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Rape of a Sabine Woman

This extraordinary bronze is a reduction of the most celebrated model by the great Florentine Mannerist sculptor, Giambologna. Depicting a moment from the legendary Rape of the Sabines, the original version in marble proved an instant success upon its installation on the Loggia dei Lanzi in Florence in 1583. Its technical innovation and breathtaking virtuosity inspired poetry and provoked an international demand for reductions of the sculptor’s models in bronze. Casts were soon owned by the major courts of Europe and continued to be highly prized by discerning collectors in and outside Italy. The refined quality of the present cast indicates an origin from the circle of the direct successors of Giambologna’s workshop, Gianfrancesco Susini and Ferdinando Tacca. The model “La gloria dell'intera arte divina Espressa nel triforme simulacro Idea, e norma a tutti i grandi artisti È, Gian Bologna mio la tua Sabina.” “The glory of all divine art embodied in a triform statue, an ideal and paradigm for all great artists, my Giambologna, is your Sabine.” – Bernardo Davanzati, 1583 (Sermartelli, op. cit., p. 7) Such was the poetic praise bestowed upon the sculptor to the Florentine Medici court following the unveiling of his phenomenal feat in marble, the three-figure group representing The Rape of a Sabine. Completed at the height of his career, the statue would not only prove Giambologna’s most successful composition, but also set a precedent for a novel way of conceiving sculpture in the round. By the 1570s the Fleming’s coolly elegant interpretation of the Mannerist style had established him as the principal sculptor in Florence. Giambologna enjoyed the patronage of the city’s most illustrious noblemen, above all the Medici Grand Dukes of Tuscany, who held an almost exclusive sway over his activity. In 1579 Giambologna completed a bronze for Ottavio Farnese, Duke of Parma, showing the struggle of a young woman being seized and suspended in mid-air by a virile abductor (now in the Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte, Naples). The finely balanced group served as a study for the artist’s desire to create a complex composition which experimented with the intertwining of bodies in an upwards motion. By the following year, Francesco I de’Medici’s demand for a monumental public sculpture had motivated the sculptor to adapt the composition for the medium of marble. Due to the necessity of supporting the group in stone, a third figure was added, that of the crouching older man at the bottom of the group. By balancing the three figures in a balletic upwards spiral, Giambologna ingeniously achieved what his great predecessor, Michelangelo, had merely preached: that sculpture should be “pyramidal, serpentine, or flame-like” (Avery, op. cit., p. 109). Giambologna had created the first sculptural group in Western art that had no dominant viewpoint but, instead, invited the viewer to observe the full extent of the action by circling it from all angles. Upon its completion the marble was given pride of place in the prestigious Loggia dei Lanzi on the Florentine Piazza della Signoria, replacing Donatello’s Judith, and was finally unveiled on 14 January 1583. The reception of the work was rapturous and raised Giambologna’s reputation to new heights. It is said that the group had been conceived with no particular subject in mind but simply as an opportunity for the sculptor to experiment with the combination of figures while demonstrating his exceptional skills as a marble carver. It was not until after its completion that the subject of the marble came to be determined. Tantalisingly left without a title, perhaps to inspire humanist debate, the group was soon associated with the classical legend of the Rape of the Sabine Women. Recounted by Livy in his History of Rome, the episode tells of the scarcity of women in the newly-founded Eternal City. After failed negotiations with neighbouring tribes, Rome’s founders invited the Sabine people to a festival, during which they violently seized their maidens and claimed them as wives. The women are said to have pleaded with their families not to reclaim them through battle in a bid to avoid unnecessary bloodshed, bringing about eventual peace. Renaissance Florence held a fascination with classical antiquity, and the legend’s connotations of power and diplomacy would no doubt have appealed to the rulers of the city. It appears that identifying the group with a well-known subject also heightened its emotional intensity. Remarkably, the ‘Ritratto della Sabina’ inspired the first collection of laudatory poems for a sculpture, published by Bartolomeo Sermartelli in October 1583 – only a few months after its unveiling. As well as exalting the sculptor’s technical excellence, many of the distinguished contributors to this publication explored the poignancy of a young woman being snatched from her helpless father by a man in the prime of his life. Visually, Giambologna conveyed this emotional drama through the anguished facial expressions of father and daughter, as well as his masterful characterisation in stone of three contrasting human conditions: weak old age, rugged youth, and female delicacy. The innovative feature of carving naturalistic dimples where the Roman’s fingers dig into his victim’s yielding flesh proved so successful in this regard that it was appropriated in the work of later sculptors, notably Bernini’s Rape of Proserpina. Visitors to the Tuscan capital continued to marvel at Giambologna’s tour de force of Mannerist sculpture well into the 17th century. A prominent admirer was John Evelyn, whose Diary records it as the “most stupendious” of compositions in marble (Avery, op. cit., p. 114). Its princely owners The universal acclaim for Giambologna’s revolutionary model was not confined to its first incarnation in marble but extended to the numerous reductions in bronze that were produced during and after the master’s lifetime. It has been observed that the marble’s position in the Loggia dei Lanzi is rather unsuited to the work, as its spatial constraints and visual obstructions discourage the viewer from walking around the statue and absorbing all its views. By contrast, being particularly apt for private study and handling, small bronze casts of the model enabled collectors to contemplate the composition from every possible angle. The Medici family recognised the appeal of Giambologna’s models in bronze and regularly sent the finest examples as diplomatic gifts to courts throughout Europe. Important recipients included the Holy Roman Emperors in Vienna and Prague, the Elector Christian I of Saxony in Dresden, and the King of France (see Avery, op. cit., p. 235). From the 1580s, Giambologna delegated the official production of his bronzes to his principal assistant, Antonio Susini, whose family continued to cast after his models until the 1660s. Giambologna’s own workshop passed into the hands of Pietro Tacca and later his son Ferdinando, who still used Giambologna’s moulds by the second half of the 17th century and produced casts on behalf of the Florentine sovereign (see Zikos, op. cit., p. 89). The Medici were thus able to meet demand for more or less ‘autograph’ Giambologna bronzes even after the master’s death in 1608. Although Giambologna’s grand-ducal patrons appear to have held a possessive claim over models produced specifically for their court, and 16th-century casts of The Rape of a Sabine are consequently rare if not non-existent, a number of bronze versions are recorded in the inventories of early modern European royalty. As early as the beginning of the 17th century, between 1607 and 1611, the three-figure group appears in the inventory of the Holy Roman Emperor, Rudolf II. The Habsburg ruler, who had moved his court from Vienna to Prague, was among the greatest collectors and patrons of the arts Europe had ever seen, and as such clearly did not miss the opportunity to inspect Giambologna’s artistic master stroke at first hand. By 1626 another cast belonged to King Vladislaus IV of Poland, while an inventory from 1658 records the same model in the collection of Prince Karl Eusebius of Liechtenstein. Even more than 100 years after the original statue’s completion, The Rape of a Sabine appears to have been an invaluable asset to a monarch’s collection; a cast was recorded in King Louis XIV’s Versailles in 1693 (see Hill Collection, op. cit., p. 148). An anecdote elucidating the reception of Giambologna bronzes as diplomatic gifts is provided by the well-documented marriage negotiations between Henry Prince of Wales, son of King James I, and Caterina de’ Medici. Cosimo II de’Medici was intensely keen to bring about the alliance, prompting him to promise the Prince a collection of his favourite models by the Florentine court sculptor in bronze. The Prince was flattered when offered the gift by the Florentine ambassador in 1609 and, testifying to the international fame the model had achieved, demanded above all a reduction of The Rape of a Sabine. When at least some of the models he had requested finally arrived in 1612, Henry is said to have been enchanted by their appearance: “He handled each one repeatedly, studying, admiring and praising every part, every detail” (Watson and Avery, op. cit., p. 501). Accounts such as this illustrate the vital role these bronze reductions played in the dissemination of enthusiasm for Giambologna’s work outside Italy. This existed not only among the nobility but pertained to all intellectual and connoisseurial circles. The prominent appearance of The Rape of a Sabine alongside other models by Giambologna in an allegorical painting by Jan Brueghel the Younger gives an unmistakeable impression of the European veneration for the sculptor. The Sabine, his most successful model, continued to be copied widely in bronze and other media until the 19th century. Evidence for its enduring appeal to the princely courts of Europe is the acquisition of a prime cast of the group in 1980 by Prince Franz Josef I von und zu Liechtenstein. It was considered a replacement for the cast recorded in 1658, which had been sold in the early 20th century (Liechtenstein, op. cit., p. 177). The cast The present cast of The Rape of a Sabine may be counted among the rare examples of exceptional quality that are likely to originate from Giambologna’s immediate artistic following. The cast is distinguished from lesser versions through the high level of detail in the anatomy of the figures. Note the veins showing clearly in the men’s arms and hands, the naturalistically modelled recesses in the ribcages, back musculature, and sinews of the legs, and the finely cast feet and fingers, including those digging into the Sabine’s flesh. Like all bronze reductions of the model, the present version differs in some aspects from the marble prototype. The marble is composed in a narrower upwards stream, the older man’s knee is bent at a higher angle, and his and the woman’s bodies are more erect than in the present bronze, making the arrangement of the figures appear more vertical. While the emotional facial expressions of Giambologna’s original figures are largely retained, the woman’s hair accessory has been changed from a simple fillet to a coronet. The latter is a common feature of the bronze versions thought to have been cast by Antonio Susini, and therefore either during Giambologna’s lifetime or soon after the master’s death. One such cast is in the Hill Collection (Wengraf, op. cit., pp. 148-157), which is not far removed from ours with regard to the appearance of the figures’ anatomy and the carefully stippled base in the form of a rock. However, differences such as the sharply incised pupils and the highly refined chasing of the hair, which is characteristic of Antonio Susini’s work, indicate a later facture for the present bronze. Another variation is found in the positioning of the figures; although the Roman stands higher on the base, the overall height of the present group is shorter by around 4 centimetres due to its more horizontal structure. The height of the present bronze does, however, correspond to that of two casts of The Rape of a Sabine that have been attributed respectively to Antonio’s son, Gianfrancesco Susini (Richmond, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, inv. no. 97.126) and Ferdinando Tacca (formerly collection of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé, sold Christie’s Paris, 25 February 2009, lot 567). Both casts also parallel the present version’s more horizontal arrangement of the figures. A possible authorship by either of these 17th-century inheritors of Giambologna’s models is therefore worth exploring. A punched base similar to that of our group is present in many of Gianfrancesco Susini’s works, including a bronze variant of Giambologna’s Hercules Slaying the Centaur group in the Quentin Collection (Leithe-Jasper, op. cit., no. 15). Another bronze by Gianfrancesco that may be compared to the present cast is The Abduction of Helen in the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles (inv. no. 90.SB.32). Note, in particular, Helen’s hairstyle which, like that of the present Sabine, covers her ears, and the closely comparable treatment of the hair of the woman at the bottom of Susini’s group. However, a contrast is found in the incised pupils and the shape of the base which, as in most of Gianfrancesco’s bronzes, is wavy rather than rocky in shape. Even more exciting but similarly inconclusive comparisons may be made with casts by Ferdinando Tacca, the second successor of Giambologna’s own studio. Like those in the present cast, Ferdinando’s figures tend to have unincised pupils, which is also the case with the above-mentioned Sabine cast attributed to him. The sharp but comparatively summary treatment of the hair and the woman’s softly rounded facial features in that version compare well to the present cast, in addition to the closely similar arrangement of the figures that has already been noted. The facial type of the Roman, with his prominent but rather short nose, too, is typical of Ferdinando’s figures, such as those attributed to the artist by Anthony Radcliffe (see Radcliffe, op. cit.). However, a feature which these bronzes and Tacca’s Sabine cast have in common is a very fine wavy pattern in the stippling of the naturalistic bases, which differs from the broader and more angular pattern on the present base. The generally soft and wavy hair of most of Tacca’s figures is another indication that the present bronze is unlikely to be an autograph work by this master. Although the present cast of The Rape of a Sabine cannot be attributed with certainty to a member of the Susini or Tacca family, it displays striking similarities with the works discussed above, and the unusually high quality of its casting is characteristic of these direct successors of Giambologna’s workshop. It is therefore possible to associate the present cast with their immediate milieu in mid-17th-century Florence, which continued to venerate the Flemish master’s work as the epitome of sculptural ideals. As we have seen, reductions of this quality were produced for the most discerning of collectors, and the genius of Giambologna’s most iconic model is conveyed to full effect in this remarkable cast. RELATED LITERATURE B. Sermartelli, Alcune Composizioni di diversi autori in lode del ritratto della Sabina, Florence, 1583; K. Watson and C. Avery, ‘Medici and Stuart: a Grand Ducal Gift of ‘Giovanni Bologna’ Bronzes for Henry, Prince of Wales (1612)’, The Burlington Magazine, 115, 1973, pp. 493-507; A. Radcliffe, ‘Ferdinando Tacca, The Missing Link in Florentine Baroque Bronzes’, Kunst des Barock in der Toskana, Munich, 1976, pp. 14-23; Die Bronzen der Fürstlichen Sammlung Liechtenstein, exh. cat. Museum Alter Plastik, Frankfurt, 1986, pp. 176f., no. 16; C. Avery, Giambologna. The Complete Sculpture, Oxford, 1987; M. Leithe-Jasper and P. Wengraf (eds.), European Bronzes from the Quentin Collection, exh. cat. Frick Collection, New York, 2004, pp. 166-173; W. Seipel (ed.), Giambologna. Triumph des Körpers, exh. cat. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, 2006, pp. 120f., pp. 273-275; D. Zikos, ‘Die Dresdner Giambolognas. Apologie ihrer Eigenhändigkeit’, Giambologna in Dresden. Die Geschenke der Medici, exh. cat. Grünes Gewölbe, Dresden, Munich, 2006, pp. 89-94; P. Wengraf (ed.), Renaissance and Baroque Bronzes from the Hill Collection, London, 2014, pp. 148-155, pp. 194-199

  • GBRStorbritannien
  • 2015-07-08
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Joseph-émmanuel zwiener fl. circa 1875-1900 an important gilt-bronze

