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A meissen 'brühlsche allerlei' part dinner service circa 1742-48

Each piece finely painted with studies of fruit, vegetables, nuts, berries, seeds and flowers, the borders elaborately molded with various basketweave patterns, comprising: a large oval tureen and cover, a circular tureen and cover, two smaller oval tureens and covers, three 17 7/8-inch oval platters, two 15 1/4-inch circular platters, two 13 1/2-inch circular platters, two 12-inch circular platters, a large two-handled tray, eight soup plates, twenty dinner plates, four circular deep dishes and a ladle, crossed swords mark in underglaze-blue, 'C' Konditorei mark in puce to two dinner plates and all four deep circular dishes. 51 pieces. The 'Brühlsche Allerlei' service, commissioned in 1742 by Count Heinrich von Brühl, the Director of the Meissen manufactory from 1733 until his death in 1763, stands as one of the most magnificent services produced by Meissen in the first half of the 18th century. Until Johanna Lessmann shed considerable light on its history in her article, “Das 'Brühlsche Allerlei,' Ein Service für Heinrich Graf von Brühl,’ in Ulrich Pietsch, Schwanenservice, Meissener Porzellan für Heinrich Graf von Brühl, pp. 106-119, however, this service was overshadowed for the most part by its renowed counterparts, such as the 'St. Andrew' or the 'Swan' service. The approximate size of the 'Brühlsche Allerlei' service can be somewhat constructed from Eberlein’s work reports as well as the 1753 inventory of von Brühl's Konditorei published in Karl Eberling, Das Meissner Porzellan und seine Geschichte, Appendix no. 5, pp. 187-190, and the 1765 inventory listing compiled shortly after Brühl's death, published by Lessmann, ibid., pp. 248-249. According to Lessmann, this extensive service consisted of as many as 2,000 pieces and comprised dinner, dessert, coffee and tea services. As identified by Lessmann, the 1765 inventory entry, ‘Eine Partie von dem guten grossen Tafel service’ [A part of a good large table service], most likely corresponds to the 'Brühlsche Allerlei' service, specifying numerous serving pieces, some of which were described as being decorated with fruit or vegetables (for example: ‘Vier grosen ovalen Terrinen mit Deckeln, worauf unterschiedene Früchte’ [Four large oval tureens with covers, whereupon various fruit (are found)]. The shapes of the serving pieces follow the highly fashionable French silver prototypes of the period that were made after the introduction of dining à la française, circa 1730. Tureens constituted an important role, as in any grand service, by lavishly demonstrating the modeling and painting skills of the factory in a fashionable manner. For these more complex pieces, the acclaimed modeller Johann Joachim Kändler is thought to have collaborated with Johann Friedrich Eberlein, who was the main modeller for this service. As cited by Lessmann, Kändler reported in his work record: ‘die zum Service von des Ministers von Brühl Excellenz gehörige Pottagen Nӓpffe eine Staude Blumenkohl, wie auch eine Kohl Rabi nach der Natur poussiert, nicht allein die Deckels damit zu verzieheren, sondern auch daß solche recht füglich dabey können abgehoben werden’ [for the service of his Excellence, Minister von Brühl, belonging to the soup porringers, modelled a cauliflower head, like a turnip, after nature, not only to decorate the cover but also so that it can be conveniently lifted up]. A thorough understanding of the variety of the tureens in this service is indeed problematic, mainly owing to only a few known pieces. A white oval tureen, most likely a test model, from the Dresden Porzellansammlung is illustrated by Lessmann, cat no. 142, p. 203. Another polychrome oval tureen with a lemon knop is illustrated ibid, cat. no. 145, p. 206. A circular tureen, similar to the one in the present service, now in the Collection of Henry Arnhold, illustrated by Maureen Cassidy-Geiger in The Arnhold Collection of Meissen Porcelain, 1710-1750, cat. no. 206, pp. 464-465, was sold at Sotheby's New York, May 21, 2004, lot 171. Another oval tureen with a cauliflower knop was recently sold at Christie’s New York, May 20, 2014, lot 60. A seventy-five piece part service, including circular and oval platters of various sizes, a pair of wine coolers and grape baskets, was sold at Sotheby's London, July 8, 1997, lot 57. As early as August 1742, Eberlein appears to have begun working on modelling the tureens: ‘An dem Grӓfl. Brühlschen eine Probe-Terrinen gearbeitet’ [To the Brühl’s, worked on a test-tureen]. The 1765 inventory lists numerous tureens according to shapes (oval or circular) and size (large, middle-sized or smaller); however it is unfortunately not possible to deduce the exact dimensions. A quick comparison of the published tureens makes it safe to assume that the two smaller oval tureens in the present service could be one of those as recorded in the entry ‘Vier ovalen kleinen terrinen’ [Four oval small tureens], the large oval example could possibly be one of the larger oval tureens as cited earlier in the note; and finally, the circular tureen could perhaps be one of the middle-sized ones, as recorded: ‘Neun runden mittleren Terrinen’ [Nine round middle-sized tureens]. The two-handled tray is the first known example from this service and was most likely modelled by Johann Gottlieb Ehder, who also collaborated on this service a little after Eberlein started in 1742. Ehder's work report from May 1744 cites: 'Eine große paßigte Einsez-Schaale zu einer Terrine zum Graff Brühlschen Servis mit frantzösischen Zierathen nebst Henkeln von Thon neu bossirt' [Just modelled from clay a large oval tray platter with French decoration together with handles to one of the tureens in Count Brühl's service]. This entry most probably relates to the present tray, which was intended as a stand to one of the oval tureens. One of the most distinguishing elements of this service is the naturalistic depiction of various plants, fruit, nuts and seeds that exhibits itself both in the three-dimensional modelling of the knops on the covers and the handles of the tureens as well as the two-dimensional painting. Often referred as the 'Brühlsche border,' the rims are elaborately molded with three floral sprays picked out in enamels alternating with shells against panels of basketwork in various patterns. It is indeed this charming juxtaposition of different decorative traits that has given the service its name, 'Brühlsche Allerlei,' which can be translated as 'Brühl's Farrago.' Lessmann identifies the one known source for the painted fruit and vegetables as Johann Wilhelm Weinmann’s Phytanthoza Iconographia, 1737-45, which was published in four volumes and illustrates approximately 4,000 plates. For the flower paintings, two sources have so far been identified: the engravings of Jacques Bailly, Divers Fleurs mises en boucquets, and Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer's Liures de Plusierurs Paniers de Fleurs, which were both published circa 1670. Sotheby's thanks Thomas Miltschus, curator at the Porzellanikon, Staatliches Museum für Porcelain, Hohenberg a. d. Eger/Selb, for his help with researching this lot.

