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    Sale 7608

    Important European Furniture and Sculpture

    10 July 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 128

    A FRENCH HARDSTONE-MOUNTED ORMOLU, PORPHYRY AND SILVERED BRONZE MINIATURE COLLECTOR'S CABINET

    MID-19TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    A FRENCH HARDSTONE-MOUNTED ORMOLU, PORPHYRY AND SILVERED BRONZE MINIATURE COLLECTOR'S CABINET
    MID-19TH CENTURY
    The canted rectangular top with moulded edge above a panelled frieze set with rectangular specimen panels of semi-precious stones, including green porphyry, various agates and jaspers, the sides and canted angles similarly decorated, above a pair of doors enclosing an interior fitted with five silvered drawers decorated with scrolling foliage, the rails set with circular and oval cabochon-cut specimen stones, including alabastro egiziano fiorito, alabastro bianco and amethyst, on foliate-cast feet
    14¾ in. (37.5 cm.) high; 12 in. (30.5 cm.) wide; 6¼ in. (16 cm.) deep


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    The fabulously jewelled gilt casket is conceived in early nineteenth century Imperial 'Louis Quatorze' fashion, decorated with facetted Egyptian porphyry evoking Eternity and Roman-mosaiced bands of richly-figured semi-precious stones, crowned by embossed cartouches bearing Diana's crescent-moons displayed in antique-stippled tablets. Like the casket's triumphal-arched and truss-scrolled feet, the drawers recall a Golden Age with bas-relief rainceaux of golden Roman foliage.

    The flamboyant use of porphyry as well as precious hardstones suggest a link to the Demidoff family, who were some of the greatest patrons of the arts; and in particular the name of prince Anatole (b. 1813) springs to mind, who was created Prince of San Donato in 1837 and inherited not only the mining imperium from his father but also the Italian estates with the fabulous Villa San Donato near Florence and.

    Special Notice

    VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 15% on the buyer's premium


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN