo Sacchetti, 1991, cat.108, tav LIX. Nella stessa pubblicazione si riproduce un cassettone a ribalta con alzata, dello stesso gusto ed epoca, anch’esso con bocchette d’ottone. In altri casi si noterà (cat.127) che le bocchette originali sono in legno intagliato e dorato. La prassi antiquariale ha talvolta preferito sostituire queste rifiniture con altre, più ricche, di bronzo dorato. Per alcuni modelli di maniglie inglesi adoperate in Italia si veda Nicholas Goodison, "The Victoria and Albert Museum’s Collection of Metal-Work Pattern Books" in Furniture History, XI, 1975 e A. Gonzàlez-Palacios, Il mobile in Liguria, Genova, 1996. 3 Asta dell’arredamento antico di Villa Parisi, tenutasi in loco, a Frascati, fra il 30 ottobre e il 2 novembre 1976 , n.108, dove i mobili si dicono lombardi. 4 L. Ciarlo, Villa Borghese a Frascati, Edizione Lazio Ieri e Oggi, Roma, 1978, p.31 5 Tale voce si ritrova il 13 novembre 1895 in un altro inventario di Villa Taverna conservato nello stesso Archivio Borghese, fascio 4167, c.121 6 I. Belli Barsali, M.G. Branchetti, Ville della Campagna romana, Milano, 1975, pp.281-282 Luglio 2002 Alvar Gonzàlez-Palacios The form of this sumptuous pair of commodes is not common in Rome; although its high splayed legs surmounted by a protuberant bombé body beneath a waisted frieze, are found on various other pieces like the relatively similar inlaid pair that belonged in 1970 to Marchese Paolo Misciatelli. (1) The items of furniture examined here are however primarily interesting for their gilt chinoiseries decoration in low relief on a blue-green ground, as employed on a few other examples generally thought to be Roman. This geographical origin is reinforced by the conspicious giallo antico tops, of notable thickness, which is a noble antique stone. The richness of the marble is surprising when compared to the simple brass handles and escutcheons which were possibly made in England or based on English models. The same contrast is found in further lacquer furniture belonging to other Roman families, such as a commode in the collection of Principe Don Urbano Barberini and another two, once in the collection of Principessa Henriette Barberini. Otherwise, we know that other English handles and escutcheons of this type were acquired in various Italian cities, like Genoa. (2) This pair of commodes, studied by the author some thirty years ago, before they appeared in an auction catalogue (3), come from the Villa Borghese at Frascati, and were illustrated in a booklet of 1978.(4) In neither of these two publications is it taken into consideration that one of the two commodes is signed in ink ‘Lorenzo Molinari’ on the wooden surface, beneath the marble top. These facts allowed us to identify this furniture in two inventories, already known to then, forming part of the Archivo Segreto Vaticano, Archivo Borghese, fascio 4164: Inventario generale del mobilio, biancheria, rami, porcelane, cristalli…della Villa Taverna presso Frascati di proprietà di S.E. il Principe Don Paolo Borghese, c.111, Salotto della bo(na) mem(oria) della Principessa. del Vivaro … due comò a due tiratori forma urna centinata uso vieux laque a figure e animali sopra fondo blu e dorati con metalli, piano impiallacciato di giallo centinato, 27 agosto 1887 (5) The villa in which these commodes were located was constructed between 1604 and 1605 for Cardinal Ferdinando Taverna, who sold it in July 1614 to Cardinal Scipione Borghese for 28,000 scudi. Cardinal Borghese then expanded and decorated the villa under the guidance of the architect Girolamo Rainaldi. In 1896, the Borghese sold it to Saverio Parisi.(6) The pieces now offered for sale remained in the house until 1976. In the same epoc in which I identified the signature of Molinari, Dr Lee Bimm told me that he had found various payments in the Borghese accounts to several artisans of the Molinari family, that he believed were connected to the Lorenzo that signed one of these commodes. In our opinion, however, the date at which this surname appears in the Borghese papers (1733-37 and 1742, 1751-52) do not correspond with the dating of the commodes, which could not have been made before circa 1760. Nor does a bill of 1733, from Francesco Molinari, concern this furniture. And finally it needs to be remembered that on at least two occasions Valeriano Molinari is called a merchant supplier to Cardinal Francesco Borghese and not a cabinet maker. However, we should now realise that these magnificent commodes, with an illustrious provenance, are to be considered one of the mile stones in the history of lacquer in Italy. Notes (1) G. Lizzani, Il mobile romano, Milan, 1970, fig.205; in the same volume, figs. 197, 201, 202 further models are illustrated which present partial affinities, in the collection of Princess Pallavicini and Prince Odescalchi. (2) Lizzani, op.cit., figs. 196, 203, 204. One of these items of furniture was also illustrated, in colour, in Fasto Romano, exhibition catalogue, edited by A. Gonzalez-Palacios, Rome, Palazzo Sacchetti, 1991, cat.108, pl.LIX. The same publication reproduced a bureau bookcase of the same taste and period, and also with brass escutcheons. In other cases it can be seen that the escutcheons are in carved giltwood (cat 127). The practice of the antique trade has sometimes been to substitute these handles and escutcheons with others, in richer gilt-bronze. For some models of English handles adopted in Italy see Nicholas Goodison, ‘The Victoria and Albert Museum’s Collection of Metal-Work Pattern Books,’ Furniture History, XI, 1975 and A. Gonzalez-Palacios, Il mobile in Liguria, Genoa, 1996. (3) Asta dell’arredamento antico di Villa Parisi, held on site at Frascati, between 30 October and 2 November 1976, no.108, where our furniture is described as Lombard. (4) L. Ciarlo, Villa Borghese a Frascati, Edizione Lazio Ieri e Oggi, Rome, 1978, p. 31 (5) One finds the same for 13 November 1895 in another inventory of Villa Taverna, preserved in the same Archivio Borghese, fascio 4167, c.121 (6) I. Belli Barsali, M.G. Branchetti, Ville della Campagna romana, Milan, 1975, pp.281-282

  • ITAItaly
  • 2003-10-21
Hammer price
Show price

François linke french, 1855 - 1946 an important and unique pair of

Each upper part with one cupboard door opening to reveal four drawers, each side fitted with four drawers, the lower part fitted with one frieze drawer, one of the lockplates has been removed to reveal the Ct. Linke stamp and number 2488, each carcass stamped numerous times MADE IN FRANCE to the back The André-Charles Boulle Originals: Commonly known as the Lambert-Harcourt cabinets, the original pair of cabinet on stands was a tour de force of cabinetmaking by Andre-Charles Boulle. He created the original pair circa 1700 most probably from a commission by the first architect of the King from 1699 to 1708: Jules Hardouin-Mansant (1645-1708). Boulle cleverly rendered the cabinets in both première-partie, or marquetry in which tortoiseshell is the background material and pewter, brass, and silvered metal are inlaid into it, and contre-partie, or marquetry in which the background is metal while the inlay is tortoiseshell. This playful inversion of materials creates a harmonious interaction between the stands and their cabinets. Each cabinet is centered by a standing figure of King Louis XIV wearing a cloak decorated with fleurs-de-lis. His strong pose, muscular body, and military accessories iconographically allude to his association with both the figure of Hercules and the artistic portrayal of Roman emperors. Apart from those in the permanent collection at the Louvre under inventory number (OA 5468), no other examples are known. In the nineteenth century, Boulle's cabinets were placed in the Gallerie d'Apollon at the Palais de Saint-Cloud. King Louis-Philippe had them adapted to become a pair meuble à hauteur d'appui. He did so by adding marble tops and toupie feet, while also converting the stands into consoles. In 1870 they returned to the Louvre under the reign of Napoléon III, where they were restored to their original state by Emile Molinier, keeper of the Département des Objets d'Art. The François Linke unique recreation: Linke title: Meubles bahut Boulle à deux corps d'aprés le Musée du Louvre en marqueterie Unusually, the green registre shows that Linke himself spent time working on the cabinetmaking of these cabinets, on December 31, 1913. The green registre shows that this pair of cabinets was a one-off order from a Mr. Nogueira in 1913, Commande 1825. The cost was 4,940.70 francs for each cabinet.  In an invoice dated March 24, 1914, addressed to J. P. Nogueira, Filho 8, Avenue du Parc Monceau, it can be seen that Linke charged his client 19,000 francs for the present lot. However, the client also bought another celebrated Boulle armoire also now in the Louvre, Linke archive number 917, for 25,000 francs (Louvre, inv. OA 5441). Linke reduced the total bill of 44,000 francs to 36,000. It is interesting to note that the fine quality chasing on the bronze mounts of this pair of cabinets alone cost 465 francs, almost ten percent of the cost of each cabinet. The brass and tortoiseshell marquetry cost 1,600 francs for each cabinet and, as usual, Clément Linke furnished the locks and hinges. The modeling costs of the bronzes are listed in some detail totaling approximately 2,613 francs. The registre lists in detail some of the bronze mounts numbering between 5134 and 5147, although clearly this is not the complete set. These costs do not appear to have been accounted for in the cost price of each cabinet. Either Linke recouped enough on his retail price to Mr. Nogueira, or he was hoping to make more examples to defray expenses. In keeping with other seemingly unique special orders, for example lot 168 in the present sale, there is no price in Linke’s pricelist for these cabinets. A watercolor in the Linke Archive (Payne, Linke, pl. 211) shows a simplified variation of this celebrated cabinet without the bronze plaque of Louis XVI as the Sun King, and without the elaborate bronze mount on the drawer of the lower plaque. It is assumed that this simplified version was never executed. "The François Linke unique recreation" footnote courtesy of Christopher Payne

