• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7745

    Important European Furniture, Sculpture & Clocks

    9 July 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 95

    A PAIR OF SOUTH NETHERLANDISH GILTWOOD AND POLYCHROME-DECORATED PIER GLASSES

    LAST QUARTER 17TH CENTURY, PROBABLY BRUSSELS, POSSIBLY ORIGINALLY PICTURE FRAMES

    Price Realised  

    A PAIR OF SOUTH NETHERLANDISH GILTWOOD AND POLYCHROME-DECORATED PIER GLASSES
    LAST QUARTER 17TH CENTURY, PROBABLY BRUSSELS, POSSIBLY ORIGINALLY PICTURE FRAMES
    Each with a later rectangular plate in a laurel-carved border and pierced strapwork and acanthus frame, below a cresting with the Thurn and Taxis and Fürstenberg-Heiligenberg coats-of-arms, flanked by lions and putti, the sides with ribbon-tied trumpets, the apron with floral swags
    60 x 44 in. (152.5 x 112 cm.) (2)


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Contact the department

    These splendid giltwood mirrors are headed by coats-of-arms held by lions, surmounted by a crown and above the order of the Golden Fleece. The arms are those of Thurn und Taxis and Fürstenberg-Heiligenberg, for Count Eugen Alexander von Thurn und Taxis (1652-1714) and Countess Adelheid von Fürstenberg-Heiligenberg (1659-1701), who were married in Vienna in 1678. The mirrors were perhaps executed on the occasion of their marriage, but certainly before 1695, when Count Eugen Alexander was elevated to the rank of Prince or Fürst of the Holy Roman Empire by Emperor Leopold I. This subsequently entitled him to adopt a closed crown, not yet seen on the present mirrors.

    Elaborately carved with a rythmic scheme of flat strapwork, acanthus scrolls issuing from scrolls and rosettes, festive ribbon-tied trumpets and shells, these mirrors were almost certainly executed in Brussels, where members of the Taxis, and later Thurn und Taxis family had been active as merchants and post masters since the late 15th Century. The highly distictive carving of these mirrors relates to that of various items of furniture executed in Antwerp and Brussels around 1700, such as the pierced apron of the cabinet executed by Hendrik van Soest (1659-after 1716) for Philip V of Spain (T. Wolfesperges, Le Meuble en Belgique, Brussels, 2000, p. 149, fig. 45) or the giltwood base of the celebrated table top by Michiel Verbiest (fl. 1648-1689), which was carved by Pieter de Loose (n.d.) in 1689. (Ibid, p. 141, fig 41).

    Special Notice

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


    Provenance

    Prince Eugen Alexander von Thurn und Taxis.
    Mrs. Wakefield Saunders, 2 Hyde Park Gardens, London W2 and by descent.
    Christie's, London, 12 June 2003, lot 1111, where acquired by the present owner.


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN


    Literature

    Law, Foulsham & Cole, Ltd., 1928 Inventory of 2 Hyde Park Gardens, London W2, Dining-Room, 'A SEVENTEENTH CENTURY GILT WOOD WALL MIRROR - 60 in. high and 44 in. wide. Pierced and finely carved with scrolls, musical instruments, flowers, foliage and shell ornament and surmounted by a coat-of-Arms having lion supporters with coronet above and flanked with reclining figures of cherubs holding scroll labels on either side; fitted with a mirror panel 33½ x 27 in. This mirror is one of a pair. £200-0-0'. Drawing Room, ditto description.