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    Sale 7574

    Thomas Hope & The Neoclassical Vision & The Collector of Collections

    24 April 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 414

    A PAIR OF LOUIS XVI BRONZE BUSTS OF CHILDREN

    LATE 18TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A PAIR OF LOUIS XVI BRONZE BUSTS OF CHILDREN
    LATE 18TH CENTURY
    One depicted laughing, the other crying, each on a spreading circular gilt-bronze socle and ebony-veneered pedestal mounted with ormolu masks on each side
    Each bust 15¾ in. (40 cm.) high, including base (2)


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    The prototype for the present lot has generally been accepted to be a small Chelsea factory porcelain head of a girl housed in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. Nicholas Penny discusses the tradition according to which the sitter is the daughter of sculptor Louis-François Roubiliac (N. Penny, Catalogue of European Sculpture in the Ashmolean Museum - 1540 to the Present Day, Oxford, 1992, vol. III, pp. 17-19, no. 457).

    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

    Bought from Partridge on 31 July 1963.
    Sir Michael Sobell (+); Christie's, London, 23 June 1994, lot 156.


    Pre-Lot Text

    Sir Michael Sobell, British Radio and television icon, was born in Galicia (then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire) and moved to England at a young age. He first became a trader in leather, then electrical goods, rapidly expanding his business to include radios and radiograms, and finally selling his company to EMI.
    In 1959, Sobell and his wife, Anne hired the interior designer John Siddeley (later Lord Kenilworth) to redecorate and furnish their newly-acquired home, Bakeham House, near Egham.
    Sobell will probably be best remembered however, for his altruism and philanthropic activities having set up numerous charitable trusts. He reached the zenith of every racehorse owners achievements, winning the Derby with Troy, in partnership with his son-in-law, Lord Weinstock, in 1979.