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    Sale 7745

    Important European Furniture, Sculpture & Clocks

    9 July 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 113

    A PAIR OF SILVER GILT-FRAMES WITH TWO PAINTED IVORY PANELS OF THE ADORATION OF THE MAGI AND THE VIRGIN AND CHILD WITH SAINT ANTHONY OF PADUA

    THE PAINTINGS BY MARIA-FELICE SUBLEYRAS-TIBALDI (1707-1770) AND THE FRAMES BY GIUSEPPE RUSCA (MASTER 1695-1745), CIRCA 1745

    Price Realised  

    A PAIR OF SILVER GILT-FRAMES WITH TWO PAINTED IVORY PANELS OF THE ADORATION OF THE MAGI AND THE VIRGIN AND CHILD WITH SAINT ANTHONY OF PADUA
    THE PAINTINGS BY MARIA-FELICE SUBLEYRAS-TIBALDI (1707-1770) AND THE FRAMES BY GIUSEPPE RUSCA (MASTER 1695-1745), CIRCA 1745
    The reverse of each frame elaborately engraved with strapwork and foliage; both frames bearing the Rome city stamp and the maker's mark; the former panel signed and dated 'Ma· Felice Tibaldi Subleyras Pinx. 1745'; the latter signed and dated 'Ma. Felice Tibaldi Subleyras Pinx. 1744'; very minor wear, one of the suspension loops lacking
    7¾ x 5¾ in. (19.8 x 14.7 cm.) the painted panels; 11¾ x 8½ in. (29.8 x 21.6 cm.) the frames (2)


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    Maria-Felice Tibaldi Subleyras (1707-1770) was a talented miniaturist who was also married to the French artist Pierre Subleyras (1699-1749). She was renowned both for her portraits and her depictions of religious scenes, many of them painted after compositions by her husband.

    Although beautifully painted, the present lot is equally notable for the sumptuous silver-gilt frames by the Roman goldsmith Giuseppe Rusca (master 1696-1745). The cast frames have been exquisitely punched and chased, and the reverse of each frame has also been covered with a plate which is extensively decorated with strapwork and foliate decoration.

    The fashion for Roman silver among aristocratic Portuguese families was at its height in the mid 18th century, promoted as it was by the monarch, John V of Portugal (1689-1750). Funded by the vast wealth pouring into his coffers from the natural resources of Brazil, the king was considered the most important artistic patron of his day. This patronage is perhaps best exemplified by the Chapel of St. John the Baptist in the church of Sao Roque, Lisbon. Commissioned by the king in 1740, it was constructed in Rome of mosaics, gilt-bronze and precious hardstones such as lapis lazuli and porphyry, and the elaborate liturgical candlesticks and vessels were made of silver by Roman craftsmen. The entire chapel was then dismantled, packed onto three boats and shipped to Lisbon where it was re-assembled. It was said to be the most expensive chapel in its day.

    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.


    Saleroom Notice

    Please note that there is new provenance for this lot. Records from the Portuguese royal archives show that the present two framed miniatures were commissioned by the king, John V of Portugal, along with a third miniature depicting St. Joseph, now lost. Payment was made in three instalments on 29 July and 18 November 1744, and 30 January 1745, for a total of 300 scudi. The miniatures are minutely described, including the fact that a first set of ebony frames were rejected in favour of the present silver-gilt ones.

    For more precise details please contact the department.

    We would like to thank Jennifer Montagu for bringing this additional documentation to our attention.


    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY FROM A PORTUGUESE DUCAL FAMILY