  • USAUSA
  • 2014-11-23
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A william iv ormolu-mounted cast-iron italian specimen marble top

This table was acquired from Giacomo Raffaelli on March 8, 1831 by The Hon. John and Lady Augusta Kennedy-Erskine.  Lady Kennedy-Erskine was born Augusta Fitzclarence and was of the illegitimate daughters of the Duke of Clarence, later William IV.  She and Kennedy-Irskine married on July 5, 1827 and went to Italy for John's health in 1831 before he suffered from consumption, and died in Pisa later that year.  John had inherited the House of Dun and the estate from his maternal grandfather.  After Augusta died in 1865, the table remained in family by descent to the Lairds of Dun, House of Dun, Angus, Scotland from 1865 to 1973.  This famous house was designed and built by William Adam, father of the famous Robert and James Adam, and is known for its spectacular plasterwork. Raffaelli provided a detailed description of all of the marbles together with a key (fig. 1) with this table top.  Of the 148 specimens used for the table top, 40 are pietre dure, 31 are Oriental, 12 are antique, 7 are Egyptian, 5 are Chinese, 4 are German, 2 are Siberian, one each is from Damascus (Breccia Traccagnina), France (Marmo Rosso conchite), Labrador (feld-Spato Poaline bleu), Persia (Lapis Lazuli), and Scotland (Pudinga); the remaining specimens are from Italy and Greece.  A manuscript key also accompanies a pair of tables by Raffaelli which are now on display at Temple Newsam House (Christopher Gilbert, Furniture at Temple Newsam House, Leeds, 1988, Vol III, no 857, pp. 681-684, color figs 18-20).  These tables were acquired by Clifford Constable of Burton Constable, Yorkshire, almost certainly on his honeymoon in 1827. Giacomo Raffaelli (1743 - 1836) was probably the most talented mosaicist in Rome during the last quarter of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth century. He was one of the first, if not the first, to have worked in "mosaico in piccolo", or micromosaic in about 1775. This new technique permitted the meticulous virtuosity that was so coveted by the connoisseurs of the neo-classic era. Raffaelli, was certainly regarded as the supreme craftsman in this technique, and worked not only for the papacy but also for foreign courts, like that of Stanislaus Poniatowski in Poland. He was invited to Russia by the imperial government but refused, accepting instead an invitation to the Milanese court of Napoleon, where his technical mastery was particularly appreciated, where he produced his masterpiece - the monumental Centrepiece of the Viceroy, now in the Villa Carlotta - and some immense enterprises such as the mosaic mural copy of Leonardo's Last Supper, now in the Minoretenkirche in Vienna.  Raffaelli stayed in Milan even after the fall of the Napoleonic Empire (1814), but he eventually returned to Rome. In 1826, he is mentioned as "lodatissimo fra i lodati" ("most praised among the praised") who had made a tabletop in grisaille with the shield of Achilles with the head of Medusa in the center.  Two clocks by him were presented by Napoleon as gifts, the first, signed by Raffaelli and dated 1804, to Maréchal Bernadotte and the other to Pope Pius VII, which is now in the Chateau de Fontainebleau.  Pope Pius later offered to Princess Eugenié a comparable table, which is now in the Hotel Matignon.  Other objects by Raffaelli are at Syon House, Middlesex and in the Gilbert Collection at Somerset House, London.

  • USAUSA
  • 2014-10-18
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A RARE MAMLUK BLUE AND WHITE ARMORIAL ALBARELLO, DAMASCUS, SYRIA, 15TH CENTURY

Lot 1071 A RARE MAMLUK BLUE AND WHITE ARMORIAL ALBARELLO, DAMASCUS, SYRIA, 15TH CENTURY Maiolica, altezza cm 31,7.Sbeccature e ampia caduta di smalto in prossimit� della spallaDi forma cilindrica leggermente rastremato nella zona mediana ha alto colletto svasato con orlo estroflesso.La decorazione, su tutta la superficie, � in blu cobalto sotto smalto a sei fasce con motivi vegetali stilizzati. La fascia centrale ospita tre scudi araldici con il fiore di giglio su fondo blu. Gli stemmi sono separati da motivi a girali floreali con al centro un grande uccello.Questo albarello � un esempio estremamente raro di ceramica prodotta a Damasco per il mercato europeo. Infatti dopo il 1344, con la revoca dell'embargo papale sul commercio con l'impero mamelucco, tra i vari prodotti anche le ceramiche siriane raggiunsero l�Europa.Lo scudo con il giglio, di forma prettamente europea, riconduce allo stemma della citt� di Firenze, suggerendo che questi albarelli furono una commissione specifica per un corredo da farmacia del capoluogo toscano.Inventari italiani, francesi e spagnoli del XIV e XV secolo riportano ceramiche provenienti da Damasco. Sappiamo ad esempio dall�archivio dei Medici a Firenze che Piero di Cosimo de� Medici (1416-1469) possedeva tre albarelli damaschini.Prima del 2006 si conosceva un solo albarello di questo gruppo conservato a Parigi, Mus�e des Arts D�coratifs (vedi Lane, 1957, pl.15, e Soustiel, 1985, p.233, n. 266). Due esemplari si trovano a Toronto, Aga Khan Museum.Altri tre esemplari simili, di cui due con lo stesso stemma del nostro, furono venduti da Sotheby�s il 5 April 2006, lotti 108-110. Due altri della stessa tipologia, di cui solo uno con lo stemma, passarono in asta sempre da Sotheby�s, 11 ottobre 2006, lotti 122-123