  • USAUSA
  • 2015-10-15
Hammer price
Show price
Advert

Important chippendale carved and figured mahogany tall case clock

With circular strike silent and chime silent mechanisms , calendar date and seconds registers.  Inscribed with the names of the songs "Chiling O Guiry," "Ally Croaker," "Miller of Mansfield," "March," "God Save the King, "Lilebiraro," "Bedford Time," and "Meartune." Monumentally proportioned and masterfully carved, this handsome clock is one of the finest surviving Rococo style tall-case clocks from Colonial Philadelphia. It is in remarkable condition, appearing to retain most of its original components, including its cartouche, finials, rosette terminals, appliqued scrollboard carving, musical movement and ogee bracket feet. The clock may have been displayed at the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition, the first major World’s Fair in this country which celebrated 100 years of American cultural and industrial progress, by Augustus Krueger, a clockmaker and possible former owner who cleaned the clock in March of 1876 and May of 1878. A letter attached to the inside of the case door indicates the clock may also have been owned at one time by a former minister of the First Presbyterian Church on West Madison Street in Baltimore, Maryland. The Bernard and Jugiez case  Representing the apex in excellence of design and carving, the case of the clock is clearly the combined effort of an accomplished cabinetmaker and highly-skilled immigrant carvers. Nearly half of the twenty or so known carvers working in Philadelphia between 1750 and 1793 were immigrants and these men executed a majority of the extant highly ornamental carving of the period (Morrison Heckscher and Leslie Bowman, American Rococo, 1750-1775, 1982, p. 182). This clock features carved elements on the cartouche and tympanum that are similar to those found on a group of case pieces with carving attributed to the immigrant carvers Nicholas Bernard and Martin Jugiez (working together circa 1762-1783).  A Bernard and Jugiez tall case clock at Chipstone has nearly identical carving on the tympanum board and similar punch-work decorated rosettes on the hood.  The dial on the Chipstone example is signed by William Addis of London, and the rocking ship above is engraved Philadelphia Packet.  (see illustration and details of carving).  Other case pieces with Bernard and Jugiez carving include the Cowell high chest of drawers at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, a high chest of drawers attributed to the cabinetmaker William Wayne, a high chest of drawers formerly in the collection of Mr. John C. Toland, a high chest at Bayou Bend, and a high chest and en suite dressing table sold at Sotheby’s, Highly Important Americana from the Stanley Paul Sax Collection, January 16-7, 1998, sale 7087, lot 522.  For another example of Bernard and Jugiez's work, please refer to the games table offered as lot 418 in this sale. A tall-case clock with a similarly proportioned case by a different carver and works by Richard Wilson of London is illustrated in an advertisement for Leigh Keno American Antiques, The Magazine Antiques, January 1998, p. 26-7. Additional examples of Philadelphia tall-case clocks with the rare feature of a fully-carved tympanum include one at the Art Institute of Chicago with a movement by John Wood and one at the State Department with works by Bourghelle and an engraved dial by James Poupard. Four other examples display carving attributed to the Garvan Carver: one formerly at the Henry Ford Museum sold at Sotheby’s, January 25, 1992, sale 6269, lot 1069; one illustrated in Sack, Volume VIII, P5594, pp. 2190-1; one in a private collection formerly in the collection of Bob Stuart; and one originally owned by John and Elizabeth Bringhurst sold at Sotheby’s for $442,500 (Highly Important Americana from the Stanley Paul Sax Collection, January 16-7, 1998, sale 7087, lot 519). Philadelphia tall-case clocks of this quality, rarity, and historical significance seldom come on the marketplace.  A Rococo style example with a dial signed, "Jacob Godshalk, Philadelphia," and a case labeled by George Pickering of Philadelphia,  was sold at Sotheby's, Masterpieces from the Time Museum, June 19, 2002, sale 7816, lot 139, for $532,000, setting a world auction record for the Philadelphia form (see illustration).   That clock had a replaced cartouche, finials, feet and portions of the appliqued carving, and was the focus of an article by Lita Solis-Cohen, "Godshalk Clock in the Pickering Case," Maine Antique Digest, October 2002, 1E. The movement The exceptionally constructed musical movement of the clock bears the inscription of Paul Rimbault, a maker of highly specialized clocks working in London at 9 Denmark St., St. Giles’s from about 1770 until his death in 1785 (Arthur Ord-Hume, The Musical Clock, Derbyshire, England, 1995, p. 324). A member of a family of clockmakers flourishing in London from about 1700 until the end of the century, Rimbault, like many of his contemporaries, was involved in the export trade. At least one of his clocks was shipped to Peking (now Beijing), China where is exists today in the collection of the Peiping Museum at the Palace Museum complex. The movement of the present clock appears to have been made during the reign of George III for one of the eight melodies in the musical program is ‘God Save the King.’ Other melodies include ‘Chiling O Guiry,’ ‘Ally Croaker,’ ‘Miller of Mansfield,’ ‘March,’ ‘Lilebiraro,’ ‘Bedford Time,’ and ‘Meartune.’ According to the letter attached to the inside of the case door, the movement is inscribed with the names of several clockmakers who cleaned it over the years. Henry Hofner, a watchmaker listed in the Philadelphia city directory at 148 North Front, cleaned the clock on November 13, 1781. Benjamin Monevth (sic) cleaned it on January 6, 1796. Charles Frederick Hugenin, a watch and clockmaker working at 11 North Fifth Street cleaned it in February of 1796. John Child, whose name is inscribed on the slide controlling the chime barrel, worked on the clock in 1807. The names of John Cook and James Huss also appear on the chime barrel. Henry Ebaugh cleaned the clock on January 6, 1820, while employed by C.A. Droz, a Philadelphia clock and watchmaker working at 113 Walnut Street. John Chamberlain and William W. Alexander worked on the clock in February of 1844. Augustus Krueger, a watchmaker working on North 10th Street in Philadelphia, and Adam Gross cleaned the clock in March of 1876 apparently for the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition. This may be the clock that Krueger displayed under class 323 in the Pennsylvania Education Hall as part of the exhibition on the system of public instruction in Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania and the Centennial Exposition, Philadelphia, 1878). The Catalogue of the Education Exhibit of the State of Pennsylvania (Lancaster, PA, 1876) notes that a “clock, from Mr. A. Krueger, 723 North 10th St. Phil.” was displayed in the kindergarten. Material included in that exhibition was specifically requested, which suggests that Augustus Krueger or Adam Gross may have owned the clock at that time. Krueger’s name is inscribed a second time on the movement with the date May 1878.

