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    Sale 1987

    Important European Furniture, Works of Art, Ceramics, Carpets, And Glass

    20 May 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 147

    A PARIS (NAPLES-DECORATED) GOLD-GROUND AND GRISAILLE PART COFFEE SERVICE

    CIRCA 1800-1820, VARIOUS INCISED NUMBERS

    Price Realised  

    A PARIS (NAPLES-DECORATED) GOLD-GROUND AND GRISAILLE PART COFFEE SERVICE
    Circa 1800-1820, various incised numbers
    Each piece painted en grisaille with a portrait bust of an historic 'Son of Naples', identified in Italian below, including scientists, composers, artists, theologians and men of letters, comprising:
    A coffee-pot and a cover, 10 in. (26 cm.) high
    A sugar-bowl and cover, 7 5/8 in. (19.3 cm.) high
    A milk-jug, 7 7/8 in. (19.7 cm.) high
    Twelve cups and saucers, 5 3/8 in. (13.7 cm.) diameter, the saucers (29)


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    The portraits on the present service are based on engravings of noted Neapolitan figures from 13th century to the early 19th century. Celebrating a broad range of scientific and artistic thought, they cover many disciplines. However, the selection of male portraits is linked by two important factors: all are maverick creators breaking new ground in his given discipline and all can be tied at some point of their career to the city of Naples.

    History has recorded some as notorious villains while others are celebrated humanists remembered for their foresight and passion. For example, the 'Socerer Prince' Raimondo de Sangro, the Prince of San Severo, was a diabolical alchemist; Torquato Tasso was an epic poet who preserved the romance of Rinaldo and Tancredi; and Francesco Serao, a scientist and physician, disputed the rites of the Tarantella and musical exorcism while also being recorded as the first to use the word lava in connection with extruded magma in his account of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. A complete listing of their dates and disciplines can be supplied by the Porcelain Department on request.