Hamburg, the art-case designed by Joseph-Émmanuel Zwiener with serial number 108641, made circa 1902-1904, the bronze mounts attributed to designs by Léon Messagé or Otto Rohloff, the Steinway musical instrument with serial number 15410, made in 1911the hinged serpentine gilt-bronze molded top decorated on the border with an elaborate marquetry foliate and flowering garland, the case with gilt-bronze mounts, including a musical trophy centered by a violin to the back and each side with two identical cartouches, one with the cloud-borne Apollo playing the harp and flanked by seated musical nymphs, the other with musical putti at play, above an overflowing vase allegorical of the Source, all within foliate and berried encadrements, one chute bearing the signature F. Linke Joseph-Émmanuel Zwiener was born in Heidau, Germany on December 1, 1849 and was recorded as working in Paris at 2, rue de la Roquette in the heart of Faubourg Saint-Antoine between 1882 and 1895.  The exceptional quality of Zwiener's craftsmanship and his extensive usage of fine gilt bronze is comparable to the work of famed ébéniste François Linke (1855-1946).  Working in several styles which were fashionable in Paris at the time, Zwiener copied mainly Louis XV pieces from public collections, adapting them in his own extravagant interpretation of the Rococo. At the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1889, he was awarded the prestigious Médaille d'or for an exceptional Sèrre-Bijoux which brought high praise from the jurists: 'dès ses débuts d'une Exposition universelle, [il] s'est mis au premier rang par la richesse, la hardiesse et le fini de ses meubles incrustés de bronzes et fort habilement marquetés.' The Sèrre-Bijoux sold, Christie's, London, March 17, 2011, lot 409 for £623,650. The companion long-case clock to the Sèrre-Bijoux was sold most recently in these rooms, October 26, 2010, lot 147 for $722,500.  In 1896, Zwiener was summoned to Berlin at the request of Kaiser Wilhelm II of Prussia (1859-1941) at Schloss Neues Palais, Sans Souci, Potsdam for whom he supplied a series of furnishings circa 1898-1900.  He had previously produced a copy of the Bureau du Roi for Ludwig II in 1884, another version of which was exhibited at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1889. Many of these royal commissions for the German royal palaces were later brought to Huis Doorn in Utrecht, Netherlands, in 1918, where the Kaiser lived until his death in 1941.  Zwiener was recorded as an exhibitor for the German Pavillion at the 1900 Exposition Universelle, exhibiting a Rococo bedroom set, under his former German name Julius Zwiener.  This set was formerly made for the Kaiser and was sold in these rooms June 29, 1989, lot 270-5 to the Stately Castles and Gardens in Berlin. The date of manufacture of the present art-case piano fits within the period in which Joseph-Emmanuel (Julius) Zwiener regained his independence from the Kaiser and worked at 75, Lidenstrasse, Berlin. It is not surprising that the renowned company Steinway & Sons, based in Hamburg, called upon the gifted cabinet maker to work on the design of the present art-case piano.  A series of art-case creations was first promoted during the tenure of William Steinway (1876-1896) (Ratcliffe, op.cit p. 149). It is difficult to attribute the design of the gilt-bronze mounts to either Messagé or Rohloff as both gifted sculptors worked with Zwiener on numerous commissions. Otto Rohloff (1863-1919) was a sculptor and chaser from Berlin.  He studied at the Academy of Applied Arts in his hometown.  From1896 he was a teacher at the Royal Applied Arts Museum.  He recieved various commissions from the German Imperial House. (See, exh. cat. Kaiserliches Gold und Silber, Schätze der Hohenzollern aus dem Schloss Huis Doorn, Berlin, 1985, pp. 100, 120-123.)  Collaborations between Zwiener and Rohloff can be found aforementioned bedroom suite exhibited at the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1900. Léon Messagé was a gifted Parisian sculptor designing bronze mounts for Zwiener in the 1880s and for François Linke, circa 1895. His Croquis & Dessins, Style Louis XV, Bronzes, Orfêvrerie, Décoration, Meubles was first published by the sculptor himself, from his Paris address of 40, rue Sedaine. There were five sections with an elaborate title page surmounted by the sculptor's cipher or talisman of a wing, a play on his own name as the messenger to the Gods, a feature he incorporated many times on the mounts he designed for his patron.  The interesting connection between the three masters, Léon Messagé, Joseph-Emanuel Zwiener and François Linke can be seen in a photograph of Messagé's workplace, illustrated Christopher Payne, François Linke, 1855-1946 - The Belle Epoque of French Furniture, Woodbridge, 2003, p. 74, pl. 72, which shows the impressive model of the large Linke régulateur, index number 551, together with a photograph of Zwiener's cabinet that won the gold medal in 1889. The collaboration between Zwiener and Messagé can also be found on another piano à queue sold in these rooms on April 15, 2011 for $1,112,500. Other known examples include a piano of comparable form with the same floral marquetry design to the lid in a private European collection.  A similar piano is featured in the 1956 George Sidney movie The Eddy Duchin Story.

  • USAUSA
  • 2012-10-24
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A flemish renaissance tapestry, `david receives bathsheba and the

Woven in silk and wool, with narrative groups of figures in contemporary fashion, representing personages from The Story of David, including King David, Bathsheba and Uriah (Samuel 2, 11-12), with repeat unidentified lettering incorporated within the hem of a robe, and initials `M.A.' on the red collar of the greyhound, within a four-sided  with alternating sections of floral and fruiting grape vine trails against a dark blue ground, within narrow golden bands: the reverse with a section from the original lining bearing the printed stamp of the Castro-Serna family; designs in manner of Jan van Roome, unidentified cartoonist and weaver Without town or weaver's marks. It was only as a result of the ordinance of 16th May 1528, that each tapestry larger tan three ells was required to have the Brussels town mark and the weaver's mark, or reference to whoever had commissioned the tapestry.  Then in 1546 with the Imperial Edict of 1544, other weaving centres were obliged to abide to this legislation. The provenance of the tapestry is known from the mid 19th century onwards. The reverse of the tapestry retains a section of original lining with the original ink printed stamp of the Marquis of Castro. A family whose collection included fabrics of extraordinary quality, such as the pontifical canopy, a tapestry panel depicting The Vision of Ezekiel, commissioned by Pope Leo X in 1520, woven in the Brussels workshop of Pierre van Aelst (1450-1533), from cartoons by Rafael and Tomasso Vincidor (now in the Museum of Decorative Arts in Madrid).  It was acquired in around 1830 for the Castro-Serna Collection, with another tapestry from the same suite (now in The Vatican, Rome). Interestingly another object with a prior Castro-Serna provenance, a gilt-bronze mounted Sèvres fond violet porcelain vase, Louis XVI, circa 1768, was sold Sotheby's, London, Treasures: Princely Taste, 6th July 2011, lot 1. Margaret of Austria and Tapestry weaving in Brussels in the Sixteenth Century At the transition of the 15th/16th century, and a move into the Renaissance, the two different styles coexisted in harmony in using the pictorial tradition, the graphic developments and the influences of the Italian fifteenth century and later. Italian Raphael school designs revolutionised high quality tapestry production, but they were not used in isolation, but taken up by Brussels designers and combined with traditional Netherlandish devices, such as multiple narratives, extensive patterning and attention to landscapes. In Flanders this period coincides with the Regency of Margaret of Austria (b.1480, d.1530) as her father Emperor Maximilian named her governor of the Habsburg Netherlands between 1507-1515, and 1517-1530) as guardian of her young nephew Charles (the future Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor). Margaret was a great patron of the arts, with painters in her Mechelen based court, and a library which included the famous illuminated manuscripts of Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry.  Margaret exercised important influence over the development of the Netherlandish tapestry industry during a crucial phase in its transition.  She was a conscientious guardian to her inherited historic tapestry collection and added to it, with Brussels benefitting from particular attention. Workshops recorded to have produced tapestries for Margaret of Austria, included those of the Brussels weaver Pieter de Pannemaker between 1518-1522, and Pieter van Aelst (whose name has been found woven within tapestry panels), and the court painter Bernard van Orley is documented to have been involved in the designs. The weaver's considered for the recorded Roome series, The Story of David and Bathsheba (Château d'Ecouen), are Pierre d'Enghien and Pierre Van Aelst in collaboration with Pierre de Pannemaker. Moralising and didactic allegorical series were woven in Brussels, including The Twelve Ages of Man, circa 1515 (Metropolitan Museum of Art) which included a portrait of Margaret within the figural groupings. Another portrait of Margaret appears in a tapestry depicting The Legend of Notre-Dame du Sablon¸woven in Brussels, circa 1516-1518 (Musée Royaux d'Art et d'Histoire de Bruxelles). Certain details are reminiscent of the ceremonial proceedings at the court of the Dukes of Burgundy, whereby the initials M. A. on the collar of a greyhound in the lower right corner, could allude to the initials of Margaret of Austria /Maison d'Autriche, which also appear on the trappings on the horses in a panel from the series of The Story of David and Bathsheba at the Château d'Ecouen. The Flemish style in the tapestries of the early 16th century is still dominant, and compositions show groups of contemplative figures, dressed in elaborate robes and accessories. Series of large and small tapestries were produced in Brussels. The Brussels weaving (approx. 327 by 364cm) of the Justice of Trajan (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston), previously attributed to Philipp van Orley in collaboration with Jan van Roome by Göbel, was taken from a Medieval source of a moralising poem. Interestingly it has a similar compositional balance to the present tapestry, in addition to similar figural types, and inclusion of a grey hound with collar in the foreground, and a similar border, albeit on a lighter ground. Without inscriptions and attributes woven within the tapestries, the subjects are not always easily identified. For example, incorporated in this tapestry there are letters within the lower band of the robe of a turbaned figure in the lower right corner (repeated in the top right corner), and on a the belt of the young man holding the urn, far centre right of the composition, which need further research. Bernard van Orley's designs were inspired by Albrecht Durer (1471-1528) who on spending time in 1520-1528 in the Low Countries, left many sets of his prints behind as gifts. For an example of this influence combined with a new sense of space there is a tapestry panel of the Last Supper (Museo d'arte Sacra, Camaiore) from the series of The Passion, documented in 1520 as woven in Brussels by Pieter de Pannemaker for Margaret of Austria. It is within a virtually identical border style and with inclusion of a textile baldacchino of voided velvet. Jan van Roome and collaborators A tapestry which is considered to be a reference for this new style is the Miraculous Communion of Herkinbald, Brussels, workshop of Lyon (de Smedt), after designs by Jan van Roome, circa 1513, (Museés Royaux d'art de d'Histoire, Brussels).  It was commissioned by the Fraternity of the Blessed Sacrament in St. Peter's Church in Louvain, and in 1513, Rhine guilders were paid to `master Jan van Brussel' for the petit patrón, `Philip the painter' for the full-size cartoon interpretation, and `Lyon, the tapestry worker in Brussels' for the weaving. Jan van Roome, was a Flemish painter who worked mainly drawing models for various art forms, including retables, sculptures and stained glass windows (for window drawing see E. Dhanens, Gazette des Beaux-Arts, April 1959, 215-224), and produced plans for the enclosure around the Baliënhof in front of the Ducal Place in Brussels. Van Roome designed the windows, choir-stalls, and statues, in Flamboyant Gothic style, for Margaret's funerary church in Brou, which was completed in 1532. The Story of David Along with tapestry series of the subject depicting the Passion of Christ, and The Story of Esther, the Biblical Story of David and Bathsheba was very popular and King David served as an influential figure for the Renaissance Prince, as King David was anointed by the prophet Samuel, had the gift of prophecy and repented after he has sinned, was warrior, ruler and statesman. He was important in Christian art through the Book of Matthew, for not being a prefiguration of Christ, but being a direct ancestor.  The subject of The Story of David was one of the most popular series woven in Brussels in the first half 16th century, having been a subject used from the 14th century. Other comparable tapestries are a group in the Royal Collection, Madrid, originally owned by King Manuel I of Portugal (recorded in 1505), another set for King Henry VIII of England, and another hung in Toledo Cathedral by Cardinal Quiroga in 1580, of which all that remains today is the first panel, the Entry of the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem. An important and comprehensive Renaissance series of ten tapestries, From the Story of David, has been attributed to Jan van Roome and collaborators, possibly woven through collaboration of Brussels weavers, including Pierre d'Enhien and Pierre van Aelst and Pierre de Pannemaker. The attribution to Jan van Roome designs is as a result of the inclusion of the balustrade from the Baliënhof designs being used in the tapestry panel entitled  David summons Bathsheba to his palace, circa 1510-1516 (Musée National de la Renaissance, Ecouen). It has similar compositional motifs albeit smaller figures in reliefs across the foreground and background, within a virtually identical border to the present panel. The attributed identical drawing (40 by 64.8cm) used for this tapestry panel, without the border design, is in the Corcorcan Gallery of Art, Washington (Acc.No.26.192 – W.A.Clarke Collection). The composition of the panel offered shows direct similarities to a tapestry, from the Story of David and Bathsheba, described as David receives Bathsheba and the departure of Uriah, (albeit not the same overall composition), woven in silk and wool, recorded as after designs by Jan van Roome (act. 1498-1521), from La Seo Cathedral in Zaragoza (Fig. 1). The figural groups which are the same are the standing figures of David and Bathsheba in the left corner foreground of the present tapestry and the standing figures between them, and the building has a similar balcony and two figures looking outward, and the prow of the ship in the background is similar. There are three tapestries from The Story of David, in the Spanish Royal Collection, including a panel depicting David receives Bathsheba in his palace, Brussels, with metal-threads, which shows similar conception of groupings and balcony figures to the present tapestry, and includes the initials De Moer (which probably relate to subject matter rather than designer, cartoonist or weaver) and the subject is identified within the banderole in the top border (Palacio Real, Madrid). Attributions Based on the documentary evidence that The Miraculous communion of Herkinbald which is considered to have been designed by van Roome, many pre-Renaissance style tapestries have been attributed to van Roome, although the designs reflect largely the cartoons of `Master Philip', with cartoonists working in a generic manner that characterised the work of many Brussels designs at this time The transitional – Pre-Renaissance period in the tapestry industry designed compositions that used a large number of figures in relief across the tapestry, set within open landscape and architectural settings, with emphasis on the costume, visual richness of details and there was a somewhat limited sense of movement and creation of illusion in subtle rhetoric gestures. It was a formula that suited the sophistication of requirements, the scale and nature of the medium.  Crowding figures allowed cartoonists to adapt and re-use figures which was an advantage to meet the fashion and demands of the time, and the costs of production, with interpretations varying in the different qualities of the series woven. It was a formula used amongst the cartoonists and weavers, and resulted in the style continuing during the first two decades of the 16th century.  The crowding of figures allowed for adaption of figures from one tapestry design to the other and one subject to another, with all dressed in contemporary fashion, whether mythological, allegorical, Biblical, classical or historical subjects. Very little is known of the artists and cartoonist involved in the production.  With the lack of documentary evidence, clear names either for the subject, the patron, or for those involved in the production, factors for consideration  are the varied design influences, the involvement of painters as designer, interpretations by cartoonists and then weaver's, and often the collaboration of the artists within the towns and workshops. These factors along with the adaption of design elements, especially from the well known series, results in treating undocumented attributions with caution. There are works by the recorded designers and cartoonists which have not resulted in attributions of specific tapestry series, due to the sharing of the aforementioned formal motifs by the industry. An example of an exception is a tapestry by Lenaart Knoest the elder (fl.1501-1517), who produced numerous cartoons, and can be firmly attributed to the production of one tapestry of The Discovery of the True Cross (Musée Royaux d'Art et d'Histoire de Bruxelles), as his name was woven within the design.  Another designer considered at this time is Colyn de Coter (ca.1455-1525), although his numerous paintings and designs particularly for figures and anatomy which appear in tapestries, are without documentary evidence, and therefore it would be unwise to attribute him to the cartoons. Jan van Roome was an important and influential designer during the first twenty years of the 16th century. Although this tapestry cannot be attributed with certainty to a designer, cartoonist or workshop, this does not detract from the importance of this tapestry, it's fine weave, balanced composition and colouring and it's survival. Auction Comparables, (with similar compositional balance and the same narrow floral border on blue ground) The Story of Oedipus, An important late Gothic mythological narrative tapestry, circa 1500-1512, (approx. 340 by 405cm), in the manner of Jan van Roome, Sotheby's, London, 11th July 2001, lot 30 A late Gothic tapestry, South Netherlands, probably Brussels, circa 1525, (approx. 345 by 270cm) within the same narrow floral border on blue ground, Sotheby's, London, 8th December 1995, lot 23, From the Collection of Baroness Gabrielle Bentinck-Thyssen, perhaps from workshop of Pieter van Aelst, after a follower of Jan van Roome Two late Gothic tapestries, from The Story of Perseus, Brussels, perhaps from workshop of Gabriel van der Tommen, circa 1525, (approx. 358 by 415cm, and 350 by 397cm), Sotheby's, London, 26th October 1993, lots 2 and 3, From the Raoul Heibronner Collection, Sold Paris 1921 A Gothic tapestry of a court scene, possibly Solomon and Queen of Sheba, Brussels, circa 1520, (approx. 315 by 310cm), Sotheby's, London, 28th September 1987, lot 87 The Marriage of Oedipus, A Gothic tapestry,  circa 1510, (approx. 335 by 411cm), Sotheby's, London, 11th December 1970, lot 3