  • ITAItaly
  • 2016-11-17
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A fine george iii satinwood marquetry breakfront bookcase attributed

In two sections, the upper section centred by a cabinet fitted with a pair of glazed doors opening to three adjustable shelves and surmounted by an inlaid fan cresting above a tablet centered by ribbon-tied husk swags flanked by a fluted frieze, flanked by a pair of cupboard doors with guilloche-carved cresting, the conforming projecting lower section with an inlaid Vitruvian-scroll frieze and centered by a secretaire drawer opening to an arrangment of pigeon holes and small drawers before a leather-lined writing surface above a pair of cupboard doors opening to three sliding shelves fitted with marblized paper and flanked by a bank fo four graduated drawers.  Tops of the upper sections each fitted with an electric light. The present bookcase conceived in Chippendale’s developed neoclassical style, making use of the fan, husk swags, urns, Vitruvian scrolls all executed in beautiful satinwood marquetry.  This bookcase shares similarities to other documented Chippendale pieces such as a commode which he supplied to Harewood Hall, circa 1772 which has almost identical husk swags tied with ribbons and centered by a central husk wreath (op. cit. p. 129); another commode, part of a suite of furniture Chippendale supplied to Denton Hall circa 1778, also makes use of this same motif (ibid. pp. 230, 274).  Another interesting feature, which is not unique to Chippendale’s work, is the use of marblized paper to line the sliding shelves to the lower section which is also seen on a ‘commode clothes press’ which he supplied to Nostell Priory, circa 1766 (ibid. p. 137). See: Christopher Gilbert, The Life and Works of Thomas Chippendale, New York, 1978

  • USAUSA
  • 2012-10-26
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Joseph-émmanuel zwiener, fl. circa 1875-1900 a rare and important

The movement by Erard, veneered in amaranth, sycamore, and fruitwood marquetry and opening to reveal a birds eye maple-veneered interior, inscribed Par Brevet d'Invention Seb. & Pre Erard 13 & 21 rue du Mail Paris, stenciled number 84325 for the serial number, the keyboard lid signed in brass inlaid cursive letters Erard/Paris, all gilt bronze mounts with mercurial gilding and two toned burnishing, one lion head-cast chute has been removed to reveal the mark ZN from the bronze master model. The present magnificent grand piano is clearly based on King Louis XV’s unique roll top desk, known as the Bureau du Roi, one of the most famous and highly copied works of 18th century French furniture. The construction of this masterpiece began in 1760 by Jean-François Oeben, and was finally delivered to the king in May 1769, after its completion by Oeben’s successor, Jean-Henri Riesener. This desk, which took numerous craftsman “nine years of painstaking work to bring to perfection”, dominated all of Riesener’s work. The first 19th century copy of the celebrated Bureau du Roi was made in Paris by either Drexler or Drescher for the 4th Marquess of Hertford between 1853 and 1870, now part of the Wallace Collection in London. Another important copy was made by Henri Dasson in 1875 and exhibited at the Exposition Universelle of 1878. Alfred Beurdeley, François Linke and Jean Henri Jansen are among the many that made copies of the desk in the 19th century. Joseph-Émmauel Zwiener was equally fascinated with the Bureau du Roi and exhibited his copy at the Exposition Universelle of 1889. He used it to inspire the unique design and construction of this piano, incorporating the signature marquetry and elaborate gilt-bronze lion's pelt mounts.

  • USAUSA
  • 2016-04-14
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A victorian rosewood, porelain mounted, thuyawood and marquetry side