  • USAUSA
  • 2004-01-18
Hammer price
Show price
Advert

A GOLD CAGEWORK BOÎTE À MINIATURES, PIERRE-FRANÇOIS DRAIS, PARIS

Rectangular with cut corners, the lid, sides and base with gouache subjects on vellum by Louis-Nicolas van Blarenberghe, the lid miniature signed bottom right: van Blarenberghe and dated: 1767, the miniature on the lid painted with members of the aristocracy being welcomed to a country shooting competition, a windmill and a river in the distance, the base painted with the comic dramas ensuing from the visit of a troupe of performing monkeys, the side panels with the games of blind man’s buff and ninepins and other country pursuits, the corners with farm animals and landscapes, contained within gold cagework chased with alternating acanthus and darted ovolos on reeding, maker's mark indistinct, charge and discharge marks of Jean-Jacques Prévost, date letter, contremarque for 1768-1774, the front rim engraved: Drais à Paris, the left rim with scratched numerals (Rundell's stock number): 2617 (twice) The Van Blarenberghe family created, in miniature, an unrivalled view of life in 18th century France. Their subjects ranged from peasant games to court life, from châteaux to the streets of Paris, from battles and precise port views executed by royal command to opera singers and singeries, from reality to the imaginary, but always with tiny added twists of drama or humour that bring something new to each fresh examination of their work. A case in point is the fainting woman on the base of this box, revived by a bucket of water but ignored by the animal tamer who shouts imprecations at his coy escaped monkey, well out of reach on a branchless tree. A recent exhibition at the Louvre imaginatively called the Van Blarenberghes, ‘reporters of the 18th century’, but how fortunate we are that they were obliged to paint rather than use cameras. To frame Van Blarenberghe miniatures with exquisite goldwork in a snuff box was the perfect arrangement as the gouache miniatures can be seen at just the right distance, they are protected by their crystal covering and each face of the box can be displayed by the proud owner with the flick of a wrist. Louis-Nicolas Van Blarenberghe (1716-1794),  artist of the miniatures on this box, was already the third generation of a line of painters born and trained in the Flemish tradition of painting in Lille, a town which had become French in 1668. Fighting came again to the area in the 1740s with the wars of the Austrian Succession but it is not known whether it was this or the early death of his wife the previous year which brought Louis-Nicolas to Paris in 1751. Here his distinctive style soon found favour and patronage from the highest in the land including commissions from the duc de Chevreuse, the duc de Choiseul, the Prince de Condé and Cardinal de Rohan. In 1768 he was commissioned by Catherine the Great to commemorate the installation of the statue of Peter the Great in two large paintings and several snuff boxes and is believed to have travelled to St Petersburg via the Danish court. Louis-Nicolas had already worked for Louis XV but in 1769 was appointed ‘peintre des batailles’, an accolade confirmed by Louis XVI who also created him ‘peintre des ports et côtes’ in 1775. Indeed his son Henri-Joseph (1750-1826) received training from 1765 in the Engineer-Geographers’ studio at Versailles, married one of the queen’s chambermaids and continued giving drawing lessons to the Dauphin in the Temple prison almost until the child’s death. The miniature on the lid of this box is signed and dated 1767 and so painted at a time when Louis-Nicolas was largely concentrating on commissions for snuff boxes from his aristocratic and royal patrons. The miniature has been linked to another, later mounted in the 19th century by Alexandre Leferre, and also showing a fête with a windmill behind (Wallace Collection, Inv G36, Truman, op. cit., no. 35). In fact, the present miniature is more interesting as it appears to represent a more detailed and realistic geographical landscape with fields descending past a village church to a wide curving river with islands and a bridge. On the right, aristocrats arrive at the pastoral event, perhaps the inauguration of the moulin à pivot which is festooned with garlands and celebrated by a shooting match between various contestants with crossbows; targets for such matches were often hung from the sails of windmills although none is yet visible here. Behind the aristocrats can be seen a rocky monticule with the entrance to a grotto or ice house; above is a shimmering marble statue representing Venus bathing. It is evident that the Van Blarenberghes liked to include their patrons in their paintings as on the snuff box with views of the château de Bellevue, Paris, 1777, (Sotheby’s London, 29 November 2005, lot 47) during a royal visit or the celebrated box of 1770 set with views of the interior of the duc de Choiseul's Paris hôtel which shows on the lid the duke accompanied by his latest mistress, the comtesse de Brionne, the Abbé Barthélemy and various other figures (A. Kenneth Snowman, Eighteenth Century Gold Boxes of Europe, Woodbridge, 1990, pls. 437-442). In 1767 Louis-Nicolas visited for the first time the duc de Choiseul's country estate of Chanteloup in Touraine and painted views of the château and its extensive grounds for another splendid box, now in the Wrightsman Collection at the Metropolitan Museum, New York (Snowman, op. cit., pls. 417-9). It has been suggested that the miniature on the lid of the present box, painted and dated in the same year, might also represent an idealised view of the grounds of Chanteloup looking down towards Amboise and its bridge over the islands in the Loire. The figure of the cleric accompanying the aristocrats is very similar to the later rendition of the Abbé Barthélemy who was keeper of the King's medals, an antiquarian and a faithful friend of the duke and particularly the duchess, perhaps here represented by the figure in an opulent blue gown followed by a black page. The duc de Choiseul (1719-1785) had purchased Chanteloup in 1761 on his appointment as governor-general of Touraine, acquiring also the forêt d’Amboise through a shrewd exchange with the king, and proceeded to 'improve' château, gardens and park according to the latest fashions. It should be noted that 1767 was extremely early in France for the type of romantic English landscaping shown on the right, a style which was to become much more widely developed in the 1770s but was already familiar to the duke. Choiseul, a known anglophile, created an entire ‘jardin anglo-chinois’ at Chanteloup following his ‘exile’ to the country estate in 1770, complete with pagoda, sinuous paths, rockeries and picturesque streams, subjects for a subsequent visit to Chanteloup by Van Blarenberghe. On this later visit (or visits) Van Blarenberghe sketched another windmill at Chanteloup (Louvre RF 36722) with an unusual open structure more resembling a modern pylon, perhaps one of the Duke’s agricultural experiments. Before his banishment, the duke’s visits to Chanteloup were infrequent although much anticipated; it was the duchess who adored the countryside. The duchess (1734-1801), born Louise-Honorine Crozat du Châtel and a great heiress, was always happiest at Chanteloup where she spent much of her time with the Abbé, the Italian doctor Gatti prized for his medical skills but always clumsily falling into a pickle, the duchess’s niece, madame de Lauzan and other regular companions, well away from the official duties and frequent infidelities of her diplomat husband whom she adored. She would regularly spend the months of March to July at Chanteloup with another visit later in the summer although we are told that she did not arrive there in 1767 until the month of May, retained in Paris by pressing affairs. The duchess took great pleasure in supervising the building and landscape works and great interest in the local countryside and its inhabitants, not only introducing a flock of pedigree sheep and Swiss cattle, in the manner of Marie Antoinette, but also assisting the peasants in times of need. The descriptions of the peaceful life at Chanteloup in the letters of both the duchess and the Abbé to Madame du Deffand, an indefatigable correspondent, make it clear that the event portrayed on the lid of this box is just such a rustic entertainment as she would have enjoyed attending. In the morning, the duchess and her visitors would write lengthy letters, read the newspapers from Paris, ride or inspect the model farm; dinner was at two, often only vegetables and laiteries, followed by walks through the grounds, drives or other outdoor entertainments; the evenings were spent in games of cards or the duchess’s favourite backgammon, music both professional and domestic, amateur dramatics and word games before a light supper and an early bedtime. The duchess was surrounded by her pets: dogs, monkeys and parrots as well as the farm animals she loved. The Abbé described the veritable menagerie she provided to entertain the visiting archbishop of Tours in the 1770s: first to appear were the pet sheep led by a superb ram most opportunely named Cathedrale (who unfortunately disgraced himself copiously on the polished parquet floor to the accompaniment of loud barks from the dogs shocked at such behaviour); they were followed by a droll troupe of lemurs sent from Paris who were fed on apples by the visitors; a naughty monkey dressed as a grenadier and walking upright came next and the grand finale was meant to have been a display of the pedigree cows but unfortunately by that time the archbishop had ordered his carriage as he felt it was rather late. It seems clear that this snuff box illustrates subjects close to the heart of the duchess: a rustic entertainment on the lid, country pursuits on the sides and amusing animals on the base. It is certainly not inconceivable that Louis-Nicolas Van Blarenberghe should have been asked to create paintings for a box in more light-hearted mode for the duchesse de Choiseul at the same time as he produced the official views of Chanteloup for the duke. These were then mounted the same year into a box by Pierre-François Drais, then one of the most fashionable of Paris goldsmiths. Whether the box was indeed made for Van Blarenberghe’s aristocratic patrons or whether it was the product of his fertile imagination, the miniatures remain a lasting testament to his reporter’s eye.