  • GBRStorbritannien
  • 2012-07-04
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AN AUGSBURG MOTHER-OF-PEARL, HORN AND BRASS-INLAID, TORTOISESHELL, PORCELAIN, SILVER AND ORMOLU-MOUNTED ORGAN PRUNKUHR

AN AUGSBURG MOTHER-OF-PEARL, HORN AND BRASS-INLAID, TORTOISESHELL, PORCELAIN, SILVER AND ORMOLU-MOUNTED ORGAN PRUNKUHR CIRCA 1725-1730, THE PORCELAIN PROBABLY MEISSEN AND DECORATED IN THE AUFFENWERTH WORKSHOP (AUGSBURG) The case modelled in three tiers, the upper tier surmounted by a winged and sword-bearing angel finial above a painted porcelain plaque depicting an abbess, framed above by a coronet by winged putti to the sides, above an architectural niche backed with silvered mirror panels and flanked by mother-of-pearl pilasters, with penwork flooring and centred by an ormolu figure of Mars with Cupid (associated, probably 17th Century), with two painted porcelain columns decorated with Chinoiserie designs to each side, each with ormolu composite capital; the middle tier with conforming columns and pilasters and with inlaid coloured mother-of-pearl portrait roundels to the sides, flanking a brass dial pierced beneath its silver trellis-work spandrels, silvered Roman and Arabic chapter ring, matted centre with mock pendulum aperture, signed on its back plate Melchior Balthazar, the arch with mother-of-pearl roundel of a gentleman, the associated clock movement with rectangular plates joined by five back-pinned pillars, converted to anchor escapement with Brocot suspension and with outside calibrated countwheel strike on later bell; the lower tier inlaid on its upper surface with Chinoiserie figures in coloured mother-of-pearl and with profile portraits of Europeans to the sides and front angles, the front apron panel inlaid with figures in stylised exotic costume and flanked by silver male mounts emblematic of Peace and War, on four hairy paw feet, this section housing the organ movement with single fusee and barrel driving a wooden barrel for bellows sounding on nine (formerly ten) small lead pipes 31½ x 19¾ x 10¼ ins. (80 x 50 x 26 cms.)

  • GBRStorbritannien
  • 2007-07-05
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A german parcel-gilt silver display vase, nicolas ostertag, augsburg, 1689-1692

Fitted with embossed female personifications of Autumn and Winter, siren and shell handles,  enclosed by embossed and chased acanthus interrupting appliques of fruit and flowers, detachable cover, marked on cover, body, stem, foot and handles, also with post 1893 French import marks and  Museum für Angewandt Kunst (MAK) painted red painted inventory reference GO 1946 (foot) and GO 1964 (sic) 36034 (body) As a display of power, the use of large items of silver furniture such as this vase was an indispensable part of European court ceremonial at the end of the 17th century. Other vases by Nicolas Ostertag are recorded such as three made for the Duke of Anhalt Dessau. The most complete surviving group, seven vases, representing The Four classical Elements were made in Augsburg by Albrecht Biller, to decorate a chimney mantlepiece for Landgrave Charles of Hesse-Cassel  around 1700.  (Museumslandschaft Hessen Kassel B II.1-7). It is possible that the current vase and its pair were commissioned by Louis William Margrave of Baden (1655-1707) Turkenlouis, commander-in-chief of the imperial army, for his new palace,  Schloss Rastatt, although they subsequently spent many years in a church. The vase now offerred for sale, together with its pair were included in the 1881 Karlsruhe exhibition - organised in honour of the silver wedding of Grand duke Friedrich I. (1826-1907) and Grand duchess Luise (1838-1923) of Baden and including numerous loans from private and public collections – as no. 1665 in cabinet XXIII, can be traced back with certainty to 22 October 1813. They appear in records at this moment as part of the disposable stock of liturgical equipment for churches in Baden, with the request that they be made available for the just-completed neo-classical Catholic parish church of St Stephan in Karlsruhe, built by Friedrich Weinbrenner from 1808 and inaugurated in 1814 1. Carl Friedrich of Baden (1728-1811) who had united the two margravates of Baden-Durlach and Baden-Baden, was a generous benefactor to the catholic parish of Karlsruhe and had given it a number of important items. In 1808 for example on the laying of the cornerstone of St Stephan he presented the church with a gold and enamel chalice made exactly 200 years earlier, given then to the treasure of the dome in Speyer by dean Adolf von Wolff-Metternich.  The so called Wolff-Metternich chalice was also exhibited at the exhibition in 1881 and later also became the property of Mayer Carl Rothschild and is now a treasure of the Metropolitan museum, New York (acc. no. 17.190.371).  Carl Friedrich had acquired the chalice and many other items of church property as part of the dissolution of clerical states and cloisters which occurred in 1803 and 1806 as a result of the French Revolution and subsequent wars. The vases remained at St. Stephan from 1813-1881 when the written records of communication between various church authorities show that there was interest in selling them. The church needed money and an antique dealer  called Falk, (also probably wrongly referred to as as Frank)  Der Antiquar Frank zum russischen Hofe in Frankfurt who had seen them before the exhibition had offered 20,000 Marks for the pair. They are referred to by the church authority with their exhibition and cabinet number, so there is no doubt as to their identity. The painter Georg Gimbel in Baden-Baden, whose own collection was acquired by the Grand duke for the public museums, after his death, advised that the price was very good and they should take it. None the less the Church tried to get more from the dealer, who sent an agent to Karlsruhe to explain that this was his final offer. On 11th October 1881 the Katholischer Oberstiftungsrath sent a report to the Erzbischöfliches Capitels-Vicariat Freiburg pressing for permission to sell the vases, because Falk/Frank was pushing to take delivery by 17th October. They repeated the existing argument of excellent price and need, but revealed new reasons why they should be allowed to sell. The new argument was that the vases were not religious and had previously stood in a palace.   They are described disparagingly as having mythological figures, and formerly stood in the palace of Rastatt .  Dieselben scheinen ursprünglich keine kirchliche Bestimmung gehabt zu haben, sind mit mythologischen Figuren ausgestattet u. sollen früher im Schlosse zu Rastatt gestanden haben.   This argument won over the Erzbischöfliches Capitels-Vicariat who recommended selling on 13 October for reasons which included the profane character of the vases. Surprisingly, soon after this, the church in Karlsruhe did sell a church treasure, the Wolff-Metternich gold and enamel chalice already mentioned. The vases though which were finally sold on 19th October 1881 did not, for some reason go to Falk/Frank. They were bought by the Frankfurt dealer J & S Goldschmidt for the same amount 20,000 Marks that had already been offerred2.  J & S. Goldsmith were undoubtedly agents for Mayer Carl Rothschild whose estate they helped divide after his death in 1886 . There is no definite proof that the vases stood in the Palace of Rastatt as the church authorities in Karlsruhe stated, but there is some evidence that is was so. Firstly it is clear that they were not originally intended for church use.  Secondly the margravate of Baden Baden which included Rastatt, and Baden Durlach where Karlsruhe lies, were united in 1771 under the Margrave of Baden Durlach, with his court in Karlsruhe. Records made in 1772, but referring back, have revealed a pair of vases in the Rastatt palace church Zum Heiligen Kreuz that correspond with the current vase.  The weight of these 2 grosse silbern zier vergoldte orne, which regularly appear in the inventories with six other vases, tally with the current example quite accurately. It appears also that the Rastatt silver treasury was sending vases to the palace church, perhaps when they became unfashionable, as two are recorded added to the group of vases already in the church in 1768, so aus der Silber Camer gegeben worden sind. 3 At Karlsruhe in 1881, this vase was exhibited with its pair. Together they represent the Four Seasons (not the Continents as they have been described). After purchase by Mayer Carl, they were separated by family division, on his death in 1886. One vase was left to Mayer Carl’s eldest daughter Adèle-Hannah (1843-1922), the other to his third daughter Laura-Therèse (1847-1931). They are clearly identifiable, but not distinguishable, as no. 131a in the Ersten Theiles and no. 133a in the Dritten Theiles,  two of the five catalogues dividing  Mayer Carl’s works of art,  of well over 500 mostly German silver pieces, at Gunthersburg (the Frankfurt country house) into equal portions amongst five of his daughters. They are described by the committee which created the portions and included the distinguished academic Ferdinand Luthmer and Julius Goldschmidt founder of the Frankfurt dealership, J & S Goldschmidt as: 131a Grosse Vase, Silb. theilw. Verg., mit aufgelegten Ornamenten, und 2 ovalen Medaillons mit alleg.  Darstellungen, beide Henkel Sirenen, Schalen tragend, Durchm. 45cm., Höhe 61cm. 133a Grosse Vase, silb.theilw.verg., mit aufgelegtem Ornament, 2 ovale Medallions mit alleg. Darstellungen, 2 Henkel Sirenen mit kl. Schalen. Durchm. 45cm., Höhe 61cm  It appears that the portions laid down in the catalogues were not strictly adhered to by Mayer Carl’s daughters.  Initially the Frankfurt property remained in situ until the death of Mayer Carl’s wife Louise (1820-1894), when a degree of rearranging occurred by agreement amongst the sisters (including division of the portion left to Hannah-Louisa , 1850-1892 who had died before her mother).  It is not altogether surprising therefore to find a group of about 15 items from the portion left to Adèle-Hannah appearing at auction in Paris in 1911 amongst the property of her sister Bertha Clara, Princess de Wagram (1862-1903), which occurred following the death of her husband the prince (1836-1911). Although Emma Budge was buying at the time and subsequently owned three items from the 1911 sale, Adele-Hannah’s vase does not appear to have been included.4 Similarly a group of at least ten items which had been left to Laura Therese (1847-1931) became the property of  Emma-Louise (1844-1935) and are recorded following her death  in a document made for estate duty purposes of the property in  her London house at 148 Picadilly5.  Amongst these `A large vase’ is recognisable as one of the pair by its description and reference `No. 133A’ the same reference used in the Gunthersburg division intended for Laura Therese. This vase was sold at Sothebys on 27th April 1937, The Celebrated Collection….removed  from 148 Picadilly, W.I, ..by order of Victor Rothschild, lot 184 `A Great Cup..’,  to Theodore Fischer of Galerie Fischer Luzerne, for £105.  The same vase now recognisable as the Spring/Summer example was advertised for sale by J. Kugel, Paris, in Weltkunst 61, number 19, October 1991, p. 2753. It is not known when Emma Budge acquired Autumn/Winter, although three items from the 1911 Paris auction already mentioned, which like the vase had been left to Adele-Hannah appeared in the Emma Budge sale in Berlin in 1937 . 1Ref. Erzbischöfliches Archiv Freiburg (EAF) B22/12265 1804-1833 and B22/12266 1844-1955 2Amtsbezirk Karlsruhe. Dekanat Ettlingen. Pfarrei: Karlsruhe. Rubrik Kirchen- und Stiftungsverwaltung. Betreff. Die Vermögensverhältnisse des Kath. Kirchenfonds St. Stephan, Archiv St. Stephan, Karlsruhe. 3Ref. Erzbischöfliches Archiv Freiburg (EAF) B22/22439; Inventarium über die Schloss-Kirche und dazu gehörigen Capellen 1772. Generallandesarchiv Karlsruhe (GLA) 46/4464/25;  Acta die gestiftete Einkünfte in der HofKreuzKirch zu Rastadt, und dazu gehöriger Ornamenten und aller kirchlichen Erfordernissen und derselben Anschaffung und Unterhaltung betr.  Confer. Acta des Collegii Patrum piar. Scholar. Fundation, Einrichtungen p.p. betr.  De Ao 1736 bis 1777 1788, 1806 (GLA 220/696);  Inventar über den zu der Schloßkirche zu Rastadt gehörigen Kirchenornat  von 1768 (GLA 220/697) 4 Orfèvrerie Allemande, Flamande, Espagnole, Italienne, Pierres Dures Montées, Ivoires et Bois sculptés, Des XVe, XVIe, XVIIe et XVIIIe, Provenant de l’ancienne collection de feu M. le Baron Carl Mayer (sic) de Rothschild (De Francfort),  Galerie Georges Petit, 12 and 13 June 1911. Lots 16, 84 and 87 in this 1911 sale, (given to Adele Hannah in 1886 and recorded in the 1886 catalogue of her portion as nos. 211, 136b and 91a) were lots 251, 213 and 200 in the Budge sale of 1937.  Lot 251 from the Budge sale a large early 17th century French salt with medieval enamel appliques is in the Ashmolean Museum, from the Michael Welby bequest. Lot 200, a shell on Turkish prisoner supports, is in the Augsburg Museum, following restitution to the Budge estate and lot 213, a large cup is location unknown. 5A copy of this document is kept at the Rothschild Achive in The City of London. In the Estate of the late Emma Louise Lady Rothschild; An inventory and Valuation of the Works of Art, Jewellery, Furniture and Pictures etc. at 148 Piccadilly W.I, made for the purposes of Estate Duty. Sothebys gratefully thank the staff at the Rothschild archive for their kind help with the cataloguing of this lot.

