• Spanish Splendour  - The Colle auction at Christies

    Sale 7818

    Spanish Splendour - The Collection of a Marqués

    5 November 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 19

    A PAIR OF SPANISH ORMOLU-MOUNTED SCAGLIOLA FAUX MALACHITE SIDE CHAIRS

    CIRCA 1840-1860

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A PAIR OF SPANISH ORMOLU-MOUNTED SCAGLIOLA FAUX MALACHITE SIDE CHAIRS
    CIRCA 1840-1860
    The back, seat and front legs mounted with scrolling foliage and crosses, the oval back and seat upholstered in beige cut-velvet, on cabriole legs with castors, with label 'Lucie Vers 1830'
    37 in. (94 cm.) high; 21 in. (53 cm.) wide; 19 in. (48 cm.) deep, approx. (2)


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    Decorated with scagliola imitating malachite and foliate ormolu mounts, these chairs are en suite with a malachite armchair and table in the Salon de Baile of the Casita del Labrador at Aranjuez. The table was a gift from Alexander II of Russia to Isabel II of Spain, almost certainly in the late 1850s, and subsequently chairs were made in Spain in scagliola imitating Russian malachite which were added to the suite (L. Feduchi, Colecciones de Espana, El Meuble, Madrid, 1965, p. 318, fig. 224). Furniture and works of art decorated in malachite were perhaps the most precious and glamourous of Russian Imperial gifts, mostly given to other European monarchs or aristocrats and adding an unusual green touch to any interior. The malachite table and clock at Chatsworth, given by Empress Alexandra of Russia to the 6th Duke of Devonshire, demonstrate the impact of this unususual precious mineral (The Duchess of Devonshire, Chatsworth, London, 2002, pp. 83-84).

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