  • GBRUnited Kingdom
  • 2015-07-08
Hammer price
Show price
Advert

Withdrawal

A pair of gilt-bronze-mounted chinese export porcelain cockerel candelabra

Each cockerel with white bodies incised with realistic feathers, their heads, wattles, crests and legs painted red and standing on a brown tree stump, the pierced base cast with terraces, scrolls and  acanthus, issuing three boldly scrolled acanthus and flower bud cast candlebranches, the mounts struck repeatedly with the crowned c poinçon Comparative Literature: Daniel Alcouffe, Anne Dion Tenenbaum, Gérard Mabille, Gilt bronzes in the Louvre, Dijon, 2004. Christian Baulez, Versailles deux siècles d’histoire de l’art, RMN/Franck Raux, 2007, p.184. Isabelle de Conihout and Christian Péligry`Trésors méconnus, Bibliothèque Mazarine’, L’Estampille/L'Objet d'Art, no. 334, March 1999, p. 36. Pierre Kjellberg, Objets montés du Moyen Age à nos jours, Paris, 2000, p. 94. Pierre Verlet, Les Bronzes Dorés Français du XVIIIe siècle, Picard, 1987, p. 288, no. 234. These spectacular and large scale candelabra can almost certainly be identified in the delivery book of the marchand-mercier Lazare-Duvaux, as the pair acquired by Madame de Pompadour on 4th August 1755 for her Parisian residence, the hôtel d’Évreux: no. 2210 Du. 4- Mme la Marq. De Pompadour: Poffé dans l’entrefol de l’hoftel à Paris: Une paire de girandoles à trois branches à feuillage, garnies de fleurs & terraffes dorées fur des coqs blancs, 360l.’ In particular, the gilt-bronze terraced base, a unique, prominent and boldly cast feature of the present pair, cannot be found on any of the other known pair of gilt-bronze candelabra mounted with Chinese porcelain cockerels. This feature which is deemed worthy of specific mention by Duvaux, rather than the porcelain, together with the superlative quality of execution and design of the luxuriant gilt-bronzes certainly by the hands of one of the most skillful bronziers, such as the celebrated Jacques Caffiéri, reinforce this iconic provenance, even more so, once one places these exquisite chef d’oeuvres in the context of the two chandeliers attributed to Caffiéri made for the marquise for her bedroom and the Grand Cabinet of Madame de Pompadour's residence the hôtel d’Évreux. They are also recorded in the inventory after her death on 5th July 1764. This pair are a magnificent representation of the inventiveness of the Parisian marchand-merciers in the 18th century in combining luxury goods from the Orient, especially Chinese and Japanese porcelain with the finest quality gilt-bronze mounts executed by the leading Parisian bronziers of the era. The white colour of this pair of cockerels with red painted details make them an extremely rare model as most examples of these cockerels were with a polychrome ground and the quality of the gilt-bronze mounts is what one would expect from the renowned Parisian bronziers Jacques Caffiéri (sculpteur et ciseleur ordinaires du roi). Collectors and connoisseurs were passionate about objects which incorporated exotic porcelain animals and birds, which were extremely popular, whereas the most coveted objects appeared to be cockerels or birds of prey. Birds were amongst the most popular of the Chinese export production especially during the Qing dynasty. Parrots were more common as were pheasants and the white colour of the offered pair of cockerels are amongst the rarest models. A pair of similar white porcelain Chinese Qianlong cockerels can be found in the Chinese Pavilion in the Royal Palace of Drottningholm in Sweden and a single one is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (inv. 65.155.64.). The Madame de Pompadour Provenance: In the Livre-Journal of Lazare Duvaux (published by Louis Courajod, Paris, 1965) on 4th August 1755, under no. 2210, there is recorded for Madame de Pompadour,`une paire de girandoles à trois branches à feuillage, garnies de fleurs & terrasses dorées, sur des coqs blancs, 360 l’. The girandoles were described in the inventory after the death of Madame de Pompadour on 5th July 1764, in one of the rooms on the 1st floor of the l’hôtel d’Evreux `à costé de la Bibliotèque’:`une paire de girandolles à trois branches, sur des coqs blancs’. They were probably sold at the instigation of the marquis de Marigny, the brother of the marquise and her sole heir, who organised the sale over eight months of her household and decorative objects at the Hôtel de l’Éysée, Paris due to the necessity of paying out the various annuities and bequests under her will, which took place in several separate sessions from 19th November 1764 to the 26th July 1765. There were no printed catalogues for these sales. The gilt-bronze attributed to Jacques Caffiéri (1678-1755): The closest comparable gilt-bronze object in terms of the superlative quality of its execution and very similar elements is the gilt-bronze chandelier, one of two, with nine lights attributed to Caffiéri and executed around 1750 for Madame de Pompadour, cast with cherubs holding a tower with the arms of the marquise, illustrated by Verlet, op. cit., p. 94, reproduced here in fig. 4. The chandeliers were described in the inventory after her death, one of which was in her bedroom, the other in le Grand cabinet of l’hôtel d’Évreux, the future palais de l’Elysée, and are now in the bibliothèque Mazarine in Paris, after having been confiscated during the Revolution. In particular, the outstanding virtuosity of the luxuriant asymmetrical acanthus leaf volutes which can be seen on the candelbranches of the chandelier are closely comparable to those on the offered pair reproduced here in fig. 5. The candle-nozzles and bobèches encircled by leaves are an integral part of the candelarms continuous decoration so characteristic of the most accomplished oeuvres of Caffiéri. It is also worthwhile noting that the candelarms and the bobèches are cast in one continuous section reproduced here in fig. 6. The same sprays of flower buds enhancing the acanthus volutes of the mounts are also repeated on the offered candelabra reproduced here in fig. 7. Furthermore, the branches perfectly fit the porcelain of this pair of candelabra as the cockerels are not identical, as they precisely follow the shape of the heads and bodies. In addition the gilt-bronze rockwork bases cast with leaves perfectly encircle and contain the porcelain bases and this rockwork cast with leaves can also be seen beneath the putti on the chandeliers of the marquise. According to Gérard Mabille, op. cit., p. 50, when writing about the Louis XV style states,`Finally, it should not be forgotten how well the marchands merciers succeeded in exploiting the beauty of gilt bronze associating it with Oriental products such as lacquer or porcelain’. The crown C was a hallmark used from March 1745 to February 1749 on any alloy utilising the metal copper. Other related Chinese porcelain cockerel mounted candelabra: After exhaustive research in the inventories and the sale catalogues of the 18th century it would appear to be the case that candelabra mounted with Chinese porcelain cockerels in white or polychrome porcelain described as `girandolles’ under the Ancien Regime were a great rarity. Those that possessed this model of cockerel candelabra of imposing scale with the most exceptional mounts were amongst the greatest amateurs and collectors of their time, and included the S.A.S. Monseigneur le duc d’Orléans (1703-1752), son of the Regent, Jean de Julienne (1686-1766) and his son, Jean-Baptiste-François de Monthullé or Monthulé (1721-1787), Queen Marie Leszczynska, Blondel d’Azincourt, son of Blondel de Gagny, the marquise d’Albert and Salomon Pierre Prousteau de Monlouis, captain of the Gardes de la Ville, Paris. Furthermore, it is interesting to note that Madame de Pompadour’s chamber à coucher at Versailles, has a replacement pair of three-light Chinese polychrome porcelain gilt-bronze candelabra conceived in a similar vein, (Windsor legacy), illustrated by Baulez, op. cit., p. 184, reproduced here in fig. 8. Birds were popular objects to mount in the 18th century including herons and Madame de Pompadour purchased from Lazare-Duvaux on 14th February 1752,`une paire de girandoles à trois branches, ciselées et dorées d’or moulu, sur des cigognes de porcelain, 1320 l’ (sold Sotheby’s, Monaco, 11th December 1999, lot 88, 2,600,000FF). The sophisticated mounts and the large size of the porcelain herons would possibly explain the high price. It is worthwhile considering a pair of white Chinese porcelain cockerel  three-light candelabra sold Sotheby’s, Paris, 16th October 2007, lot 13, which are close to the pair sold by Lazare–Duvaux to Blondel d’Azincourt for 192 livres. Madame de Pompadour (1721-64): Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, the Marquise de Pompadour was born in 1721 into a bourgeois family and received an extensive cultural education. She married Guillaume Le Normant d’Etiolles, when she was twenty and as the wife of a farmer-general was then in a position to be admitted to Louis XV’s court and became the king’s official mistress in 1745 and she was granted a new title to appear at court and that was how she became the Marquise de Pompadour. She received an annual pension which enabled her to buy several properties, including various châteaux and a magnificent townhouse, the Hôtel d’Evreux, now the Elysée Palace and decorated the interiors in lavish style and was a great patroness of the arts. From 1751, she was no longer the king’s mistress, but remained an adviser and friend. The Hôtel d'Évreux: Louis Henri de La Tour d'Auvergne, Count of Évreux (1679–1753) was a French nobleman and member of the House of La Tour d'Auvergne. Given the title comte d'Évreux at birth, he later became a lieutenant of the King's armies. Louis Henri was responsible for the construction of the Hôtel d'Évreux in Paris. He bought the site in 1718 from Armand-Claude Mollet who possessed a property fronting on the road to the village of Roule, west of Paris see fig. 9. A hôtel particulier was built for the count, which was finished and decorated by 1722. At the time of his death in 1753, Évreux was the owner of one of the most universally admired houses in Paris which was bought by King Louis XV as a residence for his mistress the Marquise de Pompadour and after her death, it reverted to the crown. Cliveden and the Astors: When the American millionaire William Waldorf Astor (1848-1919) acquired Cliveden in 1893, reproduced here in figs. 10 & 11, he began another illustrious chapter in the history of a building which had undergone frequent re-modelling. Built for the 2nd Duke of Buckingham (d.1687)-Charles II's chief minister of state-between 1676 and 1678, the first building was designed by William Winde along the lines of an Italian villa supported on an arcaded terrace which, in part, still survives. After Buckingham's death, George Hamilton, Earl of Orkney (d.1737) acquired the house and, in the first decade of the 18th century, commissioned the two wings linked by colonnades, probably from Thomas Archer. Cliveden descended through the same family for the remainder of the 18th century, although the house was let by the daughter and heir of the 1st Earl, Anne, Countess of Orkney, to Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales (d.1751) for use as an informal retreat close to London. After a disastrous fire in 1795, the house was left in a ruinous state, until sold to Sir George Warrender, 4th Bt (d.1849) who commissioned the Edinburgh architect William Burn to reconstruct the building in an early Georgian style. Warrender's death in 1849 and the acquisition of the house by the 2nd Duke of Sutherland for his wife in the same year, was followed shortly by another fire. Within a year, Sir Charles Barry had began work on the building that, externally at least, survives to this day. It combined a sense of English Palladianism with monumental Roman cinquecento styles and is, as was noted at the time, particularly reminiscent of the Villa Albani. After the Duchess' death in 1868, Cliveden was bought by her son-in-law Hugh Lupus, later 1st Duke of Westminster (d.1899), who embarked on small improvements. William Waldorf "Willy" Astor, 1st Viscount Astor (1848–1919): He was heir to a considerable fortune built initially from the music business, then the fur trade, and finally property investments in New York. Along with Carnegie and Rockefeller, he was described by Balla as a 'transatlantic prince of finance': three generations of Astors were successively the richest men in America through the 19th century. William Waldorf Astor was less interested in the family business and entered into American politics in 1877. Five years later, he left for Europe with his wife Mary, to take up his appointment as US Minister in Rome. There he began to collect ancient sculpture, medieval and Renaissance works of arts, armour, illuminated manuscripts and Old Master Pictures, which were soon to decorate the rooms at Cliveden. Returning to America on the election of a Democrat President, he soon travelled with his family to live in England. He rented Lansdowne House in London, entered his sons for Eton, bought the Pall Mall Gazette and, in 1893, acquired Cliveden. Ten years later, he would acquire Hever Castle in Kent. Astor immediatelv set about creating a grand series of rooms for entertaining, using John Loughborough Pearson and his son Frank, to work on the interiors. The building work of the late 19th and early 20th century is still largely preserved on the ground floor, which illustrates Edwardian opulence at its very apogee, whilst still expressing American tastes as much as European traditions. The Parisian decorating firm of Allard completely remodelled the Dining Room and former Drawing Room, creating a Rococo Dining Room from boiseries designed by Nicholas Pineau for the Château d'Asnieres, and furnishing it in 1890's historicising pieces. Cliveden passed to his son, Waldorf Astor, on his marriage to Nancy Langhorne Shaw in 1905. Nancy set about re-decorating the house, introducing electricity, removing the Minton tiles and installing Chintz curtains.  Cliveden's greatest epoch at the centre of political and literary society thus began, as, in 1910 Waldorf Astor was elected to Parliament for Plymouth. Henry James, Rudyard Kipling, Balfour, Lord Curzon and Churchill were all regular pre-war guests. His father accepted a barony in 1916 and was elevated to the viscountcy in the following year. Consequently, after his death in 1919, Waldorf Astor, now 2nd Viscount Astor, took his seat in the Lords. The guests and intrigues surrounding Cliveden in the 1930s-from the so-called 'Cliveden Set' to Charlie Chaplin, George Bernard Shaw or members of the Royal family: as Harold Nicholson was to note: ' ... to own it, to live here, would be like living on the stage of the Scala theatre in Milan: During the Second World War, the 3rd Viscount decided to present the house to the National Trust, although the family remained in residence until 1966.  Jacques Caffiéri (1678-1755): He was a celebrated Parisian fondeur-ciseleur and sculptor of Italian origin who worked for the French Crown and was elected maître fondeur-ciseleur shortly before 1715 and in the constant employment of the French Crown from 1736 onwards and appointed fondeur-ciseleur des Batîments du Roi whilst producing works for Versailles, Fontainebleau, Choisy, Marly and the other royal palaces. There are three signed and dated pieces by him in the exhuberant rococo style: the two monumental chandeliers signed and dated by him in the Wallace Collection, London, a large astronomical clock now at Versailles, Paris, all three signed Caffiéri and the first dated 1751 and all three executed for the Crown, the clock being completed in 1753. A pair of fire dogs in the Cleveland Museum of Art are signed and dated 1752. He also made furniture mounts such as those on the commode made in 1739 for the bedroom of Louis XV at Versailles, now in the Wallace collection, London. He was also assisted by his son Philippe (1714-1774) who also became a fondeur-ciseleur, with much of the latter’s work being in the neoclassical style.