  • GBRStorbritannien
  • 2014-07-09
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DESC-An extremely rare blue and white 'ducks' Bowl mark and period

DESC-An extremely rare blue and white 'ducks' Bowl mark and period of Chenghua the finely potted rounded sides painted with a frieze of a lotus pond with three pairs of mandarin ducks, some captured in mid-flight, others swimming across the gently rippled water amid clumps of lotus, frilly-edged pads and millet stands, between a band of five scaly dragons pacing amid clouds below the flaring rim and a border of breaking waves circling the tapered footring, all divided by double-lines, the interior centred with a matching medallion of two ducks in flight, a narrow collar of lanAa characters at the rim 16.7 cm., 6 1/2 in., condition report available No Chenghua bowl of this design appears to have been published and the design is as yet unrecorded even among the sherds discovered at the site of the Ming imperial kilns at Jingdezhen. The design is based on a Xuande original, where the duck pond is, however, executed in polychrome enamels (wucai); it continued to be used in various wucai ('five colour') versions on dishes and bowls of the interregnum and Chenghua periods, and was revived again in the Qing dynasty in the doucai colour scheme. Although no other Chenghua example appears to have survived, other versions of the duck pond design are known from the Chenghua stratum of the Ming imperial kiln site at Jingdezhen, without dragons, both with and without lanca characters. In the Qing dynasty, the design still seems to have been considered a Chenghua pattern, since Qing examples exist with a spurious Chenghua mark. A unique example of the polychrome Xuande prototype has recently been discovered at the Saka Temple in Tibet, and is illustrated in Yeh Pei-Lang, Beauty of Ceramics, vol.7: Gems of the Wucai Porcelain, Taipei, 1996, pl. 60, and again in Chugoku no t_oji, vol.9, Tokyo, 1996, pl.6, together with a fragmentary wucai dish of Xuande mark and period, pl.7, recovered from the waste heaps of the Jingdezhen kilns, which is decorated with a duck pond both inside and out and has a lanca inscription around the rim. An unfinished wucai duck-pond bowl which was never enamelled, recovered from the Jingdezhen site was included in the exhibitions Imperial Porcelain: Recent Discoveries of Jingdezhen Ware, Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka, 1995, no.82, and Yuan's and Ming's Imperial Porcelains Unearthed from Jingdezhen, Yan-Huang Art Museum, Beijing, 1999, no.278, where it is attributed to the Zhengtong period of the interregnum; and a finished wucai bowl of this type, also unmarked, is published in Geng Baochang, Ming Qing ciqi jianding, Beijing, 1993, col.pl.42, who attributes it to the Chenghua reign. This version of the design, however, is much simpler, showing neither dragons nor the lanca script, and having a lotus petal border above a plain foot with line borders. From the Chenghua stratum of the imperial kiln site we also know two types of wucai dishes of Chenghua mark and period, painted with ducks in a lotus pond; see the exhibitions A Legacy of Chenghua, The Tsui Museum of Art, Hong Kong, 1993, cat.nos.A3 and A4; and The Emperor's broken china: Reconstructing Chenghua porcelain, Sotheby's, London, 1995, cat.nos.143 and 144. One of these dishes repeats the Xuande pattern, the other, without lanca, matches that of the unmarked Zhengtong/Chenghua bowls. The full version of this design, with dragons above a lotus pond with ducks, and a line of lanca characters on the inside, was revived again in the Qing dynasty, and is known from bowls of wide U-shaped form with Qianlong, Jiaqing and Daoguang reign marks, as well as a spurious Chenghua mark. The Chenghua exhibition at the National Palace Museum, Taiwan, included one example of each; see Ming Chenghua ciqi tezhan, Taipei, 1976, cat.nos.84-87. Quantity: 1

  • HKGHongkong (S.A.R. Kina)
  • 2001-05-01
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A george i gilt-gesso bureau-cabinet circa 1720, attributed to james moore

The gilt surface decorated overall with strap-work and foliage patterns, the pointed arched moulded cornice with a carved shell motif, above sides and two doors with bevelled mirror plates, the interior side of the doors in walnut opening to reveal fitted interior with pigeonholes below central arched door surrounded by small drawers all yew veneered below opening for shelves, the upper section out-facing uprights rosewood veneered,  the fall front desk with fitted interior with pigeonholes and drawers also yew veneered,  above  lower section with two short and three long drawers, the sides with carrying handles, all raised on boldly carved paw feet;  the mirror plates later and fifteen of the desk drawers re-veneered. This extraordinary bureau can be ranked among the finest examples of 18thcentury English furniture. Made as one of a pair of gilt-gesso bureau bookcases, it was certainly produced for the Portuguese market and has been traditionally associated with the patronage King Dom João V, who reigned from 1709-1750. Anglo-Portuguese relations became closer after the 1703 Treaty of Methuen between the two allied countries. On this treaty, the export of manufactured goods to Portugal was encouraged, furniture included. At the same time, with Portugal's newly found Brazilian wealth, Dom João became an important patron of the arts commissioning pieces from Paris, Rome and London. The London commissions are not very well documented but some are known through articles in period newspapers between 1723 and 1730, showing his interest in English goods. They mention globes, iron rails and gates for the Palácio de Mafra, a model of the British Crown and even a “curious Silver Vessel”, by Paul Crespin, which was taken to Kensington Palace to be shown to King George I. Although not recorded in these newspapers, the present lot falls into an interesting London made group of two pairs of bureau-bookcases that are historically linked to the King of Portugal. The current bureau appeared on the Portuguese market in the 1960’s and was sold again at Sotheby’s in 1977 by a Portuguese dealer. Before that we do not know its provenance or when it parted ways from its pair. Nonetheless, we know more about the latter, as it is reputed to have belonged to the Portuguese Royal Collections, namely to Queen Carlota Joaquina (1775-1830), wife of Dom João VI and then to their grand-daughter Queen Dona Maria II (1819-1853), who had given it to her lady-in-waiting, Duquesa de Ficalho (1784-1859). The bureau was gifted by the Marquês de Ficalho to the Condessa de Geraz do Lima (1832-1891), and then by descent until sold in 1994 at Soares & Mendonça, to a private collector, who then sold it with Christie’s (4 July 2002, lot 100) when purchased by Mallett. The London dealers removed the later additions to match the state of the present lot and sold it to a private collector. The second pair of bureaux, and the only know comparison to this, was in the collection of the family of one of the King’s lovers, the nun Paula Teresa da Silva e Almeida.  The King was extremely affectionate to Madre Paula, as she was known, providing her with a lavish life in the monastery. An eighteenth century manuscript existing in the Biblioteca Nacional in Lisbon recorded the interiors of Madre Paula’s lavish private apartments. The accounts mentions “two bureaux with mirror in the doors, ornamented with gilt reliefs“ which seem to match the pair first published by R.W.Symonds in 1940 (‘A Royal Scrutoire’, Connoisseur, June 1940). According to Symonds, this piece was originally made for King João V and stayed with the descendants of Leocádia Assis e Almeida, sister of Madre Paula, until sold in London in the 1930’s. It formed part of the stock of Frank Partridge & Son, of King Street, where it was tragically destroyed during the London blitz. Its pair, we believe, lives today at Dr. Anastácio Gonçalves house-museum in Lisbon, though almost unrecognisable after falling into the sea, when all the gesso decoration was lost (Malheiro Dias, Cartas de Lisboa, 1905, p.109). It is now red japanned but it keeps the superb yew veneered interior. In these bureaux, gilt-gesso, a type of plaster, was applied on the wooden carcass in layers and then the design would be cut into it. In the same way wood is gilded, a red clay ground was applied and then gold leaves would be individually applied. The decorated surface was then burnished in the raised areas and punched and stippled on the ground, creating different glittering effects and textures. The elaborate French influenced strapwork designs covering almost the entire surface of the exterior in this imposing piece would have had, when delivered to Portugal, a striking effect with its bright shiny surface resembling solid gold, highly appropriate for the gold rich monarch. The rich fitted interiors veneered in yew would originally resemble the then fashionable tortoiseshell. The present lot is among the best examples ever made in this technique and attributed with a degree of certainty to the workshops of the royal cabinet-maker James Moore (c.1670-d. 1726). With its pair, it is the only surviving bureau known to have been fully decorated in gilt-gesso, usually seen in small pieces such as tables, chests and mirrors. The quality and richness of the design is of the highest order and the unusual feature of having mirror plates on the sides indicate a commission made for the export market. The quality and grandness of the piece and the similar ornament designs found in pieces long attributed to Moore, such as a chest in Boughton House, and the Bateman chest, strongly suggest the involvement of James Moore and if this was a royal commission, it would be natural to assume that the King’s agent in London would enlist the talents of the royal cabinet-maker. James Moore, of Nottingham Court, Short’s Gardens, St. Giles-in-the-Fields, London, had an exceptional career working for a group of vanguard thinking patrons. He started his career possibly as an apprentice with Elizabeth Gumley and her son John and, in 1714, Moore enters into partnership with the Gumleys, an association that continued until his death in 1726, although it is obvious from surviving documentary evidence that the partners frequently carried out individual commissions, besides those for the Royal Household. Some of Moore’s known patrons include the Duchess of Marlborough, Duchess of Buccleuch, the Duke of Montagu, and the Earl of Burlington. This bureau attributed to James Moore supports much of his reputation, demonstrating a gallant style and utilization of a wide array of influences. His works draws from an awareness of English baroque architecture and from the influence of both oriental export and French styles, but also show a willingness to adapt his production to the export taste. Less progressive in terms of design than some of his other works, and showing Moore’s close contact with the cabinetmaking industry of the Strand, the form of this bureau relates to other pieces made by cabinet-makers such as Peter Miller. The Le Pautre inspired foliated engraved lock and hinges also appear in other period walnut bureaux.

  • GBRStorbritannien
  • 2013-12-04
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AN IMPORTANT PAIR OF MARQUETRY-INLAID SATINWOOD, HAREWOOD AND EBONY DEMI-LUNE COMMODES ATTRIBUTED TO MAYHEW AND INCE

AN IMPORTANT PAIR OF MARQUETRY-INLAID SATINWOOD, HAREWOOD AND EBONY DEMI-LUNE COMMODES ATTRIBUTED TO MAYHEW AND INCE circa 1780, Each of demi-lune form, the tops veneered in figured satinwood, the back edge plainly banded to support a pier mirror, and with a fan shaped patera inlaid with amaranth fluting and issuing colored and engraved 'feathers ' from a pearl beaded inlaid border, the cross-cut  satinwood molded outer edge with ebony and colored stringing and kingwood cross-banding and bordered with berries and husks, the conforming frieze with a central drawer flanked by pivoting hinged drawers and inlaid with 'bats wing' half- patera centered by flower heads below arched foliate sprays, all on a sycamore ground, the four graduated drawers below with ebony cock-beading and alternately inlaid with swags of husks and drapery and with pendant husks, the original gilt-metal ring  handles cast with husks and with flower-head back-plates, each curved door at the side inlaid at the center with a flower head within a bats' wing oval patera within a foliate scrolls, on a figured sycamore ground banded with tulip wood and with colored stringing, opening to shelves, the base with an ebonized molded edge, the square tapered legs veneered with harewood panels edged with boxwood and colored stringing and with ebony moldings. Although of identical construction and decoration, the difference in the width of these commodes indicate that they were originally commissioned at the same time for a room with different overall proportions. Height 33 3/4 in.; width of the first 44 1/2 in.; width of the second 46 1/2 in.; depth 22 1/4 in. 85.7 cm; 113 cm; 118.1 cm; 56.5 cm

  • USAUSA
  • 2008-10-16
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English School, circa 1605 portrait of a young lady Half length, standing

English School, circa 1605 portrait of a young lady Half length, standing between open curtains, wearing a wide black skirt embroidered with red, a pearl-encrusted red and silver bodice, finely wrought needlepoint lace collar and cuffs, her auburn hair topped with a black hat adorned with a feather cockade and jewelled band, her left arm entwined by a blue favour, partly resting on a velvet-covered table. Oil on panel, in its contemporary needlework case, the linen ground worked in silver tent stitch with silk embroidered strapwork enclosing wild strawberries, honeysuckles, gilly flowers and periwinkles, the reverse with cartouche of a tree laden with fruit, edged with metal braid, the needlework in need of cleaning, faint stain to the embroidery on the reverse Picture: 28 by 23 cm., 11 by 9 ins. Frame: 34.5 by 29 cm., 12 I by 11 1/2 ins. This beautifully preserved portrait probably represents a London citizen's young wife. She is dressed in the height of early Jacobean fashion with the jewel encircled black hat, a fantastically wrought dress augmented by pearl jewellery, the luxury of the velvet curtains and table covering. The fashion for highlighting veins is apparent in her forehead, hands and especially in her bosom. The unusually fine state of preservation is in part due to the rare case with its pair of doors that open to reveal the image. Embroidered cases of this kind were usually worked for travelling mirrors and it is rare to find one with an original portrait. A similar example enclosing a mirror formed part of the Richmond Collection cf. 'The Connoisseur', May 1935, no 1 p.282, A.F. Kendrick. Another example can be found in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. It is tempting to suppose that the sitter of the portrait may have actually embroidered the case, possibly intending it as a love token. The honeysuckle symbolised affection and faithfulness, the fruits - fertility. Provenance: Frank Partridge & Sons Ltd, invoice 1st January 1939 'An oil painting of an unknown woman...in contemporary needlework case £500' Quantity: 1

  • GBRStorbritannien
  • 2000-11-22
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La danse au parc

This is an unusually fine composition by Pater, and like much of his work, is indebted to the example of his teacher Watteau. Though he may have lacked Watteau's poetry and distinctive air of melancholy, Pater was a very accomplished colourist and draughtsman in his own right. A similar but even larger work, entitled La Danse, formerly in the collection of Baron Gustave de Rothschild, in which the figures of the seated musicians and those of the elegant seated ladies are paralleled, is in the Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, Mass. Both works are likely to date from around 1730 or later. Pater frequently re-used his figure groups in his paintings; the dancing couple in the centre of this painting recurs, for example, in the Danse au pavilion today in Neues Palais in Potsdam.1 The collection of paintings inherited by A.E.H. Digby, chiefly works of the French 18th century and Dutch 17th century schools, boasted a remarkable pedigree. Their family provenance reaches back on his step grandmother's side to Charles de Flahaut, Comte d'Angivillier (1730-1810) and also through his great-grandparents to Abel-François Poisson de Vandières, Marquis de Marigny (1727-1781), both appointed Directeur des Batiments et Jardins de France. Among the other significant French works from his collection sold in these Rooms in June 1951 were Louis Michel van Loo’s Portrait of the Marquis de Marigny and his wife Marie-Francoise Filleul today in the Louvre in Paris, Francois Boucher’s the Muse Erato, sold New York, Sotheby’s, 29 January 2015, lot 19, and another canvas by Pater, the La Balançoire now in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge.2 The reference in the early provenance is probably to Lord Henry Seymour (1805-1859), the second son of Francis, 3rd Marquess of Hertford. The scion of a great collecting dynasty, including his father, and brother Richard the 4th Marquess, both passionate collectors of French art, Lord Seymour was a devoted Francophile, a founder of the French Jockey Club, and is said never to have set foot in England. 1. Ingersoll-Smouse, 1928, p. 55,  nos. 234, 241, reproduced figs. 56 and 822. 2. Inv. Pd. 22-1977. Canvas, 46.3 by 56.5 cm. Ingersoll-Smousse 1928, no. 277.