With a central breakfront door elaborately inlaid with ivory and ebony with a central caryatid holding ribbon-tied garlands of husks supporting an oval panel painted with a putti waking Cupid, flanked by portrait heads of Chaucer and Shakespeare, supported by griffins, the frieze with gilt-bronze cornucopia and foliage, with canted corners, the panelled sides set with elaborate musical and artistic trophies, the whole veneered with burr-yew within sycamore, boxwood and walnut crossbandings, the back stamped M H below a crown and with an old distressed label, the top of the door stamped Holland & Sons, the inside with an ivory plaque Holland & Sons, 23 Mount St. London These two cabinets are characteristic of the exceptional quality of cabinet-making which Holland & Sons employed during the 1860s and 1870s which a contemporary critic described as being able to 'more than hold its own with anything made abroad' (Bevan, op. cit. p. 28) Conceived in the 'Louis seize' manner, the style of this cabinet is similar to work by the Royal èbèniste Riesener with a magnificent use of marquetry and ormolu mounts celebrating the Prince and Princess as patrons of the arts and industry in Britain. The fashion for porcelain mounted furniture was of French inspiration, having been pioneered at Sèvres in the mid-18th century. The porcelain roundels to the front of the cabinets is decorated in a technique known as en camaieu which was a 19th century development of the pâte-sur-pâte process. Involving the layering of tints of a single colour to create an illusion of a higher relief than there is in reality, the process was developed by Louis Marc Solon who defected from Sèvres to Minton at Stoke-On-Trent during the Franco-Prussian war. Modelling maidens and cherubs on plaques and vases, Solon and his apprentices soon perfected the process and Minton became the unrivalled leader in the field. The decorative scheme and overall design of the cabinets is similar to other known commissions from Holland and Sons for Marlborough House, such as a pair of tables made in the same 'Louis seize' style, which were placed in the Queen’s Spare Room. One of these tables bears a Queen Alexandra stamp to the drawer, indicating that they were made for Queen Alexandra’s private apartments at Marlborough House. These tables were sold, Property from the Collections of Lily and Edmond J. Safra, Sotheby's, New York, 19 October 2011, lot 752. A similar cabinet by Holland & Sons in the Victoria and Albert Museum (W.11-1972), illustrated in Simon Jervis, High Victorian Design, Ottawa, 1974, no. 76, p. 95, which was sold The Property of the late Col. H. C. l. Kingsford-Lethbridge, Christie's London, February 25, 1971, lot 172 and its companion writing table, lot 171, are similarly executed in the 'Louis seize' style combining gilt-bronze mounts with elaborate exotic wood and ivory marquetry as seen in the present cabinet. MARLBOROUGH HOUSE Built in the early years of the eighteenth century, Marlborough House was designed by Sir Christopher Wren for the great Duke of Marlborough, whose descendants continued to occupy this palatial London mansion until the early 18th century, when it passed to the Crown. In 1863, the house was occupied by Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, and his consort, Princess Alexandra of Denmark, following their marriage on March 10th of that year. The Royal couple continued to live and entertain at Marlborough House until the Prince's Ascension to the throne in 1901. In anticipation of the Prince and Princess's arrival, the interior of Marlborough House was extensively remodelled under the direction of the architect Sir James Pennethorne. A suite of fashionable new reception rooms were created, providing the setting for sumptuous entertainments attended by leading figures from British and foreign society. As part of these works, which continued for several years, quantities of furniture were ordered. It was at this point undoubtedly that the present cabinets were commissioned from Holland & Sons. Photographs of the interior of Marlborough House show a closely related cabinet, evidently part of the same commission, in the Large Drawing Room. (Arthur H Beavan, Marlborough House and its occupants Past and Present, London, 1896. pp. 25-5). The commissioning of these pieces and indeed all the Holland and Sons furniture is consistent with the approach taken by the Prince and Princess of Wales to the decoration of their official London residence. They intended for Marlborough House to be a showcase of the highest quality of English craft and design, demonstrating to innumerable foreign dignitaries what England had to offer. As one contemporary commentator wrote of the house ‘in connection with furniture, it has been said that with truth, both the Prince and Princess have ever since their marriage done their utmost to encourage home manufacturers in every department and […] everything in Marlborough House may broadly speaking be said to be of British make.’ (Beavan, op. cit., p. 55) HOLLAND & SONS The firm of Holland & Sons first appeared in 1803 as Taprell, Stephen and Holland. The partnership then became Taprell, Holland and Son between 1835 and 1843 when it finally became Holland & Sons. William Holland, who took over as senior partner in 1843, was almost certainly related to the architect Henry Holland. The relationship between builder and cabinet maker is paralleled by another leading Victorian firm, Trollope and Sons. Their earliest known commission was to furnish the Athenaeum, 1824- 1838. They also worked alongside the firm of Thomas Dowbiggin at Osborne House, and eventually took over their premises and business at 23 Mount Street in 1851 and 1853 respectively. Holland & Sons were the quintessential firm of Victorian cabinet makers and their style developed over the period between 1851 and 1870, which saw many changes to furniture making in Britain. These changes were stimulated by the series of international exhibitions commencing here in London with the so-called Great Exhibition in the crystal palace and taking place in Paris in 1856, 1867, 1878 and 1889 and again in London in 1862. Royal commissions included work at Buckingham Palace, Osborne House, Balmoral, Sandringham and Windsor Castle, and their records from 1864 to 1872 devote some eighty-eight double pages exclusively to Marlborough House. Lastly, it is interesting to note that Holland & Sons exhibited at the 1878 Paris International Exhibition for which The Prince of Wales Pavilion was constructed, him being devoted to British art manufacturers and designers.

  • GBRUnited Kingdom
  • 2015-07-08
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A gilt-bronze-mounted chinese lacquer commode stamped i dubois and

Of serpentine bombé form with a brèche d'Alep marble top, containing two drawers, the front and sides set with chinoiserie lacquer and with delicate leaf-cast gilt-bronze borders and mounts on cabriole legs and scrolled feet, marble top restored, the reverse with a printed label in red ink L.61.9.a Jacques Dubois (1694-1763, maître in 1742) was one of the most important ébénistes of the Louis XV period and, arguably, one of the most prolific.  He produced luxury furniture frequently incorporating Chinese or Japanese lacquer, largely consisting of secrétaires, bureaux and commodes.  Unlike many of his contemporaries, he was not dependent upon the patronage of the powerful and influential marchands-merciers, although he did occasionally supply pieces to Thomas-Joachim Hébert, Léger Bertin, François Machart and Deyle-François Labrunne, as well as the marchand-ébéniste Pierre Migeon.  Dubois largely cultivated his own exclusive roster of aristocratic clients and supplied his furniture directly to them. Nevertheless, it is possible that this commode was commissioned by Hébert, who not only was one of the leading marchand-merciers in Paris and fournisseurs de la Cour for several decades but also the one who spearheaded the taste for Oriental lacquer mounted furniture, after having supplied a famous lacquer commode by Bernard Van Risenburgh to Queen Marie Leczinska for the château de Fointainebleau in 1737. Possibly through Hébert, Dubois and Mathieu Criaerd used similar mounts. Criaerd use the mounts au rythme syncopé seen in the present lot in some of his pieces – one stamped sold Christie’s London, 13th June 2002, lot 45, previously sold with Sotheby’s Monaco, 13th February 1983, lot 439; Two commodes unstamped, but attributed to this maker, sold in these rooms, 25th June 1982, lot 36; and Etude Tajan, Paris, 15th December 1997. Closer to the present lot are two almost identical commodes, considered a pair, of the same exact outline and mounts (see Thibaut Wolvesperges, Le Meuble Français en Laque au XVIIIe Siécle, 1999, p. 274, ill. 139-140). One uses vernis martin panels and is stamped by Delorme, whilst the other uses Chinese lacquer and bears a stamp D.F. believed to belong to Jean Desforges. Another commode with related mounts stamped by Desforges (now en placage but probably originally with lacquer panels) was sold by the J.P.Getty Museum (Christie’s, New York, The Arts of France, 21st October 1997, lot 181.) Another related lacquer commode stamped by Jean Chevalier JME was sold Christie’s New York, 8th  May 1991. The existence of this group of commodes with similar mounts reveals the tightly linked community of ébènistes in Paris, who shared suppliers, retailers and collaborated on the same piece of furniture. Though many were linked through family connections, it is possible that Hébert, with his successful retailing business with close connections to the court and particular market for pieces in the Oriental taste, was the pivotal figure in this group of commodes, clearly a successful model in the buoyant Parisian market for lacquer furniture.