  • GBRUnited Kingdom
  • 2015-07-08
Hammer price
Show price

An ormolu-mounted kingwood bureau plat  régence, circa 1725, by bernard

The shaped rectangular top inset with tooled leather and with an ormolu moulded edge ornamented with foliage to the corners, with three drawers to the front, the sides adorned with palmette and maskhead mounts, raised on cabriole legs surmounted with figural mounts in the form of a maskhead with a feathered headress and terminating in foliate sabots, stamped  BVRB ( fig.1) under the rail, some later elements to the top Due to its perfect balance, original construction and the finesse of its gilt-bronze mounts, the present bureau plat can be considered a masterpiece of Régence period cabinet-making joining the select number of exceptional bureaux plats of the Régence period. It also presents a significant contribution to our knowledge of the celebrated ébéniste BVRB I. Attribution to BVRB I: This bureau plat displays several of this great ébéniste's characteristic features, starting with its monumental design, especially the accentuated curves of the legs found on other furniture by BVRB I. including two famous commodes - one made for Louis-Charles de Machault in 1719, ( fig.3), the other now in the Toledo Museum of Art (Ohio), (fig.4) - and two other bureau plats, one in the Paris Musée des Arts Décoratifs, (fig. 6), the other in the Wallace Collection in London, ( fig.6). The BVRB I attribution is also based on the cordiform gilt-bronze ornament to be found only in his work, as he had exclusive access to some of these bronzes. The ornament to the side of the apron can also be found on both the commodes previously cited, (fig. 7), on the bureau plat in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, and on a smaller bureau plat with brass and tortoiseshell marquetry from the Suzanne Saperstein Collection, sold at Sotheby's New York on 19 April 2012 (lot 128). The mounts of our bureau  plat include Indian heads whose design appears unique, and were perhaps created by BVRB I specifically for this bureau plat. Contemporary documents about BVRB I's most famous piece of furniture - the bureau plat made for Elector Maximilian 11 Emanuel of Bavaria (1662-1726), now in the Louvre - help us understand how his bronzes were conceived: some are recorded as designed by Bérain I, modelled by the sculptor Slodtz, and chased under BVRB I's supervision. Similar collaboration may have recurred for other furniture by BVRB I. The other gilt-bronze lock-plate, and the handles of the side drawers, were designed by Charles Cressent. Such bronzes appear on several bureau plats made by Cressent himself, including one in the Huntington Library & Art Gallery in San Marino, California; another in the Widener Collection in the National Gallery of Art, Washington; and a third in the Mobilier National in Paris (illustrated A. Pradere,  Charles Cressent, Editions Faton, Dijon 2003, p.266). The lock-plate and handles can also be found on bureau plats of the period by Nöel Gérard, one of them from the former Ogden Phillips Collection sold at Sotheby's New York on 19 October 2002 (lot 105). Unlike with Boulle, these exuberant handles are an important decorative feature, presaging the rocaille style. The BVRB stamp on our bureau was probably introduced by the son rather than the father. Its presence reinforces an attribution to BVRB I, and suggests the bureau was either sold or restored by his son, whose workshop was the obvious place for his father's furniture to be restored; the son had doubtless trained in his father's workshop, and observed or taken part in the producing various items of furniture. The savoir-faire of his father's workshop was also perpetuated within the son's workshop by Adrien Dubois, who had been head of his father's workshop and later worked for the son. Another piece of furniture by BVRB I also bears his son's stamp: a commode similar to the one supplied to Machault d'Arnouville, and now owned by the Marquess of Bath at Longleat. Bernard I Van Risen Burgh (c.1660-1738): He was born in Groningen, Holland, around 1660, and moved to Paris in 1694. He married Jacqueline Martel in 1696 and they had five children, including Bernard II, the celebrated BVRB II, and Jean-Laurent, a marchand-mercier in Lisbon. He qualified as Maître in 1722 and specialized in making Boulle marquetry clocks. His skill was recognized by his peers, who elected him one of the four jury members for the Maîtrise examination from 1728-30. He worked on Rue du Faubourg-St-Antoine and must have enjoyed an excellent reputation, attracting such prestigious clients as the Duchesse de Retz and the Prince-Elector Maximilian of Bavaria, for whom he worked for over twenty years. His furniture output has, until recently, remained little known, and was divided between the Louis XIV and Régence styles. His estate inventory, drawn up on 7 January 1738, suggests his workshop was a prosperous concern: it included stock of 600 livres and silverware valued at 1,433 Iivres. His workshop is described as comprising seven work-benches, a sizable number for the time. The inventory lists mainly clock cases, some in Boulle marquetry. Most were unfinished, suggesting he sold them on to colleagues, who then completed the veneer, marquetry or varnishing. The inventory also refers to the carcase 'of a large, six-foot bureau' with brass moulding and doe-hoof sabots. Like other leading cabinet-makers of the time, he had his own moulds for some of his bronzes, described as follows in his estate inventory: 'twenty large figures both of infants and others, together weighing 64Iivres ... 35 livres of un chased casts ... eight bronze terms with palms.' The inventory also names the bronzier who supplied him: Sr Blondel, owed the sum of 580 livres for 'cast merchandise supplied to the late gentleman, who had told him they were to be sent to his son in Lisbon' - either Jean-Laurent, the marchand-mercier who sold his father's works in Portugal; or BVRB II, who worked in Lisbon (mainly for the King of Portugal) from 1730-38. The inventory reveals that, at the end of his life, BVRB I was producing almost nothing but clock cases, and that he continued using the same marquetry technique into the early years of Louis XV's reign. We also see that his workshop still had the wherewithal to produce sizable pieces of furniture. The present bureau plat was probably one of the last such items he made. The Indian heads on the corners are probably from a unique design and we can think of a prestigious client who would have commissioned them for his collection: Joao V, king of Portugal. The Indian heads would be a symbol of Portuguese power in South America. This is all the more plausible as two sons of BVRB I were in Lisbon in that period: Jean-Laurent who was a marchand-mercier and BVRB II who worked between 1730 and 1738 mainly for the King. The son BVRB II could have sold our desk and he could have put his stamp on such occasion. Unfortunately few archives and pieces of furniture have survived from that period because of the great fire in Lisbon in 1755. BVRB I worked for several dealers, including Edmé Gallery (1658-1758), François Darnault's predecessor at the sign of the Roy d'Espagne on Rue de la Monnaie, who supplied the equestrian figure by Guillielmus de Grof (with its monumental stand) to Max-Emmanuel of Bavaria in February 1715 for the considerable sum of 10,000 livres. Bernard I Van Risen Burgh's estate inventory shows that he was working with Antoine-Robert Gaudreaus before 1727 (Gaudreaus took him to court and lost), and that his clients included the dealer Thomas-Joachim Hebert. All Van Risen Burgh's stock was sold at auction and some items, notably the mantel clocks (as per the Deer clock in the Wallace Collection), were bought and re-used by Jean-Pierre Latz. Our bureau plat is a marvellous reflection of BVRB I's talent. He was able to adapt to the taste of the late Regency period (c.1725-30), when darker brass and tortoiseshell marquetry gave way to lighter veneering in kingwood. Our bureau plat, made when the Régence style was in full cry, offers a stylistic sequel to the Machault and Longleat commodes, whose marquetry decoration remains imbued with the style of Louis XIV. It is a fascinating piece of furniture, due both to its recent rediscovery from scantily available information, and because it is one of the few examples of his great originality and beauty to have survived.

  • GBRUnited Kingdom
  • 2014-07-09
Hammer price
Show price

A george iii harewood, marquetry and ebonised commode circa 1770

The serpentine shaped top with a central, garlanded paterae, flanked by further rosettes, within a bowed rosette border and tulipwood banded and ebonised moulded edge, above an arcaded anthemia inlaid frieze on a satinwood ground, the serpentine  front inset with a painted panel within a marquetry surround, between turned, fluted and guilloche carved tapering uprights, the sides with doors inlaid with slender urns opening to reveal on the left a shelf and the right a set of four graduated mahogany fronted and lined drawers, the whole raised on water-leaf carved and gadrooned toupee feet This remarkable commode, an early neo-classical tour de force, can confidently be attributed on stylistic grounds to the firm of John Mayhew and William Ince. Theirs was one of the most successful and enduring cabinet-making partnerships of the eighteenth century. They are first recorded as partners in December 1758, advertising from an address at Broad Street in January 1759. Earlier Mayhew had been apprenticed to William Bradshaw, and Ince to John West, before forming a brief partnership after West`s death in 1758 with Samuel Norman and James Whittle. In 1763 they were described as `cabinet-makers, carvers and upholders’, and in 1778 `manufacturers of plate glass’ appeared on their bill heading. From 1780s the categories of `cabinet maker’ and upholsterer predominate, reflecting the change in taste from carved to veneered and inlaid furniture, which was more fashionable. One of their early ventures was to publish The Universal System of Household Furniture in 1762 which included eighty-nine numbered plates and six smaller ones dedicated to 4th Duke of Marlborough. The relative failure of this work, which was issued in only one edition, was probably caused by the distinctly Rococo manner of the designs which was to become rapidly unfashionable in the next few years due to the rise of the neo-classical taste reflected in the present commode. The partnership was quick to embrace these new forms as is shown by their own work and their involvement with Robert Adam himself in making furniture to his own designs for many of his important clients. Mayhew and Ince worked for many notable patrons who included the Prince of Wales, 5th Duke of Devonshire, 5th Duke of Bedford and 1stDuke of Northumberland. The current commode belongs to a group of commodes, attributed to Mayhew and Ince, and illustrated most fully by Hugh Roberts, in his Burlington Magazine article discussing the Derby House commode. In this article he illustrates four other examples of this serpentine form, each of which have the same configuration with solid fronts and doors opening to the ends. Each front is centered by a medallion, the current commode is the only example amongst these five which includes a painted metal panel, the others use marquetry in these devices. The other four commodes are; A satinwood and marquetry example with ebonised borders in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum (Roberts, fig. 19). A satinwood and marquetry example, possibly supplied to the Earl Whitworth and subsequently at Swallowfield Park, Berkshire, most recently sold Christie's London, 9th July 2005, lot 250 (Roberts, fig. 21). A mahogany and marquetry example with ormolu mounts, in the collection of the Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight, Merseyside (Roberts, fig. 22). A pair in satinwood, harewood and marquetry supplied to 2nd Viscount Palmerston, for Broadlands, Hampshire, where they remain (Roberts fig. 23). Further examples related to this group are illustrated and discussed by Lucy Wood in Catalogue of Commodes, London, 1994, nos. 23-27, pp. 203-235. The commode offered here shares many stylistic similarities with these commodes and those illustrated by Hugh Roberts and detailed above. The paterae design to the top is a recurring motif, and on the serpentine commodes all include fan motifs to the corners of the panels. The doors to the ends are all inlaid with urns, and the use of the ebonised mouldings is apparent on those commodes which do not display ormolu mounts. The Derby House commode, arguably the most celebrated of this group, displays ram-mask supports to the urns between the major panels which are also replicated in the current lot to the end doors. Few other individual elements of the marquetry appear to have been replicated between these commodes, the masterful cabinet-makers appear to have relished to opportunity to be inventive each time, though as discussed in Hugh Roberts' article the Derby Commode was specifically designed by Robert Adam no doubt to co-ordinate with the overall scheme of the room, it is possible the design of other commodes bear the influence of the great classical architect.