  • GBRStorbritannien
  • 2015-04-28
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A chippendale carved and figured mahogany games table, new york circa 1765

Rich brown color. Old dry surface.  Fitted with a secret drawer. The importance of card playing as a primary social entertainment in the eighteenth century is well substantiated by the large number of surviving gaming tables. This games table is a classic example of a type made in New York, characterized by a serpentine façade with a carved front rail, large projecting front square corners, a playing surface with counters and candle rests, cabriole legs with leaf- and scroll-carved knees, claw feet, and a fifth leg that pivots outward to support the top when opened. The form has long been considered one of the masterpieces of American Rococo furniture design and more than seventy-five examples have been identified, representing several shop traditions. Superior for its crisp carving, delicate form, and refined proportions, this previously unrecorded games table relates to a group of tables identified as Type II, or Beekman type, card tables by Morrison Heckscher in “The New York Serpentine Card Table," The Magazine Antiques (May 1973): 974-983. A pair of card tables originally owned by James W. Beekman (1732-1807) that sold in these rooms, Important Americana, January 21-2, 2000, sale 7420, lot 718 typifies Type II tables. A possible retailer for the Beekman tables may have been William Proctor, a merchant listed in New York City directories working at 56 King Street and 57 Pine Street. In 1768, Proctor sold Beekman a card table, a transaction recorded in Beekman's household account book for the date January 15, 1768 as “to William Proctor for a card table 85 / a china d. 95 / 4 windsor chairs 44 / 11.4.? With its pine front and side skirts veneered with mahogany and oak back outer skirt, this table follows the typical construction of Type II tables noted by Heckscher.  The table displays the additional distinguishing characteristics of a shallow serpentine skirt, a gadrooned molding below the front skirt only, distinctive foliate and asymmetrical C-scroll knee carving with peanuts and pinwheels, and claw feet with high balls and pointed claws.  The unusual and elaborate bookmatched crotch veneers on the skirt are known on two other Type II tables that appear to stem from the same shop.  One at the Metropolitan Museum of Art with a triple top and an inlaid backgammon board was owned by Robert W. Weir (1803-1889), a drawing instructor at the United States Military Academy at West Point between 1834 and 1876 (see Morrison Heckscher, American Furniture in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. (1985): no. 103, p. 171.  Its mate now in a private collection, also with a triple top and an inlaid backgammon board, was originally  owned by Edward de Forest (1708-1782) of Stratford, Connecticut, and descended in his family. Other Type II table construction characteristics found on this table include front and side skirts cut straight and mitered at the corners on the inside, forming a rectangular recess under the table; gadrooned moldings nailed to the bottom of the front skirt; and the stationary half of the outside skirt board nailed to the inner board. Several other examples of Type II tables are at the Museum of the City of New York, Winterthur Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the State Department, and the Henry Ford Museum as well as in several private collections. One with a history in the Van Vechten family of New York sold in these rooms, Highly Important Americana from the Stanley Paul Sax Collection, January 17, 1998, sale 7087, lot 467. Another is illustrated as a “Masterpiece'' in Albert Sack, The New Fine Points of Furniture, New York, 1993, p. 283.

  • USAUSA
  • 2004-01-18
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A pair of gilt-bronze-mounted ebony veneered and mahogany console

Each with a rectangular bleu turquin marble top above a recessed ebony veneered frieze mounted with a band of ribbon-tied torchères suspending berried laurel leaves interposed by a winged cherub head with scalloped collar with similarly mounted sides, the pilaster front supports with lotus leaf cast collars mounted with a stylised wheatsheaf above stylised carnations and flowers issuing from an acanthus cast baluster vase with a backboard and pierced trelliswork sides intersected by roundels on a platform base, the pilasters mounted with laurel leaf bands on the base, each with the marque au fer R15 underneath the frieze, with eight mahogany veneered brackets for shelves (now missing); Related Literature: Daniel Alcouffe, Anne Dion-Tenenbaum and Amaury Lefébure, Furniture Collections in the Louvre, Vol. I, Dijon, 1993, p. 309, no. 105. Pierre Arizzoli-Clémentel and Jean-Pierre Samoyault, Le Mobilier de Versailles, chefs-d’oeuvre du XIXe siècle, Dijon, 2009, p.104 and p.108, fig. 1. Patrick Guibal, Rosny au Temps de La Duchesse de Berry, Exhibition Catalogue, Entre Cour et Jardin, Marie-Caroline, Duchesse de Berry, Musée de l'îIe-de-France, Sceaux, 2007, pp. 49-58 and p. 227. Jean-Pierre Samoyault, Mobilier Français Consulat et Empire, 2009, Paris, p. 88, fig.155, and p.107, fig.182. This sumptuous pair of console tables with their exquisitely cast and chased gilt-bronze mounts represent the apogee of the oeuvre of Jacob-Desmalter for their Imperial and aristocratic clientèle whose stamp Jacob D.R. Meslée and the marque au fer R 15 for Rosny is found on both tables and the R 15 on the following lot. The pair are recorded in the inventories as having been delivered by Jacob-Desmalter to Marie-Caroline, the Duchesse de Berry for her château at Rosny in Rosny-sur-Seine, Yvelines, near Paris on 1st February 1821, for the Salon des Princes, at the then enormous sum of 2000 francs. Rosny was the favourite residence of the Duchesse de Berry which she set about refurbishing after acquiring it in 1818 (see post). Furthermore, it is interesting to note that No. 32 `Solde des Mémoires de fournitures faites pour l’ameublement du Château de Rosny (somme reçue des mains de S.A.R. Madame),1830, there is an entry for Jacob listed as `1. Jacob, ébéniste à Paris’, supplying 44,543.70 out of a total of 168,37.3 francs worth of furniture to the Duchesse for Rosny, almost a quarter of the expenditure demonstrating the size of her orders to them for that residence, reproduced here in fig. 4. Whilst nothing identical has been recorded to date which emphasises the exclusivity of the model for the Duchesse, some of the gilt-bronze mounts with slight adaptations  often supplied by Pierre-Philippe Thomire can be found amongst Jacob-Desmalter’s production, with the former being the most important bronzier of the Empire period due to the exceptional quality of his gilt-bronze mounts. Pierre Arizzoli-Clémentel and Jean-Pierre Samoyault, op. cit., p.104, fig.1, illustrate a console table with a L’Èlysée-Murat provenance by Jacob-Desmalter, circa 1805-06, now in the Mobiler national, Paris. This console in has a very similar frieze to that upon this table with an alternating band of ribbon-tied swags and torchères. The authors state that these decorative elements have been created by Thomire as they also appear on a console table in the Louvre which Thomire offered to the government as collateral for a loan, which is illustrated by Alcouffe et al., op. cit., pp. 308-309, n. 105, reproduced here in fig. 5. The decoration of the mounts with ribbon-tied swags and torchères of slightly different design, can be seen on a green granite chimneypiece, circa 1805, stamped Thomire à Paris, from the collection of Général Le Marois, Rue de Grammont, Paris, then the Collection of the Duc de Caraman, Château de Lonray, sold  on 3rd November 2005, from the Collections of Lily and Edmond Safra, Volume II, lot 175, ($452,800). Furthermore, a console table with a very similar frieze and with the label of the marchand–mercier Martin Eloy Lingereux was formerly in the collection of the Princes Esterhàzy, and is now in the collection of the Museum of Decorative Arts, Budapest, illustrated by Arizzoli-Clémentel op,. cit., p. 108, fig.1, where Thomire is mentioned as one of the possible bronziers for these types of console tables. However, the authors state that Thomire may have already collaborated with Lignereux in making that table as he purchased the cabinet-maker's business in 1804 . It is also worthwhile noting, that the treatment of the stiff leaves with scrolling tendrils issuing from an acanthus cast stylised vase on the front supports is so typical of Jacob, and can be seen with variations-see for example a commode by Jacob-Desmalter, illustrated by Samoyault, op. cit., p. 88, fig. 55, which was made around 1805, for the bedroom on the first  floor of the hôtel of Prince Eugène, in the rue de Lille, Paris. From this one can conclude that the bronzes on this pair of console tables can be firmly attributed to Pierre-Philippe Thomire. In the exhibition Catalogue of the Duchesse de Berry, op. cit., p. 227, no. 272, see a bureau à gradin by Jacob-Desmalter signed `Jacob D. Rue Meslée’ with the marque au fer `R 15’ in a drawer–the same number as on the offered console tables, which also indicates that it was in the Salon des Princes at some stage on the ground floor. It has an inscription which stated that it came from the bedroom of the vicomte de Gontaut-Biron, ambassador, having previously belonged to the Duchesse de Berry at the château de Rosny and was sold in the sale of the furniture from the château  in Paris in 1836. The bureau was delivered by Jacob-Desmalter on 10th March 1821, for the château de Rosny but no plan exists of the room layout of the château and the inventory has not survived to be able to identify what R15 refers to. Various examples of mahogany Empire furniture ordered by the Duchesse from Jacob were sold in these Rooms, see Nobless Oblige, 17th April 2011, lot 202, for a suite of mahogany seat furniture stamped Jacob D.R. Meslee and branded R 20 for Rosny and lot 204 stamped R 14, for a circular table attributed to Jacob. Until 1824, the Duchesse de Berry commissioned nearly exclusively mahogany furniture for Rosny, most of which was supplied by Jacob-Desmalter (see ante). Finally, a related pair of console tables stamped Jacob Frères rue Meslée, sold at Fontainebleu, étude Osenat,  7th November 2004, for 287680E.  The Château de Rosny: The Château situated in Rosny-sur-Seine was purchased on 14th August 1818 by Charles Ferdinand, Duc de Berry as a summer residence and very quickly became the favoured residence of the Duchesse who devised grand plans for its reconstruction. She had a vision to create a residence modelled on the English Country house model, which would have a more relaxed ambience in contrast to the rigid strictures of the Tuileries and according to Guibal, op. cit., p. 49,  :`Les intérieurs bénéficient d'une complete remise à neuf mais sans aucun excès, car, loin de la pompe et des ors des Tuileries, Marie Caroline entend faire de Rosny une maison à L'anglaise, confortable, largement ouverte sur la nature et où elle pourra vivre, entourée de ses proches, en savourant les plaisirs de la vie à la campagne’. Although the Duchesse de Berry acquired Rosny fully furnished she continued to fill it with newly acquired decorations, furniture and art. In her memories the Duchesse de Maillé states:`Rien ne peut être comparé au mobilier de Rosny: tous les étages et toutes les chambres sont également recherchés et soignés. Elle apporte en ce lieu ce qu'elle aime tout ce que le roi lui donne et tout ce qu'elle achète, de sorte que l'on peut dire que Rosny est encombré de meubles, mais il faut rendre cette justice à Madame qui le mérite, elle a fort bon goût. Tout chez elle est bien choisi. Elle a le sentiment du beau comme une Italienne'. Most of the beautiful furnishings from Rosny were dispersed after 1830 when the Duchesse had to leave France. However, at the beginning of her exile she managed to have a significant part of furniture and objects sent to Trieste, before she transferred them to her estates in Austria including Brunsee which was the most recent loction of this pair of consoles. Rosny was sold in 1836 and unfortunately most of her pieces are not listed, as at the end of the sale it indicated that tapestries, furniture, commodes etc were for sale but no detailed description was given. Marie-Caroline, Duchesse de Berry (1798-1870): Marie-Caroline, the Duchesse de Berry was one of the most remarkable, unconventional and iconic women of the 19th century. On 5th November 1798, Maria-Carolina, Princess of Naples and Sicily, was born in the royal palace of Caserta. She was the daughter of Francis I, King of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Clementina, Archduchess of Austria. Her grandmother was Queen Carolina of Naples, herself a daughter of the celebrated Austrian Empress Maria Theresa. In 1816, she married  Charles Ferdinand, Duc de Berry, heir apparent to the French throne, thus becoming Marie-Caroline, Duchesse de Berry. Due to her natural joie de vivre, kindness and good humour, the Duchesse invigorated the tired dynasty and enlivened the strict etiquette of the royal court at the Tuileries. In 1818, the Duke and the Duchess acquired the château de Rosny which became their favourite residence. Until the abdication of Charles X, Rosny would remain the place where the Duchesse de Berry felt happiest. A daughter, Louise, was born to the couple in 1819. Then tragedy struck: four years after their marriage the Duke was murdered in front of his wife on a frosty evening in February 1820. It appeared that with his death the old line of the Bourbon dynasty had come to an end but fate had a further twist when, seven months after the death of his father, the desperately desired heir to the throne of France, Henri, Comte de Chambord, Duc de Bordeaux, was born in September 1820. After that, the Duchesse de Berry became the undisputed social centre of the royal court, the most fashionable and most portrayed princess of her time. Her influence on the fashion of Romanticism was paramount in every sphere, from theatre and the romantic operas of Rossini to the contemporary painters and draughtsmen whose works she acquired to expand the famous art collection of her husband, not forgetting miniaturists, cabinet-makers, ivory carvers and porcelain manufactories among many others.  In 1824, Louis XVIII died and his brother Charles X succeeded him to the throne. The revolution of 1830 overthrew the dynasty of the older line of the Bourbons and with it also all claims to the throne of the “wonderchild”, the young Duc de Bordeaux. Based on a democratic majority, Louis Philippe, Duke of Orléans, from the younger line of the Bourbons, became new King of the French. The principle of legitimacy had come to an end. The Restauration was over and the Tricouleur again the banner of France. The Duchesse de Berry now accompanied the royal family into exile to Scotland although not without having arranged for a significant amount of furnishings, art and personal belongings to be shipped to the safe haven of Trieste beforehand. Determined to regain the crown for her son she conspired against Louis Philippe and landed in April 1832 in Marseille naïvely hoping the French troops would follow her appeal to overthrow the King. As soon as Louis Philippe recognized the threat, he mobilized the military all over France in order to track her down. Despite this Marie-Caroline managed in six adventurous weeks to escape from Marseille to Nantes on horseback, in men’s clothing, armed with pistols, and accompanied only by a small band of supporters. She and her companions waded through bogs, swam across rivers and slept in haystacks. In Nantes, centre of the legitimist Vendée region, she found refuge from June to November. Finally after having been denounced, she was captured and imprisoned in the fortress of Blaye near Bordeaux. Then yet another twist of fate, so typical of the Duchesse de Berry’s life, took place. Apparently she had secretly married Count Ettore Lucchesi Palli (1808-1864), son of the Prince of Campofranco and governor of Sicily, in 1831 and in February 1833, she announced that she was pregnant. In May 1833, a daughter named Anna Rosalia was born. At this point Louis Philippe released her from imprisonment since as the wife of an Italian count she was no longer a political threat. After a short stay in Palermo she reached Austria where Emperor Francis I granted her exile in October 1833. In the following years four more children were born to the Duchess and her husband. In 1837 she acquired castles and estates in Styria and in 1844 the Palazzo Vendramin on the Grand Canal in Venice, then part of the Austro/Hungarian Empire. Marie-Caroline died aged 82 on 16th April 1870 at Brunnsee, her castle in Austria. François-Honoré-Georges Jacob-Desmalter (1770-1841): He was the favourite cabinet-maker of Napoleon and belonged to a dynasty of leading cabinet-makers and was the son of the most celebrated seat furniture maker Georges Jacob. He took over the family's workshop in 1796, together with his brother Georges and the firm became known as Jacob Frères and remained in rue Mesaly or Meslée until 1825. He would have seen his father work on superlative objects such as the chairs for Marie-Antoinette's dairy at Rambouillet. Amongst Jacob-Desmalter's first commissions, was the decoration and furnishing of the town house of General Bonaparte and his wife Josephine in the rue Chantereine and the surviving furniture illustrates the patriotic and symbolic tastes which were so characteristic of the Directoire period heralding the Empire style. His next major commission was for the Récamiers, important and influential French bankers. At about the same time the firm was commissioned to decorate and furnish Malamaison, by Percier and Fontaine, which was the country retreat of Josephine. The firm also provided furniture for Bonaparte's apartments at the Tuileries and also exhibited at the second and third Expositions des Produits de l'lndustrie Française held in 1801 and 1802 in the courtyard of the Louvre and Jacob-Desmalter received a Gold Medal at the 1802 exhibition. Georges, his brother, died in 1803 and then the firm continued for nine years under the directorship of his father and after that Jacob-Desmalter used his own personal stamp "JACOB D. R. MESLEE" applied from 1803 to 1813. It was during the Empire period that his reputation was established and his talent fully recognised, as it is recorded that in 1807, the firm employed 350 workmen. In 1809, he executed the malachite furniture at the Grand Trianon comprising two meubles d'appui, two candelabras and a vase supported by three large chimeras with the head of Hercules and a lion pelt. The latter after a design by Percier and Fontaine was modelled by Cartelier, had already been employed by Jacob-Desmalter for the throne of Napoleon at Fontainebleau. Jacob was known to work with the outstanding bronziers of the day such as Thomire and Delafontaine. His work according to Serge Grandjean, 'is esteemed not only on account of its stylistic homogeneity but because of its consistent high quality'. Charles Percier (1764-1838): Charles Percier and his partner Pierre-François–Léonard Fontaine (1762-1853), the most celebrated architects and decorators during the Empire period, were largely responsible for creating the Empire style and are synonymous with creating the furniture and decoration heavy with symbolism for Napoleon. They had been in Rome from 1785 to 1790, where they had followed David's teaching, and they were fully familiar with Ancient Greek and Roman art, which was a major inspiration for their decoration and furnishing. Percier and Fontaine, published their Receuil des decorations intérieurs (1801, reissued in 1812) and they used motifs such as giant N’s in laurel wreaths, eagles and bees to make the style fully Napoleonic. Both were fully employed by Napoleon as both architects and interior decorators on various palaces such as Malmaison, Tuileries, Louvre, St. Cloud and Versailles. They transformed Napoleon's palaces into lavish showcases for the produce of French art and industry. Percier was also a partner of Jacob-Desmalter and they worked very closely together. Pierre-Philippe Thomire (1751-1843): He was the most celebrated bronzier in addition to Pierre Gouthière during the reign of Louis XVI. Thomire was the son of a ciseleur but also received training under the sculptors A. Pajou (1730-1809) and J.-A. Houdon (1741-1828) and he cast bronze portrait busts for both. Thomire was a pupil at the Académie de Saint-Luc. He was already working for the Royal family by 1775 and collaborated with Jean-Louis Prieur ciseleur et doreur du Roi, on the bronze mounts for the coronation coach of Louis XVI. He set up his own atelier the following year and in 1783, Thomire was appointed as the modeller to the Manufacture de Sèvres, succeeding Jean-Claude Duplessis. He was also well known for bronzes d’ameublement  and during the Revolution, his atelier was used for the production of arms, but in 1804 he reverted to his former profession when he acquired the premises and business of the marchand-mercier Martin Éloi-Lignereux, the former partner and successor to Dominique Daguerre. His business flourished during the Empire period, and was renamed Thomire, Dutherme et Cie and in 1807, he is recorded as employing at least seven hundred workers and he enjoyed prestigious commissions from both the City of Paris and the Emperor including an important toilet service for presentation to Empress Marie-Louise on the occasion of her marriage and also the celebrated cradle for the King of Rome. He is also recorded as gilding his own bronzes and sometimes employing others to do so, such as the fondeur-ciseleur Chaudron. His work pre-revolution is to be found in all the major collections including the Louvre, Versailles, Fontainebleau, Compiègne, the Pitti Palace, Florence and Wallace Collection, London and Waddesdon Manor, Hertfordshire. He retired from business in 1823 and was awarded the Légion d’Honneur in 1834 and died in his 92nd year.