  • GBRUnited Kingdom
  • 2015-04-28
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Fête champêtre with a dancing couple

Lancret – like Watteau – made his reputation with his many genre pictures of gallant scenes. The familiar characters of the fête galante – musicians and amorous couples in outdoor settings – populate his canvases. Appreciated for their sophistication and the inventiveness of their narrative themes, Lancret’s pictures were sought after by the major art patrons of his time, numbering among them the most eminent rulers of foreign courts, as well as his own king. Under Louis XV’s enthusiastic patronage, Lancret’s paintings adorned the walls of numerous royal residences including Versailles. Fête champêtre with a dancing couple is a rediscovered work by Lancret, first published by Wildenstein but unillustrated and unseen since its sale at auction in the late 1970s. Mary Tavener Holmes considers it to be an autograph work by the artist, and has proposed a dating to the first half of the 1720s. We are grateful to her for endorsing the attribution to Lancret on the basis of a photograph. She has also suggested, given the tilt of the composition, that Fête champêtre with a dancing couple may originally have been an overdoor. The choice of format and the picture’s impressive figures, which dominate the lower half of the composition, would certainly support that idea. Fête champêtre with a dancing couple relates to two other works by Lancret that also feature the striking figure of the dancing man seen from behind; all three compositions have the male dancer poised in the same dance step. Of the two comparable pictures, one is at the palace of Sanssouci, Potsdam, The outdoor dance;1 the other, The pastoral dance, is at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam.2 Both were in the collection of Frederick II of Prussia – a devotee of French eighteenth-century art and particularly keen on Watteau and his contemporaries. Mary Tavener Holmes has also noted that the seated bagpipe player appears in another work in the collection of Frederick II, Fête galante with figures dancing a reel by a statue of Bacchus, at Schloss Charlottenburg, Berlin.3 Holmes’ dating would place the Fête champêtre with a dancing couple as the first of the pictures to include the balletic male dancer described above and close in date to Frederic II’s Fête galante at Charlottenburg, a picture of comparable scale and format. A beautiful drawing in the Rothschild collection at Waddesdon Manor served as a preparatory study in black and white chalk for the figure of the dancing man (fig. 1).4 Lancret lavished particular attention on details of the dancer’s costume, all meticulously rendered and faithfully translated into paint. The precise position of the cocked little finger of the right hand is closely scrutinised in the drawing and carefully delineated in the painting. It may be that he is holding castanets.5 First studied in monochrome, the costume’s silk folds and flamboyant vertical slashes are rendered even more striking in the final painting, with Lancret’s introduction of glimpses of pink fabric along the dancer’s back and thighs that harmonise with the rest of the picture, in particular his partner’s dress. The shimmering highlights of the costumes are characteristic of Lancret’s fluid brushstrokes. Lancret’s ability to paint dancers poised mid-step is seen here to striking effect. The prominent dancing couple in this work, would, during the course of the decade and the beginning of the 1730s, evolve into Lancret’s portraits of famous ballerinas in outdoor settings. His pictures of Mademoiselle Camargo dancing, for example, which exist in numerous versions, testify to Lancret’s ongoing devotion to dance as the subject matter of his narrative scenes. Georges Wildenstein in his monograph on the artist included just over 70 pictures of outdoor dances. 1 See M.T. Holmes in C. M. Vogtherr et al., Französische Gemälde I: Watteau, Pater, Lancret, Lajoüe, Berlin 2011, cat. no. 65, pp. 567–72. Inv. GK I 5635: Fête galante mit landlichen Menuett, 76 x 106 cm. 2 See M. T. Holmes in Vogtherr et al. 2011, cat. no. A16, pp. 680–82. Inv. 2583: Fête galante mit Hirten, 54 x 69 cm. 3 See M. T. Holmes in Vogtherr et al. 2011, cat. no. 56, pp. 503 ff., reproduced p. 505. Inv. GK I 4188: Das Moulinet, 129 x 95 cm. 4 Waddesdon Manor, inv. 1037. 5 J. Carey in London, Wallace Collection and Nottingham, Djanogly Art Gallery, Theatres of Life: Drawings from the Rothschild Collection at Waddesdon Manor, 8 November 2007 – 27 January 2008 and 12 April – 1 June 2008, no. 60.