  • GBRUnited Kingdom
  • 2013-12-04
Hammer price
Show price

A pair of gilt-bronze-mounted chinese celadon vases aux tritons, the

Each of baluster form and painted with blue bamboo, prunus blossom, and ju-i fungus, one with a pheonix, with a gadrooned gilt-bronze rim, each handle in the form of infant tritons with an entwined double fish tail suspended by laurel and berried swags, the base with a ribbon-tied bullrushes supported on the backs of four turtles, on a plinth cast with guilloche enclosing flowerheads Comparative Literature: Daniel Alcouffe, Anne Dion-Tenenbaum, Gérard Mabille, Gilt bronzes in the Louvre, Dijon, 2004. H. Ottomeyer/P. Proschel, Vergoldete Bronzen, Vol. I, Munich, 1989, p. 230, fig. 4.1.11. John Whitehead, The French Interior, 1992, London, p.158 .F. J. B. Watson, The Wrightsman Collection, New York, 1966, Vol. II, p. 440, 248 A,B. Gillian Wilson, Mounted Oriental Porcelain in the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 1999, p.106. This pair of elegant Chinese celadon vases with exquisite gilt-bronze mounts belongs to a group of related vases which were formerly or currently are in important Private Collections. The Chinese Celadon: Celadon has always been highly prized for its colour and these extremely rare vases, with the painted sprays of prunus, bamboo and ruyi are highly desirable amongst collectors. Gilt-bronze-mounted objects such as these were highly fashionable and sought after in the 18th century and often the vases and objects were imported from the Far East by the Parisan marchands-merciers such as Lazare-Duvaux and then mounted by the leading bronziers of the day, such as Pierre Gouthière and supplied to the French Court and members of the aristocracy. A similar pair of celadon porcelain vases was described in the catalogue of François Boucher's sale in 1771: `Deux vases de la Chine à bouquets bleu et blanc, montés chacun sur un pied composé de branchages de laurier entrelacés sur quatre tortues: un triton à chaque côtédu haut, portant le revers de la gorge et sotenant une guirlande de laurier, le tout bronze doré'. The celadon pair above was sold to the celebrated marchand-mercier Pierre Remy for 360 livres and 5 sols. He organised the sale and is known to have particularly liked Chinese pieces. One cannot state with certainty that the Boucher vases are the offered vases, as other examples with identical decoration correspond to the description of those in the Boucher sale: -an almost identical pair both in respect of the decoration of the porcelain and the gilt-bronze mounts is in the Riahi collection, illustrated by Franco Maria Ricci, La Collection Djahanguir Riahi, Milan, 1990, p. 218. -another very similar pair characterized by similar motifs on the porcelain and identical triton mounts, swags and turtle feet, on a ribbed square plinth, sold Sotheby's New York, 19th November 1993, lot 19, reproduced here in fig. 3. -a vase with tritons belonging to the Edouard Chappey collection (Georges Petit gallery, Paris, 27th-31st May 1907, lot 139), which could be the same as the second vase in the Riahi collection reproduced here in fig. 2; -another vase, with sparser decoration on the celadon, identical triton mounts, but the base being characterized by the absence of the four turtles, originally in the Baroness Burton collection sold (Christie's London, 8th July 1965, lot 75). Oriental porcelain commanded high prices when it was sold by the marchands-merciers to collectors, and even later made high prices at auction sales. For example, in the Gaignat sale in 1768, a single celadon vase with mounts fetched 2,489 livres (no. 91) and at the Randon de Boisset sale in 1777, two urns (no. 507) mounted in the rococo style made 6,001 livres. In 1782, over 7,500 livres was paid by Louis XVI for a pair of large celadon vases (no. 110), now in the Louvre, mounted in the neo-classical style by Gouthière. These vase garnitures were designed so they formed sets comprising of two or three pieces. The design was not always the same from one vase to another; there can be prunus full of flowers or crysanthemums among bamboos and aquatic plants, such as water lilies. On some vases eg. the pair formerly in the Harewood's collection, there is a pheonix, also present on one of the offered vases. It is also worthwhile considering a pair of pot-pourri vases and covers with a green celadon ground decorated in blue and white with prunus blossom, pine and bamboo, with gilt-bronze rocaille mounts, in the Wrightsman Collection Catalogue, p. 440, nos 248, A,B: On December 10th, 1754, Lazare Duvaux, the marchand-mercier, sold to Mme de Pompadour: `Deux autres vases d'ancienne porcelaine verte à reliefs bleus, montés en bronze doré d'or moulu, 1,700 l. '(Livre-Journal, no. 1963). According to Watson, op. cit.,`The high price and the infrequent mention of this porcelain in the marchand-mercier's accounts suggests that it was rare and highly prized in the eighteenth century'. Most celadons in the 18th century were believed to be of Japanese origin and were described in sales catalogues as `porcelaines d'ancien céladon du Japon'. The gilt-bronze mounts: The practise of mounting oriental porcelain in Europe dates back to the Middle Ages and according to Gillian Wilson, op. cit., `..during the eighteenth century the main reason for setting these oriental objects in mounts of European design was to naturalize them to the decoration of French interiors of the period; to modify their exotic character by giving them a quasi-French appearance'. The infant triton mounts are of exceptional quality and beautifully chased and can safely be attributed to Pierre Gouthière (1732-1813), due to their similarity with other mounts on pieces known to be by him. Gouthière, an outstanding bronzier, who is believed to have invented the new type of bronze chasing that produced a matte finish on his pieces. He was one of the most influential craftsmen of the 18th Century and his pieces was owned by duc d'Aumont (1709-1782), the duchesse de Mazarin (1736-1781), Madame du Barry and Marie-Antoinette. Similar child triton mounts can be found on a pair of vasiform candelabra, attributed to Gouthière, in the J.P. Getty Museum, (72.DF.43.), illustrated by H. Ottomeyer/P. Proschel, op. cit., p. 230, fig. 4.1.11. Also see another identical gilt-bronze pair to the Getty pair, in the Musée du Louvre, Paris and there is a further pair in white marble also in the Louvre. A third pair is in the Jones Collection in the Victoria and Albert Museum (970-1882). A Chinese blue porcelain rouleaux vase with mounts by Pierre Gouthière, with infant satyr handles, is in the Getty Museum and illustrated by Wilson op. cit., p. 107. The casting and chasing of the mounts on the offered vases as on the Getty vase, are of very high quality and the matte gilding on the mounts is a typical finish given by Parisian bronziers during the 1780's. Its soft appearance contrasts with the reflective surface of the burnished areas. Gouthière is known to have mounted a pair of bluish-purple ewers for the duc d'Aumont which were acquired in 1782 by Louis XVI at the sale after the duke's death. The mounts were similar to those on the Getty piece and contemporary descriptions of the d'Aumont's vases mention baby satyrs sat above the handles of the ewers which are now missing. The mounts on the Getty vase are attributed to Gouthière on the basis of comparison with the ewers. It therefore follows that our vases can also safely be attributed to Gouthière on the same basis. Wilson states op. cit., regarding the Getty vase, p. 108, that the mounts were perhaps designed by François-Joseph Bélanger (1744-1818), architect and designer to the duc d'Aumont. Gouthière and Bélanger collaborated for many years after their appointment by the duke to the Menus Plaisirs in 1767. Also see a vase identical to the Getty one, with the infant tritons sold as lot 56, Christie's, London 13 June 2002, with a Provevance of Baron Lionel de Rothschild (1808- 1879), and by descent to his son Leopold de Rothschild (1845- 1917), thence by descent. The turtle feet are also rarely found in the 18th century French decorative repertory of gilt-bronzes and the tritons and tortoises are emblematic of the Renaissance and were found on fountains, silver and statuary and revived by bronziers in the latter years of the 18th century. Therefore, the tortoise mounts may have been a special commission. The tortoise in Chinese decorative arts symbolizes steadfastness and immutability. Thus images of tortoises are placed on pillars and personal seals and used to support stone tablets carved with the edicts of emperors. Due to the tortoise's vault like shell is comparable to heaven and its flat underside to the earth, the animal is believed to conceal the secrets of the universe. It is regarded as one of the four divine animals, along with the dragon, phoenix and chimera. Turtles seem to possess an enviable and god-like resistance to ageing, and so they came to symbolize longevity. Comparable decorated celadon vases sold at auction: 1. A pair from the collection of Mrs Corinna K. Kavenaugh, sold in these Rooms, 22nd November 1963, lot 11. 2. A garniture from the collection of Mrs Gaby Salomon, sold in these Rooms, 17th April 1964, lot 16. 3. Three vases sold in these Rooms, 17th May 1968, lot 42. 4. A garniture sold Sotheby's, New York, 7th May 1983, lot 66. 5. A single vase with pierced gilt-bronze banding and flanked by masks was sold Sotheby's, New York, 15th October 1983, lot 297. 6. A comparable pair with infants satyr mounts suspending laurel swags, was formerly in the collection of Mr. Cortright Wetherill, sold Sotheby's, New York, October 31st  1987, lot 18. An almost identical pair of vases is illustrated by John Whitehead, The French Interior, 1992, p. 158. Pierre Gouthière (1732-1813): Admitted to the Corporation des Doreurs in 1758, appointed doreur seul ordinaire of the Menus Plaisirs, he was the greatest Parisian ciseleur-doreur of the Louis XVI period and also the inventor of the dorure au mat. His work is often associated with mantlepieces (see  two chimney-pieces executed for Madame du Barry at Fontainebleau 1771-2, now in Louis XVI's library at Versailles).The slowness in paying of his clients (which included the duc d' Aumont, Director of the Menus- Plaisirs and his daughter, la duchesse de Mazarin, the comte d' Artois at Bagatelle, the marchand-mercier Daguerre,) was one of the main causes which led him to bankruptcy in 1787 and little is known of his subsequent activity.