  • GBRStorbritannien
  • 2014-07-09
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A pair of italian gilt-bronze mounted pietra nefritica o ponderaria

The moulded shallow baluster body applied with gilt-bronze mounts in the form of satyr and bacchic heads, beneath a collar of gilt-bronze beads, the moulded rim with a simlar larger collar, the interior of both with a gilt-bronze medallion, raised on a spreading turned socle ornamented with conforming bead collars, on a stepped and on moulded square plinth, with similar gilt-bronze ornament This impressive  pair of vases carved in a marble known to have been used in antiquity and known as pietra nefritica o ponderaria,  lapis or aequipondus lapys martyrum , and quarried during the Roman period on the Tyrrhenian coast,  has been executed after models of two famous monumental and iconic vases, the white marble vase known as the Warwick vase, ( now to be seen in the Burrell Collection, Scotland) and also the vase known as the de Lante vase, ( now forming part of the collection of the Dukes of Bedford, at Woburn Abbey Bedfordshire).  These originals both date from the second century BC, and were found around 1771 on the site Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli, near Rome. Both were subsequently engraved by Piranesi and published by him in his famous work,  Vasi, Candelabri, Cippi, Sarcofagi, published in Rome in 1778, (illustrated fig. 1 and 2). The present vases are of an exceptional quality of craftsmenship. The bronzes are finely chiselled and gilded and suggest the authorship of of a very highly skilled manufacturer and strongly indicate a firm such the Milanese firm of bronze makers,  Strazza and Thomas, (1815-1881). The firm began working in the early 19th century and produced bronze and marble vases and other objects of great quality and definition of antiquarian inspiration including works for the Austrian and Italian monarchies of the time following the tradition of other bronze makers such as Valadier, Righetti and Manfredini. The mounts on the present vases vases can be compared with a group of bronze vases and sculpture by the Stazza and Thomas manufactory which form part of the collection in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan, donated by Giovanni Edoardo de Pecis in 1827. The collection of bronzes is illustrated in Enrico Colle, Angela Griseri and Roberto Valeriani,op. cit., pl.334-344 and clearly shows the range and  exceptional quality of their work which is consistent with that of the present vases. The vases and other items in the collection are also clearly inspired by antiquarian originals as in the present case.  The Design The present vases are decorated with attributes to Bacchus and also with Bacchic masks arranged in profile and with handles formed of interlaced branches of vines ( in the case of the Warwick Vase), and theatrical masks arranged frontally, reminiscent of those of the Propylon Sebasteion discovered at Aphrodisias (Asia Minor) between 1981 and 1983 , and flanked by curved double branch handles ( in the case of vase Lante ). The grotesque masks  which decorate the bowl are connected with the festivals of Bacchusand each vase has two magnificent handles channelled throughout and ornamented with Ferula Graeca, Greek fennel, a plant dedicated to Bacchus.  The original use of these large vases in Greece or Rome was to contain lustra later for the ceremonies of Bacchus. The Warwick Vase The antique vase known as the " Warwick Vase " model is one of the two vases presented here and is probably the model of archaeological vase that most fascinated collectors and artists  while doing their 'Grand Tour' , in the last third of the eighteenth century. The original was a huge vase of antique Roman white marble, flanked by two handles interspersed with enriched bacchanalian heads and emblems various. This vase was discovered in the ruins of the Villa of Emperor Hadrian in Tivoli, near Rome, 1771 , by Gavin Hamilton ( 1723-1798 ),  a famous Scottish painter and antique dealer in Rome. Hamilton, who enjoyed most of his career in the Eternal City, where he settled after 1756 , was a pioneer of the European neoclassical movement. He started primarily as an archeologist but soon turned to painting. Hamilton teamed with Thomas Jenkins (  1722-1798 ), a painter based in Rome from 1753 but launched quickly in the much more lucrative business of antiques dealer of supplying to the elite of the time and which led to him becoming one of the leading bankers of Rome. From 1770 Hamilton had been given a license to excavate at Hadrian`s Villa. Many important sculptures were recorded as having being found there but no record of a full vase was ever made. The explanation given by Norman Mosley Penzer in his study of the Warwick vase, op. cit.,  probably because it was excavated in fragments. The costly restoration of this monumental vase was paid for by Sir William Hamilton (1730-1803) , the famous Scottish aristocrat, British diplomat , antiquarian , archaeologist and volcanologist , then ambassador to the court of Naples, who had just acquired the famous collection Porcinari Greek and Etruscan vases he sold to the British Museum in 1772. Sir William Hamilton  turned to his nephew , George Greville (1746-1816) , 2nd Earl of Warwick, who at that time was renovating his house, Warwick Castle, Warwickshire, who purchased it as part of these renovations. It was transported to England and placed on a pedestal in the park along the axis of the house. A greenhouse was built around then in order to protect it. This extraordinary vase caused a great sensation. One of the first mentions of the Warwick Vase was published in England , in the Gentleman 's Magazine in 1800, and a second , in 1802 , in a book entitled Richard Warner Tour Through the Northern Counties of England . A more detailed description was given in a book by William Field, Town and Castle of Warwick, published anonymously in 1815 . Since 1978 the Warwick vase has formed part of the Burrell Collection in Glasgow ( fig.3). The Lante Vase The Lante vase is the other form of vase presented here and like the Warwick vase was also discovered in fragments in excavations made on the ruins of Hadrian`s villa. Following restoration to its original form, it was removed to the Villa Lanti near Rome where it remained for many years attracting considerable interest. In the late 18th century it was purchased by the great connoisseur and bibliophile, the Right Hon, Lord Cawdor and brought to England. It was subsequently sold at the sale of his museum in Oxford Street on 6th June 1800 for 700 guineas and was bought by Francis Duke of Bedford and removed to his seat Woburn Abbey, where it remains today ( fig.5). Both vases caused a sensation following their discovery.  In their first publication in 1778 by Piranesi ,  the Warwick  and  Lante  vases were to deeply influence artists, silversmiths and major collectors of the last quarter of the eighteenth century and early 19th century and many copies were made. A pair of  Warwick and  Lante vases in white marble , placed on pedestals with antique green marble borders and mouldings of white marble, was commissioned  before 1808 at the Chateau de Villiers, in Neuilly -sur -Seine, the property of Marshal Murat . They were acquired in 1808 , at the same time as the chateau by Napoleon I , and then were sent two years later, in 1810 , to the Château de Compiègne , where they adorned and still adorn with their pedestals, the dining room of the Emperor.The present Lante vase  can be closely compared with various other important examples in various collections. ' A  Lante vase, also in antique marble and gilded bronze, executed in Rome between the late eighteenth century and early nineteenth century , and attributed to Francesco and Luigi Righetti by Alvar González- Palacios, op. cit., and which rests on a patinated bronze group of the Borghese Three Graces is now preserved in the collections of the Museo di Capodimonte e Gallerie Nazionali Naples (fig.4). Another related example was sold by Sotheby's in London in the sale entitled  Treasures, Princely Taste, July 6, 2011  lot 2 , for £ 265,250, rests on a circular base and alabaster antique green marble with bas-reliefs in gilded bronze belonging to the known repertoire employed by Francesco and Luigi Righetti. The vases of course had a great impact in England where they especially fascinated collectors as they appeared in two of the largest private collections of antique marbles of the kingdom, the Warwick Castle collection,  and Woburn Abbey collection. The celebrated silversmith Paul Storr was particularly inspired by the vases. Eight Warwick vases in silver were delivered, for example, to the Prince Regent, later George IV of England, by goldsmiths Rundell of the Crown, Bridge & Rundell and now belong to the collection of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

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A gilt-bronze-mounted ebony, bois citronnier and amaranth inlaid secrétaire