  • GBRUnited Kingdom
  • 2015-04-28
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A rare pair of meissen porcelain figures of herring gulls circa 1750

The model attributed to Johann Joachim Kändler, each standing amongst reeds on a circular grassy mound base, one with its left foot raised, crossed swords marks in underglaze-blue. One with restoration to base, both with ends of tail feathers restored. Carl Albiker, Die Meissner Porzellantiere, (1959) p. 15 and pl. 91 illustrates a similar gull and attributes the model to Kändler, circa 1753, based on its model number 2014. Unfortunately Kändler's work reports for the period 1749-1764 do not survive, and the dating of pieces by sequential model numbers, which are known to have been reused and also used out of sequence, is not entirely reliable. Abraham L. den Blaauwen, Meissen Porcelain in the Rijksmuseum, p. 415, no. 303 illustrates a similar pair of gulls in the musuem's collection and suggests a date of circa 1750 on stylistic grounds. Similar pairs of gulls were in the Untermyer and  Wrightsman Collections, formerly in the Metropolitan Musuem of Art, New York, and sold respectively at Sotheby's, Monaco, May 26, 1980, lot 431 and Sotheby's, New York, April 14, 1980, lot 120. Den Blaauwen, ibid, also notes the existence of six further pairs or single birds (not specifed), including a pair which remain in the Sheafer Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and a single bird sold at Sotheby's, London, May 5, 1970, lot 98 and again in the same rooms on July 10, 1973, lot 116.

  • USAUSA
  • 2005-10-12
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A pair of gilt-bronze-mounted sèvres vases, circa 1816

Vase Cordelier, of the third size, vibrantly painted with hanging garlands of mixed flowers by Gilbert Drouet, tied with tooled gilded ribbons, reserved on a rich bleu lapisse en or ground heightened with gilded formal borders, palmettes, and stiff acanthus leaf, mounted with two gilt-bronze acanthus leaf scrolled handles and a foot mount, printed crowned interlaced LL marks in blue, Drouet/ 1816 in blue enamel, one with indistinct incised mark OZ NO I Deast() to underside of foot, The model of the vase Cordelier was created in 1787 and owes its name to the gilt-bronze ornaments including two putti and braided knotted ropes initially designed to fit the vase. On 11th December 1787, Pierre-Philippe Thomire received 3.392 livres for the purchase of 4 marcs of gold pour la dorure du vase à cordes.i A very tall vase Cordelier of the first size (115cm. high) with tortoise-shell ground and bronze putti and gilded-bronze cords was finished in 1793. A matching vase was produced in 1801 and they were together delivered for the Galerie dApollon in the Château de Saint-Cloud in 1801-1802, now preserved in the Musée du Louvre, inv. no. LP3272. Only two pairs dating from the late 18th century of the smallest size are recorded. A pair in biscuit with ornaments in bas-relief painted in gilding by Pierre-Louis-Philippe Armand and dated 1788 was sold at Sothebys London, 7th July 2009, lot 67 (52cm. h.). The other pair dated 1790 painted en-grisaille by Philippe Castel on a purple ground is now preserved in the Sèvres museum (45cm. h.).ii In 1801, Alexandre Brongniart père added two intermediary sizes. Two other vases of the first size with a lapis ground since 1804 have been in the Château de Fontainebleau.iii A pair of the second size of 1810 (90cm. h.) is in the Palazzo Pitti in Florence.iv The present pair of vases of the third size was painted by Gilbert Drouet (active from 17851825) and gilded by Charles Sébastien Sorel (active from 1815-1825) in February 1816 and en mont[age] (to be mounted with ormolu handles) in December 1816. They are described in the feuille dappréciation n°25 of 1816 as: 2 vases Cordelier 3eme gr sans anse fond bleu lapis au grand feu n° 14, deux gros boudins de fleurs gratées et peintes dans le fond, riche décor dornements incrustés, gratés, brunis à plat et à leffet, en or. The cost was 2.409 francs and the price was 3.000 francs without mounts. They were delivered on 20th September 1817 by order of the comte de Pradel, directeur général du Ministère de la Maison du Roi to the Grande Aumonerie de France as a gift for M. Augusto Brancadoro, one of three Pontifical Ablegates of Pope Pius VII with Constantin Fabrizi and Thommaco Carlo Caliaglini who also received gifts of porcelain on the same day.v The vases Cordelier given to Augusto Brancadoro are mentioned in the Registres des Présents as 2 Vases Cordeliers de 26 p[ouces] de hauteur fond bleu lapis guirlandes de fleurs ornements en or, garniture en bronze, priced at 6.000 francs. He also received a five piece déjeuner painted with flowers and gilded ornaments, two green-ground candélabres de table and a pair of vases