  • GBRUnited Kingdom
  • 2012-07-04
Hammer price
Show price

Charles-guillaume winckelsen french, 1812-1871 a rare pair of louis

Each with a beveled levanto rosso marble top above a pair of concave and convex drawers, front and sides inlaid in première partie boulle marquetry, the back inlaid in contre partie, the top of both cases with various French export stamps, the underside of one commode stamped CHLES WINCKELSEN  49. Rue Turenne  A PARIS Based on the same model as lot 30 in the present sale, this rare pair of commodes are meticulously detailed and technically skilled nineteenth century recreations of the commodes produced in 1708-09 by André-Charles Boulle for Louis XIV's bed-chamber at the Palais de Trianon, now the Grand Trianon transferred to Versailles in 1932 op. cit. D. Meyer, p. 54. At the time, the model was highly successful and it is believed that the Boulle workshop produced at least five other examples of it, as evidenced by descriptions in eighteenth century Paris auction catalogues. op. cit. Dell, p. 244, note 3. The popularity of the model seems to have seamlessly continued into the nineteenth century with its reproduction being commissioned at various points throughout the intervening years. It is interesting to note that that the original design might have been the work of Gilles-Marie Oppenord, based on a signed drawing in the Cooper-Hewitt Museum, New York, showing a bureau plat with closely related legs and mounted with female busts, op. cit. Dell, p. 209. The Culture of 19th Century Royal recreations Copies of eighteenth century pieces were highly valued in nineteenth century culture, as they often cost more to make than the original would have been worth on the open market. Rather than seeing them as derivative copies or fakes, 19th century audiences recognized them as works of art in their own right. Collectors often mixed eighteenth century and nineteenth century pieces in their collections and found them equal in comparison of quality and technique. The Wallace Collection, which is discussed more extensively in the note for lot 31, features this unique mix of originals and copies as one of its collectors included the 4th Marquess of Hertford who purchased Louis XV and Louis XVI pieces while also simultaneously commissioning reproductions from the top contemporary cabinet makers. A cabinet commissioned by Lord Hertford from John Webb was recently sold at Sotheby's New York, A Private Collection, Volume II, April 19th, 2007, lot 105 for $3,176,000.00. Empress Eugénie was an important tastemaker in this regard as well because she redecorated the Tuileries and Saint-Cloud with 18th century pieces created for Marie Antoinette. Her interest in 18th century pieces compelled her court to commission recreations from the top cabinetmakers of the time. To educate the public, other exhibits, besides just Gore House, were organized to show 18th century furniture: including an exhibit by Empress Eugénie at Petit Trianon in 1867 and a showcase at the Exposition de l'Union Centrale des Art Décoratifs in 1882. Many nineteenth century cabinetmakers were commissioned to reproduce this model including Charles Winckelsen, the creator of the current lot, Henri Dasson, whose reproduction of this model was sold Sotheby’s New York, October 24, 2007, lot 326 ($853,000), the Beurdeley family, the Sormanis, and François Linke. Three pairs of 19th century commodes of this model exist in public collections: A pair by Fourdinois, the mounts cast by the Denière foundry, is at the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Rouen, France, a pair in the Royal Palace, Madrid, Spain and another by Blake of London, is at the Frick collection, New York. It appears that this diverse group of cabinetmakers were able to reproduce Boulle’s model thanks to the Gore House Exhibition in London held from May to July 1853. At this exhibition, eighteenth century works loaned by various collectors, including the Duke of Hamilton, were exhibited. The Duke of Hamilton’s commode by Boulle himself, and now in the collection of the English National Trust at Petworth House in West Sussex (see photographs above) was most probably copied by John Webb for the 4th Marquess of Hertford. Through the careful and costly process of copying the mounts, the commode was able to be reproduced in its exact dimensions. The 19th Century Fascination with Boulle Marquetry Andre-Charles Boulle was known for his ‘Boulle marquetry’, which is based on an originally Dutch decorative inlay technique. While Dutch marquetry typically involves different types and cuts of wood, Boulle elaborated on this method by incorporating more expensive and exotics materials such as tortoiseshell, brass, copper and pewter. This lavish and eye-catching inlay was popular from Louis XIV’s reign to France's Second Empire and finally into the Third and Fourth republics. The catalyst for the resurgence of this style in the nineteenth century in France was actually the British fashion for what they called ‘Buhl’ furniture. The decoration of Carlton House by the Prince of Wales, later George IV, involved the acquisition of ‘Buhl’ pieces. As the fashionable tastemaker of the Regency period, the Prince of Wales inspired a broader renewed interest in Boulle furniture that influenced the continent as well. The English fascination with the Boulle technique inspired a French cabinetmaker, Louis le Gaigneur, to set up a 'Buhl factory' in London in 1815, shortly after, the English workshop of George Bullock who used the Boulle technique, was established. Another maker and repairer was Thomas Parker of Air Street in London and from the 1830s, Town & Emanuel advertised as 'Manufacturers of Buhl Marqueterie, Resner and Carved Furniture', their trade label illustrated, Payne, Nineteenth Century European Furniture, p. 306. Charles-Guillaume Winckelsen (1812-1871) Charles-Guillaume Winckelsen had his workshops at 23, Val-Sainte-Catherine in 1854 and can arguably be considered as one of the most important mid 19th century cabinetmakers alongside Fourdinois, Grohé, Dasson, Beurdeley, and Millet. By 1860 he had moved to 21, rue Saint-Louis in the Marais, and in 1867, he relocated his premises to 49, rue de Turenne. His production varied from furniture to decorative works of art, yet he was most known for his high-quality works in the Louis XVI style. He had a distinguished clientele, including Lafitte, Behague, the Marquis de Lillers and the Prince Radziwill. Jean-Louis-Benjamin Gros was his main furniture maker, and Joseph-Nicolas Langlois his bronze chaser. Following Winckelsen's death in 1871, Henri Dasson purchased on July 27 the workshop and stock from Winckelsen's widow for 14,000 French francs.

  • USAUSA
  • 2015-10-15
Hammer price
Show price

A silver-gilt flagon, hispanic or italian, first half of the 16th century

Ovoid body set with two female portrait medallions amid grotesques, skulls, armour, helmet and theatrical masks, similar embellishment to the shoulder from which issue the elephant's head and claw handle and the winged monster term spout, the cylindrical neck chased with a young child, a man with eagle's face and cloven feet, a drum on his back, two winged cherubs and a naked man with skeleton head, hinged lid with further masks below the baluster finial, leaf and hoof decorated pedestal foot, engraved underneath with royal cypher F and numbered N 26, unmarked The gothic F royal cypher is that of the King of Portugal, Dom Fernando II, who kept the flagon in his study at the Palacio das Necessidades, in Lisbon as a photograph of 1885 shows (see Fig. 1). It is recorded in the inventory taken after his death no. 2386 as follows:      "Um jarro cum prato de prata dourada, trabalho italaiono epoca da Renascenca do seculo 16o maracados com os numeros dois mil cento e cincoenta e oito e dois mil cinto e concoenta e nove"1 It is not known what the inventory number on its foot refers to, but the script appears to be from an earlier date than the cypher. The jug can be compared to an item in the Museo de Antiguades, Lisbon, inv. 355. This latter piece is catalogued as a 16th Century Italian salt and came to the museum from the Convent of S. Vicente de Fora, Lisbon,  a collection point for items from the religeous orders after their dissolution in 1834. It was therefore probably not in itself the origin of the piece. Dom Fernando was involved with this convent, reorganising the tombs of the Kings of the House of Braganza and it seems likely that he acquired the flagon, together with other similar pieces, at this time (see introduction). The salt has not been currently researched by the Museo Antiquades, but an inspection reveals enough features in common to suppose that the two items came from the same workshop.  Amonst these similarities, their stems, that part between ovoid body and foot, are almost identical.  On the flagon this stem is of a slightly lighter coloured gilding than the rest of it, which has raised the possibility that it was not made at the same time. However the coincidence of the jug and salt each having associated stems of the same type makes this unlikley. When the flagon was exhibited in 1882 it was presented with its accompanying dish or basin ` correspondente ao prato no. 22. Both were illustrated (see Fig. 2 and Fig. 1 of lot II). Whether this dish/basin was actually made to go with the flagon as a unit is open to question, but there is little doubt that they are related as the flagon is related to the salt.  Although of not quite the same order the similarity of feel and ornament can also be found on the dish, lot II in this sale, which has the same recorded provenance from the 19th Century as the flagon. It seems likely therefore that a group of silver, comprising the museum salt, this flagon with its basin exhibited in 1882 and possibly the dish form a unit,  starting from the same workshop when they were made in the 16th Century and possibly part of the same order. The type of grotesque ornament found on this flagon first re-appeared in Italy at the end of the 15th Century, inspired by the wall paintings discovered on Nero's palace the Domus Aurea around 1480. A wall painting in the cathedral of Orvieto executed  between 1499-1505 depicts the young philosopher Epedocles staring in fascination at panels of these disjointed grotesques2, displaying `a frisson of delight in a peculiar kind of beauty'. Although the ornament,  `seems at first sight to consort awkardly with the more familiar taste for ideal beauty..it was part of the court artist's function to produce oddities..'3 The taste for it spread widely throughout the low countries, Spain, Portugal and Germany. A similar creature that makes up the flagon's spout can be found in a print by the Dutch artist Lucas van der Leyden of circa 1528 (Fig. 3) and a Spanish jug of open form, in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London catalogued as Toledo or Cuenca? circa 1530, has ornamental features in common.4 1 Arquivo Distrital de Lisboa, Inventário orfanológico de D. Fernando II , 1886, PT/ADLSB/JUD/TCLSB/B-X/001/00001-1. 2 Alain Gruber et al., l'art décoratif en Europe, Paris, 1993, p. 272 3 John Shearman, Mannerism, London, 1967, pp 156 4 Charles Oman, The Golden Age of Hispanic Silver, fig. 142