The secrétaire with a rectangular Belgian fossilised black marble top above an egg-and -dart border, the frieze drawer centred with trophies and a three fleurs-de-lys, flanked by a gilt-bronze medal, one depicting the Homage to Asclepius and inscribed Guerin Pinx. and Barre Sculp. and the dated MDCCCXXIV (1824) and the other depicting Pax driving her chariot over Europe and signed Barre F., the fall-front applied with a watercolour painting on vellum of mixed flowers signed E. Panckoucke, within a gilt-bronze border opening to reveal a leather-lined writing surface with a frieze drawer above a mirrored recess with four short drawers above a further long drawer inlaid with stylised anthemions and berried laurel leaves in amaranth on a bois citronnier ground, with mahogany drawer linings, the brass lock signed . Jacob Desmalter à Paris flanked by pilasters with doric capitals, the lower section also mounted with a watercolour painting on vellum of mixed flowers signed E Panckoucke, within a gilt-bronze border opening to reveal three long drawers each side mounted with a ribbon-tied berried laurel branch and a thrysus on a platform base, the cartonniers each with a fossilised Belgian black marble rectangular top above a laurel leaf border interposed by stylised anthemions with the front of each inset with a watercolour painting on vellum of mixed flowers, signed E Panckoucke within a gilt-bronze border with a geometric panel above and below inset with agates, the lower section applied with four patera, opening to reveal six later tooled red leather-fronted cartonniers with gilt-bronze handles above two banks of slats in oak on a platform base Comparative Literature: Henri Regnoul-Barre, Les Barre graveurs généraux des Monnaies créateurs des premiers timbres-poste français et grecs. Paris, 1978, p. 5. Pierre Arizzoli-Clémental and Jean-Pierre Samoyault, Le Mobilier de Versailles chefs-d'oeuvre du XIXe siècle, Dijon, 2009, p. 91. Denise Ledoux-Lebard, Le Mobilier Français du XlXe Siècle, Paris, 1989, planche LXXIX. Fabienne Seillan, Le château de Villeneuve-l'Étang, propriété privée de la duchess d'Angoulême, L'Objet d'Art, no. 414, June 2006, pp. 74-82. Elisabeth Hardouin-Fugier, The Pupils of Redouté, Leigh-on-Sea, 1981, p. 53. Archives nationales, 371 AP : Archives du duc et de la duchesse de Berry, fonds du château de Rosny. 371 AP / 2 : the Duchesse de Berry's accounts from 1817 to 1831. We would like to thank Dr. Fabienne Seillan for her assistance with this footnote and in particular the Provenance of the Duchesse de Berry. This visually stunning and rare set of furniture comprising a secrétaire and pair of cartonniers is constructed in precious and exotic materials including ebony embellished with exquisitely cast and chased gilt-bronze mounts and panels of agates and watercolour paintings on vellum to spectacular effect. It almost certainly must have been an important and specific commission by a member of the Bourbon family in the first quarter of the 19th century and the most likely candidate would appear to be the celebrated Duchesse de Berry, due to her interest in collecting furniture made from exotic materials in the latest fashion, her love of botany and her connection with the painter Ernestine Panckoucke, whose paintings embellish these pieces and the Duchesse's well documented commissions to the firm of Jacob-Desmalter. Furthermore, the frieze drawer of the secrétaire is mounted with her coat-of-arms amongst military trophies. Although the exact Provenance has not been possible to substantiate with any certainty to date, as the furniture does not seem to have been under the administration of the royal Garde Meuble, which would seem to indicate that it was a private commission. Furthermore, there is very little furniture in ebony recorded under the Restauration emphasising its rarity. This is the reason why the furniture delivered by Jacob-Desmalter for the Duchesse de Berry at the château de Tuileries in 1821 is particularly noteworthy. One must consider in this context the archives of the château de Rosny (National Archives) and its furniture, and also examine the engraved medals mounted on the secrétaire. The archives of the duchesse de Berry are incomplete, as for example, there is no record whatsoever of the purchase of works by Anne Ernestine Panckoucke, the artist (see post), whilst the catalogue of the auction of the collections of the duc and Duchesse de Berry indicate that there was a watercolour by this artist at the château de Rosny, and unfortunately there is no evidence of the delivery of this set of furniture in the remaining documents. Nevertheless, the archives contain some very interesting bills from Jacob-Desmalter. These documents, which are very detailed, provide accurate descriptions of the furniture delivered to the Duchesse de Berry not only in Rosny but also in her other residences:Bagatelle and the Tuileries. The Jacob-Desmalter commissions for the Duchesse de Berry: In a bill dated 10th October 1821, several pieces of furniture made of ebony are recorded and designed on the same principle as the secrétaire à abattant and the cartonniers offered here, delivered by Jacob-Desmalter to the Château des Tuileries: - a table of Gothic style made of French ebony designed to received eleven cameos painted by Isabet [Jean-Baptiste Isabey], representing several views of the château de Rosny, which are placed on top, framed by small bronze frames and between them are fitted bronze arrows, the said frames are supported by pins adorned with laurels and ribbons, the middle frame similar and decorated with palm leaves and foliage, the edge of the said table is covered with a bronze frame decorated with several  moldings and arranged to receive the glass which covers the said table, the foot is composed of a decorated gothic dome, supported by three triple columns with their capitals and bases and abacuses, the said columns are fitted on a triangular base which is carried by three gothic chimeras carved in the round - a table of Gothic style similar to that above to receive "fixés" [sous verre] - a table of Gothic style to receive Thiery's rich drawing, made up of a carved frieze of rich Gothic ornaments all around, in addition Gothic arches cut in the solid wood....terminating in flowers, the whole is supported by eight columns with capitals and bases and astragals carved in the same way, the center is occupied by an octagonal column ending with leaves, the whole is fitted on an octagon which is supported by eight lions carved in the round with the greatest care -a Chinese screen made of French ebony  divided into two panels in height, which were filled with solid mahogany panels arranged to be varnished and painted by HRH, each panel will be decorated with a bronze frame carved and gilded. -to jardinières made of French ebony. However, the most interesting record is a bill of supplies made by Jacob-Desmalter for the duchesse de Berry and delivered during  1824. On 30th August 1824, the cabinet maker delivered to the Château des Tuileries : "Two large pieces of furniture altered in the Chinese style to receive lacquer painted panels by HRH,  the panels of which are framed with moldings cast bronze, carved, assembled with nuts and gilded, the uprights simulate bamboo, in the frieze there are two lockable drawers, there are ornaments inlaid in copper in the "fields" around the panels which are inlaid pewter wires, the said furniture made of mahogany, the outside dyed in ebony, sanded and varnished with the greatest care". It is possible to identify this furniture in a description provided by the auction catalogue of the collections of the duc and Duchesse de Berry under the number 629 : "Deux armoires en ébène avec incrustations de cuivre, panneaux en laque, intérieur en acajou" [Two ebony cabinets inlaid with copper, lacquer panels, mahogany interior]. At that time they were at the Château de Rosny. The archives of the Duchesse de Berry from the château de Rosny, unfortunately incomplete, offer multiple parallels to the present set of ebony veneered furniture comprising a secrétaire à abattant,and two cartonniers. These documents are evidence that this set is most probably part of a group of  furniture made by Jacob-Desmalter for the Duchesse de Berry and delivered during the 1820's. They belong to a homogeneous group on account of not only their technique but also their composition in precious materials. Although the Duchesse de Berry acquired Rosny fully furnished she continued to fill it with newly acquired decorations, furniture and art. In her memories the Duchesse de Maillé states: "Rien ne peut être comparé au mobilier de Rosny: tous les étages et toutes les chambres sont également recherchés et soignés. Elle apporte en ce lieu ce qu'elle aime tout ce que le roi lui donne et tout ce qu'elle achète, de sorte que l'on peut dire que Rosny est encombré de meubles, mais il faut rendre cette justice à Madame qui le mérite, elle a fort bon goût. Tout chez elle est bien choisi. Elle a le sentiment du beau comme une Italienne". Most of the beautiful furnishings from Rosny were dispersed after 1830, when the Duchesse had to leave France. However, at the beginning of her exile she managed to have a significant part of furniture and objects sent to Trieste, before she transferred them to her estates in Austria. Furthermore, it is also worthwhile by means of a comparison, to consider the following pieces illustrated and recorded by Ledoux-Lebard, op. cit., planche LXXIX,a meubles à portes by A. Jacob, also with floral painted panels by E. Panckoucke,  which was in the exhibition: Marie-Louise et le Roi de Rome, Musée des Invalides, 1962: Toilette-coiffeuse à caisson en loupe executed for the Empress Marie-Louise who became the Duchesse de Parma, stamped A. Jacob-Desmalter, rue de Bondy, 30. The lockplates were stamped A.-Jacob Desmalter a Paris, reproduced here in fig. 2. The same author also op. cit., p. 366, records  the sale at Galerie Georges Petit 5th December 1930 lot no. 39: très beau bureau ministre... il ouvre a neuf rangs de tiroirs latereaux; en loupe de citronnier avec ornements de plaquettes en agate herborisée dans des encadrements de bronze...:it also had the stamp A. Jacob-Desmalter a Paris on the lockplate of the external drawers, This confirms the supply by Jacob-Desmalter to aristocratic clients of furniture applied both with painted panels and agate plaques reproduced here in fig. 3. . Also lot 40 of the same sale records : `paires de très hauts meubles-cartonniers en bois de citronnier' which were attributed to Jacob-Desmalter. Property from the collection of the Duchesse de Berry was sold in these Rooms, in the Noblesse Oblige sale on 14th April 2011,  and included, lot 208, a Royal gilt-bronze and miniature mounted ebony cased set of drawing instruments by Alphonse Giroux, circa 1829, with the coat-of arms of the three fleur-de lys as on the present piece. The framing mounts with scrolls and lotus leaf at the angles and gilt-bronze rosettes can be seen on a larger scale on a mahogany meubles en serre-papiers, one of a pair, illustrated by Arizzoli-Clémental et al op. cit., p. 91, delivered in 1810 by Jacob-Desmalter for the grand cabinet of the Emperor Napoleon at the Grand Trianon. The medals upon the secrétaire: Jean-Jacques Barre realised a medal on the subject of "Les Victoires et Conquêtes des Français de 1792 à 1815", which refers to Napoléon's conquests. Barre also made a medal depicting "L'offrande à Esculape". For this composition, he was inspired by a painting by Pierre Narcisse Guérin (1774-1833). "L'offrande à Esculape", now at the Louvre Museum, dated by all the modern sources to 1804. Furthermore, in the dictionary of Charles Gabet, this painting is said to have been made in 1802 and was at that time in the Palais de Trianon, in the park of Versailles. Barre may not have needed to see the original to create his medal because there were engravings by Henri Guillaume Chatillon after the painting of Guérin. No evidence permits us to connect these artists or these works specifically to members of the royal family. However, a portrait of the " Duchesse de Berry with her child " by Guérin was auctioned in Bern on 26th October 1988. Regnoul-Barre, op. cit., p. 5, illustrates the medal on this secrétaire depicting the Hommage to Asclepius, by J.-J. Barre (1793-1855) medallist and `Graveur général des Médailles' from 1842-1855 . He was entrusted in 1834, with the engraving of the coins of Louis Philippe. An interesting postscript is that in 1824, he produced a medal of Dr Charles Fleury Panckoucke (1781-1844) of Paris, the husband of the artist who executed the painted panels on this set of furniture. François-Honoré-Georges Jacob-Desmalter (1770-1841): He was the favourite cabinet-maker of Napoleon and belonged to a dynasty of leading cabinet-makers and was the son of the most celebrated seat furniture maker Georges Jacob. He took over the family's workshop in 1796, together with his brother Georges and the firm became known as Jacob Frères and remained in rue Mesaly or Meslée until 1825. He would have seen his father work on superlative objects such as the chairs for Marie-Antoinette's dairy at Rambouillet. Amongst Jacob-Desmalter's first commissions, was the decoration and furnishing of the town house of General Bonaparte and his wife Josephine in the rue Chantereine and the surviving furniture illustrates the patriotic and symbolic tastes which were so characteristic of the Directoire period heralding the Empire style. His next major commission was for the Récamiers, important and influential French bankers. At about the same time the firm was commissioned to decorate and furnish Malamaison, by Percier and Fontaine, which was the country retreat of Josephine. The firm also provided furniture for Bonaparte's apartments at the Tuileries and also exhibited at the second and third Expositions des Produits de l'lndustrie Française held in 1801 and 1802 in the courtyard of the Louvre and Jacob-Desmalter received a Gold Medal at the 1802 exhibition. Georges, his brother died in 1803 and then the firm continued for nine years under the directorship of his father and after that Jacob-Desmalter used his own personal stamp "JACOB.D. / R. MESLEE" applied from 1803 to 1813. It was during the Empire period that his reputation was established and his talent fully recognised, as it is recorded that in 1807, the firm employed 350 workmen. In 1809, he executed the malachite furniture at the Grand Trianon comprising two meubles d'appui, two candelabras and a vase supported by three large chimeras with the head of Hercules and a lion pelt. The latter after a design by Percier and Fontaine was modelled by Cartelier, had already been employed by Jacob-Desmalter for the throne of Napoleon at Fontainebleau. Jacob was known to work with the outstanding bronziers of the day such as Thomire and Delafontaine. His work according to Serge Grandjean, 'is esteemed not only on account of its stylistic homogeneity but because of its consistent high quality'. Anne-Ernestine Panckoucke (1784-1860): The Duchesse de Berry was well known for her interest in botany and in particular in the painting of flowers. She was herself a pupil of the painter Pierre-Joseph Redouté as well as Anne-Ernestine Panckoucke. Also according to Hardouin-Fugier op. cit, a watercolour by the artist was in the duc de Berry's collection. Panckoucke was born in Paris on 10th June 1784 and died in 1860. According to family tradition, as a small girl she (née Désormeaux) together with her parents fled the French Revolution and emigrated to Germany. Her husband whom she married prior to 1814, Louis-Fleury Panckoucke, was a writer, politican and publisher and they had many influential friends in artistic and intellectual circles. Ernestine studied under Prudhon when the latter was working for Empress Joséphine, his patroness at Malmaison. There Ernestine must have met Redouté, though at that time, she was still  known as `élève distinguée du célèbre Van Spaendonk'. Both she and her husband became neighbours of both Redouté and the  Pastorets at Fleury. On her master's advice, Ernestine Panckoucke painted in around 1827, garlands of flowers in a first floor room of her Fleury house. In 1830 she went to Edinburgh with her husband, when he was elected as a member of the local Society of Antiquaries. With Turpin as co-designer she contributed to his Flore usuelle in 1831. One watercolour by her was in the duc de Berry's collection. From the design of a table top in the Musée de Tours, it seems that neutral or dark backgrounds were typical of her 1840's production. According to Hardouin-Fugier, op. cit., `Unlike other pupils of Redouté, whose works remain nearly untraceable, those of Ernestine Panckoucke (one in the Broughton Collection, the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge), be they skilfull botanical drawings or opulent highly decorative, impressively painted later works are numerous enough to place (her)...in a class of her own, as one of Redouté's most gifted pupils'.  The Duchesse de Berry: On 5 November 1798, Maria-Carolina, Princess of Naples and Sicily, was born in the royal palace of Caserta. She was the daughter of Francis I, King of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Clementina, Archduchess of Austria. Her grandmother was Queen Carolina of Naples, herself a daughter of the celebrated Austrian Empress Maria-Theresa. In 1816, aged eighteen, this young, blonde, light-hearted and energetic princess was married to Charles Ferdinand, Duc de Berry, heir apparent to the French throne, thus becoming Marie-Caroline, Duchesse de Berry.  The entire future of the Bourbon dynasty now lay on the shoulders of the young couple and yet despite this responsibility the two soon fell deeply in love with each other. Thanks to her natural joie de vivre, kindness and good humour, the Duchesse invigorated the tired dynasty and enlivened the strict etiquette of the royal court at the Tuileries. In 1818, the Duke and the Duchess acquired the château de Rosny which became their favourite residence. Until the abdication of Charles X, Rosny would remain the place where the Duchesse de Berry felt happiest. A daughter, Louise, was born to the couple in 1819. Then tragedy struck four years after their marriage, the Duke was murdered in front of his wife on a frosty evening in February 1820. It appeared that with his death the old line of the Bourbon dynasty had come to an end but fate had a further twist when, seven months after the death of his father, the desperately desired heir to the throne of France, Henri, Comte de Chambord, Duc de Bordeaux, was born in September 1820. This birth was seen as a miracle, not least because the little prince was born on 29 September, the feast of St Michael, the patron saint of France. The entire population of France instantly fell in love with the child and his mother. From then on the Duchesse de Berry became the undisputed social centre of the royal court, the most fashionable and most portrayed princess of her time. Thanks to the new art form of lithography her image quickly became known throughout Europe. She shortened her skirts, showed her ankles, dressed in menswear for horse riding and arranged fancy dress balls in the Tuileries. Bored by the Empire style the duchess adopted the neo-Gothic, adored the Renaissance and redesigned the castle and park of her beloved Rosny. Her influence on the fashion of Romanticism was paramount in every sphere, from theatre and the romantic operas of Rossini to the contemporary painters and draughtsmen whose works she acquired to expand the famous art collection of her husband, not forgetting miniaturists, cabinetmakers, ivory carvers and porcelain manufactories among many others. Famous poets and composers dedicated works to the duchess and the French statesman François René de Chateaubriand recounted her life story in his Memoirs from beyond the grave, which was to become one of the most widely-read books of the 19th century, published in 14 languages. In 1824, Louis XVIII died and his brother Charles X succeeded him to the throne. The revolution of 1830 overthrew the dynasty of the older line of the young Duc de Bordeaux. Based on a democratic majority, Louis Philippe, Duke of Orléans, from the younger line of the Bourbons, became new King of the French. The principle of legitimacy had come to an end. The Restauration was over and the Tricouleur again the banner of France. The Duchesse de Berry now accompanied the royal family into exile to Scotland although not without having arranged for a significant amount of furnishings, art and personal belongings to be shipped to the safe haven of Trieste beforehand. Determined to regain the crown for her son, she conspired against Louis Philippe and landed in April 1832 in Marseille naïvely hoping the French troops would follow her appeal to overthrow the King. As soon as Louis Philippe recognized the threat, he mobilized the military all over France in order to track her down. Despite this Marie-Caroline managed in six adventurous weeks to escape from Marseille to Nantes on horseback, in men¹s clothing, armed with pistols, and accompanied only by a small band of supporters. She and her companions waded through bogs, swam across rivers and slept in haystacks. In Nantes, centre of the  Vendée region, she found refuge from June to November. Finally after having been denounced, she was captured and imprisoned in the fortress of Blaye near Bordeaux. Then yet another twist of fate, so typical of the Duchesse de Berry¹s life, took place. Apparently she had secretly married Count Ettore Lucchesi Palli, son of the Prince of Campofranco and governor of Sicily, in 1831 and in February 1833 she announced that she was pregnant. In May 1833, a daughter named Anna Rosalia was born. At this point Louis Philippe released her from imprisonment since as the wife of an Italian count she was no longer a political threat. After a short stay in Palermo, she reached Austria where Emperor Francis I granted her exile in October 1833. In the following years four more children were born to the Duchess and her husband. In 1837, she acquired castles and estates in Styria and in 1844 the Palazzo Vendramin on the Grand Canal in Venice, then part of the Austro/Hungarian Empire. Marie-Caroline, died aged 82 on 16 April 1870 at Brunnsee, her castle in Austria. Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan(1933-2003) was born in Paris the son of Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan and Princess Andrée Aga Khan. He served as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from 1966 to 1978. His interest in ecological issues led him to establish the Bellerive Foundation in the late 1970's, and he was a knowledgeable and respected collector of Islamic art. During his lifetime Prince Sadruddin assembled one of the finest private collections of Islamic art in the world. He became a knowledgeable and respected collector, accumulating a priceless collection of paintings, drawings, manuscripts and miniatures.