fuseau with malachite-ground painted with jewels.vi Augusto Brancadoro born in Fermo in 1792, was a nephew of Cardinal Cesare Brancadoro, Archbishop of Fermo from 1803 to 1837. Augusto Brancadoro was sent to Vienna in 1816 and to Paris in 1817 to Cardinal de Talleyrand-Périgord, Archbishop of Paris. He was named vice-legate of Forli at his return in 1818 and died in Roma in 1823 at the age of 32. The technique of simulating lapis-lazuli in porcelain was first popular at Sèvres between 1778-1785. The earliest dated piece known decorated in this manner is a gobelet litron of 1778 now in the NationalMuseum, Stockholm. The technique in the 18th century was primarily used by the highly regarded artists Nicholas Schradre (active as a painter and gilder from 1773 to 1785) and Jean-Jacques Dieu (active as a gilder and painter from 1777-1791, 1794-1798 and 1801-1811), teawares painted by both artists with this ground colour are recorded.vii  The technique is perhaps best seen on the pairs of vase cygne à roseau en buire and vase chinois de côté, dated 1781, now in the Royal collection.viii The technique was reintroduced in the early 19th century. In 1811, one year before the Prince regent acquired the two pairs of vases mentioned above, the Sèvres factory produced the magnificent Service Iconagraphique Grec. Painted with cameo portraits from antiquity reserved on an bleu lapisse en or-type ground like the present vases, it was presented on July 13th of that year to Cardinal Fesch on the occasion of the baptism of the King of Rome (Napoléon II. son of Napoléon I and Marie-Louise). Production began on a second near identical service between 1812-1817. The service was entered into the factory's saleroom register on May19th, 1817 but was displayed in the Sèvres annual exhibition at the Louvre in January of 1818, and it was not until September of 1819 that the service actually left the factory's stock, when it was delivered to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for presentation to Pope Pius VII. Six plates from the service were sold 18th November 2010, lots 2-6. Three years before the present pair of vases was painted Drouet worked on the so-called Londonderry vase, a vase étrusque à Rouleaux, of the first size. Drouot painted the flowers and ornament whilst Christophe-Ferdinand Caron (active 1792-1815) painted the birds.ix Around the same time Drouet also worked on three vase Floréals , circa 1812-13, also painted with birds by Caron, gilded by Charles-Marie-Pierre Boitel (active 1797-1822). Two were delivered on orders of King Louis XVIII in December 1814, the third remained at the Sèvres warehouse until it was included in a presentation to the viceroy of Egypt in 1830.x Sothebys is grateful to Cyrille Froissart for his assistance in cataloguing this lot. [i] Arch. Cité de la céramique, registre Vf37, quoted by Tamara Préaud, op. cit., 1997, n° 52, p. 234. [ii] Published by Marie-Noël Pinot de Villechenon, op. cit., 1997, p. 47, n° 46. [iii] Published by Bernard Chevallier, op. cit.¸1996, n° 33 -34 p. 61. [iv] Published by Svend Eriksen, op. cit., 1973, n° 60, p. 112. [v] Arch. Sèvres, Cité de la Céramique, Vbb5 f° 14. [vi] The pair of vases fuseau was sold at Christies New York, 26th October 1995, lot 91. [vii] A coffee can and saucer by Schradre is in the V&A museum, C.121A-1922; a further example was sold at Christies London, 12th May 2010, lot 274. A Chinoiserie coffee can and saucer with lapis-lazuli ground colour by Dieu, dated 1782 was sold in the same rooms, 7th June 2013, lot 460. [viii] Published by de Bellaigue, op. cit, 2009, pp. 440-445, 454-457, nos. 102, 104. It has been suggested that the two pairs formed a garniture of five flanking a central vase Chinois de Milieu, in the collection at Château de Versailles, Inv. V5737; all five vases are published in the exhibition catalogue La Chine à Versailles, Art et Diplomatie au XVIIIe Siècle, 2014, pp. 246-247, no. 88. [ix] The vase entered the sales inventory on 9th December 1813. It was delivered to Charles Maurice de Talleyrand, then Ministre des Affaires Etranges on 2nd July 1814, who then in turn presented it to Robert Viscount Castlereagh, secretary of state for Foreign Affairs, see Tamara Préaud, op. cit., 1997, pp. 320-21, cat. no. 112. It is now in the collection of the Art Institute, Chicago, gifted to the museum in 1987, mus. No. 1987.1. For further reading see Lynn Springer Roberts, The Londonderry Vase: A Royal Gift to Curry Favor, Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies, Chicago, 1989, Vol. 15, No. 1, pp. 68-81, 88. [x] The only known surviving example is now in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, acc. no. 1991.439. See Tamara Préaud, op. cit., 1997, p. 198, cat. no. 29, where the author notes that they may have been intended for a palace in Rome.