  • GBRUnited Kingdom
  • 2012-07-04
Hammer price
Show price

The Deer and the Lady, with Punchinello

This delightful and graceful scene is part of the very renowned series of drawings depicting scenes from the life of Punchinello, now scattered in public and private collections.  These drawings are the most sought after and collected of all Giandomenico's drawings, and according to Byam Shaw they are the latest in date and the most complete of the artist's surviving series.  The subject is based on the Neapolitan character of Pulcinella, first brought to life on stage by Silvio Fiorillo at the begining of the seventeenth century.  The character of Punchinello becomes famous quite early on in the Commedia dell'Arte, although he begins to be familiar in Venice only after the middle of the 18th century.  He subsequently became one the favourite subjects of both Giambattista and Giandomenico Tiepolo.  The series of drawings on this theme, for which no text or source has yet been identified, develops the subjects already painted, in monochrome, by Giandomenico in around 1793, in the so-called Camera dei Pagliacci, at the family villa at Zianigo.  Writing about the series, James Byam Shaw suggested: Perhaps the success which these fascinating scenes must have had, particularly with his more youthful neighbours at Zianigo, inspired the old man, at the very end of his life, to produce the series of drawings...and which he called on the title-page Divertimento per li Regazzi- an Entertainement for Children.' 1 In the present humourous sheet a group of punchinelli gather around a deer to the left, while an elegant lady watches the scene, hiding behind her skirts two more scared punchinelli.  In the meantime a third one carries off a dog, while nearby another punchinello, unperturbed, is kissing a young nymph. Giandomenico Tiepolo's Punchinello drawings first appeared, from an unrecorded source, in a Sotheby's London sale in 1920 (see Provenance).  At the time, it was indicated that there were 102 drawings in the series, but this number did not include the title page, now in the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, which in turn indicates that the series originally consisted of 104 sheets, meaning that one was missing at the time of Sotheby's sale.2  As pointed out by Byam Shaw, the series was possibly finished within the last year or so before Giandomenico's death in 1804.  At this point in his life, Giandomenico was borrowing a lot from his earlier compositions, especially from Scenes from Contemporary Life, and also from his father's drawings.  The numbering that is generally to be found in the wide margin at the top left may indicate the original sequence for the series, although Byam Shaw suggests that these numbers may have been written on the drawings after the artist's death by one of his family or another executor.3 1 J.  Byam Shaw, The Drawings of Domenico Tiepolo, London 1962, p. 54 2 Idem, The Robert Lehmman Collection, VI, Italian Eighteenth-Century Drawings, New York 1987,  p. 203, note 3 3 Ibid., p. 203

  • USAUSA
  • 2012-09-25
Hammer price
Show price

DESC-A very fine and rare blue and white and anhua Bowl mark and period

DESC-A very fine and rare blue and white and anhua Bowl mark and period of Xuande vividly painted around the wide conical sides with a leafy undulating peony scroll bearing six large flower-heads with one open to reveal the seeded interior interspersed by smaller buds rising from attendant stems, between a line border circling the rim and a skirt of overlapping upright petals around the base, superbly decorated on the interior with a peony meander of four blooms in anhua with finely striated petals and leaves surrounding a six petal flower-head within a double-circle repeated at the rim, all in a rich cobalt-blue of purplish colour 20.5 cm., 8 1/8 in. Provenance: Christie's Hong Kong, 31st March 1992, lot 532. Other Xuande bowls with this distinctive and otherwise rarely used flower scroll, which probably represents a herbaceous peony, are in the National Palace Museum, Taiwan, included in the Museum's Special Exhibition of Selected Hsuan-te Imperial Porcelains of the Ming Dynasty, Taipei, 1998, cat.no.61; in the Shanghai Museum, published in Wang Qingzheng et al., Underglaze Blue and Red, Hong Kong, 1993, pl.61; in the MusEe Guimet, Paris, from the Grandidier collection, illustrated in Oriental Ceramics: The World's Great Collections, vol.7, Tokyo, New York and San Francisco, 1981, no.53; one in the Toguri Museum of Art, Tokyo, was included in the Museum's Commemorative Exhibition for the Opening, Tokyo, 1987, cat.no.18; and one from the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Clark and T.Y. Chao, included in the exhibition Ming and Ch'ing Porcelain from the Collection of the T.Y. Chao Family Foundation, Hong Kong Museum of Art, 1978, cat.no.9, was sold in these rooms, 19th May 1987, lot 230. Quantity: 1

  • HKGHong Kong SAR China
  • 2001-05-01
Hammer price
Show price

Two important and rare meissen figures of guinea fowl 1735

Modelled by J. J. Kändler for the Japanese Palace, Dresden, each bird standing on a rocky mound base amongst various grasses and flowering leafy branches, with white-speckled black plumage, long purple necks curving to the left and red combs and wattles (minor restoration and chips) As recorded by Wittwer (2006), p. 339, of the twenty-eight figures of guinea fowl ordered between 1732 and 1736, only seven were completed and delivered to the Japanese Palace in 1735.  Kändler's work report of March 1735 records his working on the model: 'Eine Berel Henne ebenfalls ins Ballåis gehörig Nach ihrer sonderbaren Arth Vorgebildetan Welcher aber noch etwas Weniges zu thun.' [one guinea fowl also for the Palace, duly representing its strange characteristics, to which there is a little something more to do]; and the following month he reports that the model is completed, 'Die Berel Henne folgends fertig gemacht' [The guinea fowl has been made ready]. During June and July of the same year there are two deliveries to the Palace, of one and six enamelled figures, respectively. In 1769, the Tower Room inventory lists two guinea fowl in the Royal Residence but the inventories of 1770 and 1779 each mention only bird, presumably same one that is recorded in the Royal Collection in 1900 and which remained there at least up to 1935, when it is illustrated by Albiker (1935), pl. XXII, figs. 68 and 69. In addition to the present examples, there were two other birds of this model in the collection of Walter von Pannwitz, one of which is illustrated by Brüning (1904), Color Plate XIII, no. 409. Both were subsequently sold at Galerie Helbing, Munich, October 24 and 25, 1905, lots 401 and 402, as part of the larger sale of the von Pannwitz collection, and are illustrated in at least two contemporary publications reporting on the auction: R. Freih. von Seydlitz, 'Die Sammlung V. Pannwitz (München)', Kunst und Kunsthandwerk, 1905, Vol. VIII, pp. 302-03, and Karl Voll, 'Die Sammlung v. Pannwitz in München', Kunst und Künstler, 1906, Vol. IV, p. 31. The upcoming sale was also reported in 'The von Pannwitz Collection at Munich', The Athenæum Journal of Literature, Science, the Fine Arts and the Drama, October 14, 1905, no. 4068, p. 510, where, interestingly, the article cites two other similar examples, one in the "Palace at Dresden" and another in the "Johanneum at Dresden" (where the Japanese Palace collection was moved in 1876). The same publication reports the sale results on page 618 of its November 4, 1905, no. 4071, issue: "The Pannwitz collection, dispersed at Munich on October 24th and 25th, realized a total of 1,150,000 marks, very high prices being paid for rare examples of Meissen china. A pair of life-sized guinea fowl fetched 38,000m....", an extraordinary price paid for the time. The whereabouts of the von Pannwitz birds and the other three guinea fowl made for the Japanese Palace remain unknown.

  • GBRUnited Kingdom
  • 2013-05-01
Hammer price
Show price

A platinum, 18 karat gold, emerald and diamond necklace, bulgari, 1959

Centering a flexible composition of 13 emerald drops weighing approximately 71.00 carats, further enhanced with 14 cabochon emeralds weighing approximately 41.00 carats accented by 14 marquise-shaped diamonds weighing approximately 8.50 carats, and set throughout with numerous round diamonds weighing approximately 50.00 carats, length 14½ inches, unsigned, French workshop and assay marks; with signed and fitted box. This magnificent emerald and diamond necklace was commissioned in the fall of 1958 while Mr. and Mrs. Astor were visiting England. As Mrs. Astor recounted in her 1980 autobiography, "Vincent amused himself by having old Mr. Bulgari come over from Rome to discuss an emerald necklace and earrings for me." After spending the afternoon with the couple, Mr. Bulgari returned to Rome to contemplate the design of the suite. Mrs. Astor later noted that, "Vincent was very pleased with himself." It was shortly after this trip to England, in February of 1959, that Vincent passed away. As far as Mrs. Astor knew, the design for the emerald suite remained a mystery. It came as quite a surprise to Mrs. Astor when she received a package from Mr. Bulgari nearly two years later. As Mrs. Astor wrote, "A strange thing happened at this very moment. Mr. Bulgari, the Italian jeweler, sent over a colored transparency of the emerald necklace and earrings for which we had selected the stones in London in 1958." Attached to the transparency was a note from Vincent, asking that the pieces be completed in time for Mrs. Astor's birthday in March. Having recently returned from a yacht voyage with friends and in the midst of implementing changes within the Astor Foundation, Mrs. Astor felt that the timing was inopportune for such a lavish present. However, after some reassuring words from her banker and further admiration of the design, Mrs. Astor moved forward with the purchase concluding that the necklace "is pretty and not ostentatious but very elegant." The emerald and diamond necklace is distinguished both by its impressive design and by Mrs. Astor's emotional ties to it. Mrs. Astor explained this connection in her autobiography writing, "Considering that it was really Vincent's last personal gift to me, I am very sentimental about it, and I felt that it was a sign of encouragement from Vincent."

  • USAUSA
  • 2012-09-25
Hammer price
Show price

* Note that the price doesn’t correlate with today’s value, but only relates to the actual end price at the time of the purchase.

Porcelain & Pottery

Items made of porcelain, earthenware, stoneware and faience from every country are found under the category Porcelain & Pottery. Plates, cups, antique vases, tableware, china figurines and Chinese serving dishes are just some of the items that can be found up for auction under this heading.

Advert