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    Sale 7731

    Centuries of Style: Silver, European Ceramics, Portrait Miniatures and Gold Boxes

    2 June 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 57

    A MEISSEN GOLD-MOUNTED CIRCULAR SNUFF-BOX AND COVER

    CIRCA 1738, THE MOUNTS PROBABLY CONTEMPORARY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A MEISSEN GOLD-MOUNTED CIRCULAR SNUFF-BOX AND COVER
    CIRCA 1738, THE MOUNTS PROBABLY CONTEMPORARY
    The cover painted with Harlequin and a musician entertaining two ladies by an urn and classical ruins in a river landscape, the waisted sides of the box with a continuous river landscape scene with a fortified bridge, a town, ruins and figures by large pedestals, the lower part with large half chrysanthemum and lotus heads against tightly scrolling red foliage, the underside with a harbour scene with figures in conversation, the interior of the cover painted with a musician and companion by a fountain issuing water, in interior richly-gilt (two minute flakes to cover and light scratches, small areas of wear to underside)
    3 in. (7.6 cm.) diam. overall


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    The interior scene is taken from an engraving after Watteau, known as L'Aventurier, see Siegfried Ducret, Keramik und Graphik (Brunswick, 1973), p. 161, fig. 251.

    Ralph Bernal's sale of the contents of his home at Eaton Square was held over thirty-two days and the Christie's catalogue produced for the auction was one of the earliest sales to be illustrated. In the introduction to the catalogue, J.R. Planché wrote, 'Distinguished amongst English Antiquaries by the perfection of his taste, as well as the extent of his knowledge...Mr. Bernal could be tempted by nothing that was inferior.' Apart from his varied collection of maiolica, porcelain and glass, he also owned fine examples of arms and armour, silver, jewellery, ivories, paintings and furniture.

    See also the snuff-box of similar form from the Collection of Connal Wade Harris Esq, sold in these Rooms on 7 October 1985, lot 176.

    The band of iron-red foliage is reminiscent of the 'salami' decoration on Meissen plates of circa 1730, see the examples sold in these Rooms on 11 December 2007, lots 21-24.

    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

    The Ralph Bernal Collection, Christie's sale at 93 Eaton Square, 5th March 1855, lot 3673.


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A NOBLE FAMILY