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  • 2012-07-04
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A MEISSEN COMPOSITE TRAVELLING (K.P.M.) CHINOISERIE TEA AND COFFEE SERVICE with contemporary Augsburg silver-gilt mounts, painted in the

A MEISSEN COMPOSITE TRAVELLING (K.P.M.) CHINOISERIE TEA AND COFFEE SERVICE with contemporary Augsburg silver-gilt mounts, painted in the manner of J.G. Höroldt with chinoiserie figures at various pursuits within quatrefoil cartouches with Böttger lustre panels and gilt and iron-red Laub-und-Bandelwerk, the ground with scattered indianische Blumen and insects and the borders with interlocking gilt scrolls and flowerheads within gilt line rims, comprising: (a) A pear-shaped coffee-pot and stepped domed cover with silver-gilt mounts, tapering spout and scroll handle with a figure watering flowers and a negro bringing fruit to a man seated beside a rabbit, the cover with gilt knob finial (slight hair crack beside spout) (b) A K.P.M. squat baluster teapot and cover with silver-gilt mounts, mask head spout, with a man bowing to two dignatories and figures seated beside a table, vases and a peacock displaying to one side (finial broken and a restored replacement, slight chip to footrim), blue K.P.M. mark (c) A K.P.M. octagonal sugar-box and cover with silver-gilt mounts, the box with two cats and two partridges with their chicks, the cover with a figure before a steaming pot and another before a vase (minute chip to footrim), blue K.P.M. mark (d) A hexagonal ribbed tea-caddy and cover, three panels with full length dignatories and three with pagodas on rocky outcrops (minute chip to footrim and rim of cover) (e) A bowl, one side with two figures before a steaming brazier, the other with a seated dignatory and a man holding a fan and a parrot on a hoop, the interior painted in iron-red with an Oriental beside a flowering plant Four teabowls with (f) a seated man smoking, (g) another beside a knife-grinder, (h) another gardening and (i) a negress before a table (the last with a minute rim chip), Dreher's to footrims Six saucers with (j) a huntsman riding a plumed horse followed by a dog, (k) a man leading a donkey carrying a monkey and birds, (l) another carrying three fish and a parrot on a pole, (m) another taking tea at discussion with a standing man, (n) a lady carrying chickens and a cockerel following her, and (o) a lady and child before a fence (the third with a small restored rim chip) (some slight rubbing to gilding), the mounts with EA marks for Elias Adam, Augsburg and stamped pineapple town marks for 1722-26, in a rectangular travelling case with chamfered corners, covered with leather, lined with green velvet edged with gilt braid, with gilt metal handles, hinges and fastenings (worm holes to box, some leather lacking, some relining to interior of cover and part of front fastening lacking), 1722-26 Two teabowls en suite with European half-figures as huntsmen in landscapes within oval cartouches (one cracked and with associated chip, the other with gilding rubbed), Dreher's /, circa 1723 the case 52.5cm. wide

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  • 1994-05-16
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Bust of a woman

In the middle of the 18th century, on the crossroads of Late Baroque and Rococo, Genoa saw the rise of its most talented and successful school of sculptors. Usually destined for the city's many well-preserved palazzi or one of the opulent churches of Liguria, major marble carvings by members from the school rarely appear outside Italy, let alone on the market. The present bust bears all the hallmarks of a Genovese 18th-century masterpiece, combining beauty and elegance of design with impressive, seemingly revolving drapery and the daring incorporation of inventive motifs in the details. Particularly these details, which take an almost architectural form here, are signature flourishes of one of Genoa's most internationally renowned sculptors, Francesco Maria Schiaffino. His authorship is substantiated by the object's noble provenance. The bust represents a woman with an elaborate diadem crowned by a scalloped ornament and a decorated knop in the hair at the back of the head around which a braid is wrapped. A great swathe of drapery orbits the shoulders, leaving one breast exposed, and is knotted together and suspended at the lower edge of the truncation. The subject's great, alluring beauty is attained by piercing eyes, a sleek jawline and shapely flattened chin, her soft neck, and wonderfully drilled and textured curled locks. Equally noteworthy are the highly unusual fluted buttress to the reverse and the socle, which is rhythmically decorated with rocaille elements. The figure was reputedly previously displayed in a grand Genoa palazzo alongside a bust of a man which is in private hands elsewhere. The exuberance and less classical handling of the face and the mannered details on the bust point to the work of several of Genoa's greatest sculptors, including Filippo Parodi and Bernardo and Francesco Maria Schiaffino. These sculptors benefited from being trained in Rome by late Baroque masters such as Camillo Rusconi before returning to their native city and absorbing Spanish and, more importantly, French fashions. Their decorations of the Genovese palazzi often pushed the limits of marble sculpture, a case in point being Bernardo Schiaffino's virtuoso Romulus and Remus groups in the Palazzo Bianco. The ingenuity with which the reverse, socle, and hairpieces of the present bust are detailed, however, are only paralleled in the most ambitious work of Bernardo's younger brother, Francesco Maria: the 1735 Tomb of Saint Catherine of Genoa in the church devoted to her in that city. Around the elevated glass coffin in which the mummified body of Saint Catherine Fieschi is displayed, Schiaffino placed four unidentified monumental female personifications of Virtues, reclining on enormous projecting marble volutes reinforced with iron, who rapturously look up to the Saint. Each has amazonian proportions and is enveloped by drapery of which the folds reach around the bodies before elaborately crossing around the abdomen much like the present bust. The collar of the Virtue with the cloth headdress often reserved for Old Testament women lifts up from the body in a similar fashion as is seen on our bust's proper left shoulder. Equally important to note is the treatment of the hair of the woman with a helmet where the curling locks flow to one side to balance a swathe of drapery on the shoulder and are lent a sense of movement by being fully carved free from the figure and detailed and textured by following a spiralling pattern with a toothed chisel and drills. Conclusive, however, are the women's headdresses: two have diadems that compare well to the present figure whilst the Virtue with the Old Testament headdress has a circular hairpin at the back of the head that performs the same function as the knop at the back of our figure's head which is decorated with Rococo shapes that are nearly identical to those on the socle of the bust. Because Schiaffino slowly moved away from the late Baroque style of his master Rusconi as the century progressed and because his early representations of women such as those on the Saint Catherine Fieschi tomb were often meant to convey forcefulness or rapture, the facial features of the present bust compare better to Schiaffino's manner of representing youthful women towards the end of his career. From the 1740s onwards he lent grace and a childlike alertness to his female subjects by giving them slender, elongated faces with sharply delineated features such as the thin and long nose and small mouth with plump lips that also typify the physiognomy of the present carving. The Virgin of the Immaculate Conception he supplied for the chapel in the Palazzo Doria Lamba in 1762, for example, compares particularly well to the present bust. As such Schiaffino probably carved the bust one or two decades after the tomb in Genoa, around 1750-1760. RELATED LITERATURE Sculture di Francesco Maria Schiaffino, exh. cat. Palazzo Rosso, Genoa, 1973; L. Puccio Canepa, 'Interventi settecenteschi a Chiavari: F. Schiaffino e G. Galeotti nella chiesa di S. Giovanni Battista', Arte cristiana 89, 2001, pp. 355-368

  • GBRStorbritannien
  • 2015-07-09
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L'amour en plein air; Réunion champêtre

Following Antoine Watteau’s early death in 1718, it was left to his erstwhile and only pupil, Jean-Baptiste Pater to meet the rising demand for the ‘modern’ subjects of the fête champêtre or fête galante that the former had introduced. Admitted to the Académie Royale as an associate member in July 1725, Pater devoted the rest of his highly successful career to producing genre paintings such as these for the Parisian market. The spirit and subject matter of Pater’s works were profoundly influenced by Watteau, and like them he skilfully clothed the figures in his imaginary settings in an imaginative mixture of contemporary clothing and fancy dress. Although Watteau only occasionally painted versions of his designs, Pater did so routinely. The design of the first of these pictures, for example, is mirrored by another signed work formerly in the collection of Frederick the Great of Prussia and now at Schloss Sanssouci near Potsdam.1 Frederick was an avid collector of Pater’s works, and owned over forty works by him. Another very similar work, but with some figures reversed, was sold New York, Sotheby’s, 25 January 2007, lot 98 ($600,000). This pair of paintings is also thought to have had the distinction of having belonged to two of the most famous collections of paintings formed in the 19th century. By tradition they were acquired from the collection of George, 3rd Duke of Sutherland at Stafford House in London, one of the most famous collections of paintings and objets d’art of its day. An invoice dated 3 November 1876 records the sale of '1 piece of Mother of pearl furniture, metal mounted &c, 1 Small piece to match and 2 Pictures Watteau'  to Alfred de Rothschild for the sum of ten thousand pounds. The collection formed by Baron Alfred de Rothschild (1842 – 1918) and kept at his houses in Halton in Buckinghamshire and at Seamore Place in London, was no less magnificent, and included several paintings by both Watteau and Pater. However, the illustrated catalogue of his collection, published in 1884, does not record a pair of paintings of this description by either artist. 1. F. Ingersoll-Smouse, Pater, Paris 1928, p. 40, no. 35, reproduced fig. 31.

  • GBRStorbritannien
  • 2015-04-28
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