• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7433

    Important Early European Furniture, Sculpture and Tapestries

    8 November 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 116

    A NORTH ITALIAN BRASS-MOUNTED, MOTHER-OF-PEARL-INLAID, POLYCHROME-DECORATED, BLACK AND GILT-JAPANNED MIRROR

    EARLY 18TH CENTURY, PROBABLY VENICE

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A NORTH ITALIAN BRASS-MOUNTED, MOTHER-OF-PEARL-INLAID, POLYCHROME-DECORATED, BLACK AND GILT-JAPANNED MIRROR
    EARLY 18TH CENTURY, PROBABLY VENICE
    The rectangular plate within a moulded frame decorated with Chinoiserie scenes with figures at a tea ceremony, butterflies and dragons with simulated shagreen corners, minor losses to the decoration, the engraved mother-of-pearl inlay possibly later, the mirror plate and backboard probably replaced
    47¼ x 38 in. (120 x 96.5 cm.)


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    This Venetian mirror, decorated with brass and engraved mother-of-pearl insects, typifies the fascination for the alluring products of the Orient, made available through Venice's extensive trade contacts with the East. Furniture embellished in this precious technique became a specialty of Venice, demonstrated by the documented oeuvre of various artists. The celebrated architect and carver Domenico Rossetti (1650-1736), for instance, executed 'Una stanza nella casa di Angelo Nicolosi cancelliere grande, con diversi lavori alla chinese, vernici, intagli e rimessi di madreperla: opera mirabile per la rarità dell'invenzione e della esecuzione' (Zannandreis, 1891, p. 349). Venetian workshops producing mirrors of this style, decorated them either in black or red lacca simulating oriental lacquer. A related mirror in the Museo Civico di Storia e Arte in Trieste (Gift of Contessa Margherita Nugent, 1954), is illustrated in C. Alberici, Il Mobile Veneto, Milan, 1980, p. 159, fig. 218.

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    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.