  • GBRUnited Kingdom
  • 2017-05-04
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A sèvres green-ground déjeuner, circa 1775

Finely painted by Charles-Nicolas Dodin with scenes of rustic figures in arcadian landscapes, reserved on a green ground highlighted with rich tooled gilt foliate scroll bands at the rims, comprising a quatrefoil tray with ribbon tied handles (perhaps plateau 'á baguettes' or plateau 'ovale polylobé');an ovoid teapot and cover (théière 'Calabre') of the third size;a sugar bowl (pot à sucre 'Bouret') of the third size;and two coffee cans and saucers (gobelets 'Litron' et ses soucoupes) of the third size;interlaced LL marks in blue containing date letter X for 1775, painter's mark K in mauve or blue for Charles-Nicolas Dodin, gilder's mark LG for Étienne-Henry Le Guay (l'aîné), the tray with incised Jb or Th, and scrolling B. or .CD, the teapot and two saucers with cross potent symbol, the coffee cans with indistinct marks, This magnificent Sèvres déjeuner appears to be unrecorded in the literature and therefore can be treated as an important addition to the canon of the Sèvres painter Charles-Nicolas Dodin. All of the painted scenes, with the exception of those on the coffee cans which remain unidentified, are after engravings after works by François Boucher. Dodin used the following as sources: The tray: The scene is taken from the engraving by Les Charmes de la Vie Champêtre by Jean Daullé (1703-1763), after the 1737 painting by Boucher, which was announced in the Mercure de France in June 1757.i teapot: to one side, La Pipée by Gilles Demarteau (1722-1776), after Boucher;ii the reverse, Jeune paysanne assise avec un enfant et un chien by Demarteau, after Boucher; the sugar bowl: both sides incorporating figures from Bergère garnissant de fleurs son chapeau et berger dormant, by Demarteau, after Boucher;iii 1st saucer: Les Oeufs cassés by Demarteau, after Boucher; 2nd saucer: Le petit dénicheur de merles by Demarteau, after Boucher (figs. 1-6.) Dodin is regarded as one of the most celebrated painters ever to work at the Sèvres porcelain manufactory. His unusually long career, which began at Vincennes in April 1754 spanned the last five decades of the 18th century until his death in 1803. He was employed on some of the factories most important productions; in 1764-65 he painted a scene commemorating the birth of a grandchild of the Marquis de Courteille, finance director and patron of the Sèvres porcelain factory.iv Two plaques by Dodin were included in the gift from Louis XV to Christian VII of Denmark in 1768, one painted with the Sacrifice of Pan, for which he received 444 livres. In the year before this déjeuner was painted Madame du Barry received a guéridon preserved today in the Louvre Museum, painted by Dodin with the Grand Turk giving a concert to his mistress after Carl van Loo; he also painted a Royal portrait plaque depicting Charles Philippe, Comte d'Artois and his new wife Marie Thérèse de Savoie.v There has been some uncertainty as to the name of this tray form in the 18th century, and has been variously catalogued as plateau ovale polylobe and plateau à rubans. It is known that the form was made in only one size and that no plaster model has survived. The current attribution to the name baguette is partly based on an order in October 1773 by Monsieur Gantier, perhaps on behalf of Paul Petrovich, Grand Duke of Russia, who purchased a dejeuner a baguette fond dor emaillé avec attributs, armes et guirlandes cy 840 [livres], [tea set à baguettes gold ground, enamelled with attributes, weapons and garlands here 840 (livres)].vi It probably included a tray of the same form as the present example, decorated with the Dukes coat-of-arms, which is now in the Museé national de Céramique, Sèvres.vii The word baguette meaning piped or moulded which may refer to the form of the shaped rim. It is difficult to identify the present déjeuner in the Sèvres factory records as neither the painters records nor the kiln records survive before 1777 and 1778 respectively. Equally frustrating are the sale records from the 1760s onwards which frequently lack enough descriptive details such as shape or decoration to successfully link an entry to an item. Several examples are listed in 1775 ranging in price between 120 to 480 Livres, as well as lower priced examples. Included in the entries are the marchands-merciers Mr. Dulac and Mr. Poirier, the latter of which acquired three déjeuner, the most expensive being 336 Livres.viii A good comparable is a green-ground tray (plateau à filet et rubans) painted by Dodin in 1775 which in the British Museum, London.ix Dodin painted at least one other green-ground tea service in 1775, a surviving teapot, théière 'Calabre', with classical scenes after boucher is in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, object. no. BK-17511. Notable comparables of this form include a green-ground déjeuner, circa 1772, painted with flowers by Jacques-françois Micaud, from the collection of Edith M.K. Wetmore and Maude A.K. Wetmore, Parke-Bernet Galleries, Inc. at their residence, Château-sur-Mer, Newport, Rhode Island, sold 18th September 1969, lot 779, anon. sale; Sothebys New York, 11th October 1965, lot 305; a bleu-celéste déjeuner, circa 1774, painted with similar pastoral scenes after Boucher by Antoine Caton, gilded by Jean-Pierre Boulanger was sold by order of the Trustees of the late Lord Hillingdon, Christies London, 3rd July 1978, lot 262; and a beau bleu déjeuner, circa 1775, also gilded by Étienne-Henry Le Guay, but painted with harbour scenes by Jean-Louis Morin from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation collection is in the Metropolitan museum of Art, New York, acc. no. 58.75.103. [i] See de Bellaigue, 2009, Vol. I, p.301; de Rochebrune, 2012, pp. 114-15, for a vase Royal, circa 1768-70, painted with the scene from the Royal collection, and the source, where it is noted that in 1777 Dodin painted the same scene on the tray of a déjeuner Paris, seen by the compiler in 1980 at Madresfield Court, Worcestershire. Les Charmes de la Vie Champêtre was used by Dodin for the painted scene of a vase à baguette, the central vase of a green-ground garniture of five ordered in 1772 by Madame Victoire, daughter of Louis XV and aunt of Louis XVI for 2640 livres. Three of the vases were returned to the Palace of Versailles in 2013, the other two vases are in Metropolitan Museum, New York, see de Rochebrune, 2012, pp. 128-29. [ii] See de Rochebrune, 2012, p. 112-13, for a pair of vases Bachelier à anses tortillées, circa 1768, painted with the scene from the Royal Collection, and the source; a pair with a bleu-celéste ground, circa 1769, painted by Dodin with the scene is in the Wallace collection, London, inv. no. C292-3, see Rosalind Savill, The Wallace Collection - Catalogue of Sèvres Porcelain, London, 1988, Vol. II, pp. 301-304. [iii] It is interesting to note how the painters at Sèvres sometimes adapted prints or engravings when transferring scenes to porcelain, in the case of the present sugar bowl, Dodin has skilfully altered the source print to accommodate the limited space. See Savill, 1988, Vol. II, pp. 336-37, for a Vase cassolette Bachelier, circa 1767, painted with the scene in its entirety, and the source. The source print is split in a similar manner on the saucer of a gobelet et soucoupe enfonce, sold at Christies London, 10th June 2010, lot 111, the cup also incorporates the print Les Oeufs cases. [iv] Now in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, mus. no. 400-1872. [v]  mounted in an amaranth secrétaire à abattant, The Dimitri Mavrommaatis collection, sold Sothebys London, 8th July 2008, lot 47. [vi] Quoted by L. Roth, 2000, p. 202, where the author illustrates the J. Pierpont Morgan example, circa 1769; see p. 204, where the author lists known examples for 1773 ranging in price from 324 to 840 livres, the latter being the example for Peter Petrovich. [vii] Mentioned by Marcelle Brunet and Tamara Préaud, Sèvres, Des origines à nos jours, Fribourg, 1978, p. 176, no. 156, Inv. no. 5273. [viii] Archives, Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres, Registres des ventes, Vy 3, Vy 4, The Wallace Collection library, London. [ix] See Aileen Dawson, A catalogue of French Porcelain in the British Museum, London, 1994, pp. 139-141, no. 120, where it is noted that a déjeuner fond verd Mignature, costing as much 1,200 livres was presented to the Austrian Emperor and delivered on 3 April 1777 to Vergennes, the Foreign Minister.

  • GBRUnited Kingdom
  • 2017-03-28
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* 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.

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