• The Manolo March Collection Fr auction at Christies

    Sale 7817

    The Manolo March Collection From Son Galcerán, Mallorca

    28 - 29 October 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 40

    AN ITALIAN GILTWOOD GROTTO SOFA

    CIRCA 1870, SUPPLIED BY PIERRE DELBEE OF MAISON JANSEN

    Price Realised  

    AN ITALIAN GILTWOOD GROTTO SOFA
    CIRCA 1870, SUPPLIED BY PIERRE DELBEE OF MAISON JANSEN
    Modelled as an opened oyster, upholstered in buttoned silk-velvet, the shaped arms modelled as dolphins, regilt
    44½ in. (113 cm.) high; 50 in. (127 cm.) wide


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    This fantastical settee is an example of 'Grotto' furniture, so-called after the fashion for building whimsical shell-encrusted grottos from the early 17th century onwards. Almost certainly of Venetian origin, by the mid-19th century there were a number of workshops specialising in meccha (gilt-varnished silvered) shell furniture in Venice, of which Pauly et Cie. was perhaps the leading firm by the 1880s (B. M. Newman and A. Duncan, Fantasy Furniture, New York, 1989, p. 62).

    Special Notice

    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.


    Provenance

    Mallett of Bourdon House, London, from whom acquired by Don Bartolomé March Servera for Sa Torre Cega, Cala Ratjada, Mallorca circa 1962.