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    Sale 7597

    Important Silver

    10 June 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 120

    SEVEN FRENCH SILVER-GILT SERVING PIECES FROM THE BRANICKI SERVICE

    MARK OF FRANCOIS-DOMINIQUE NAUDIN, PARIS, CIRCA 1819

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    SEVEN FRENCH SILVER-GILT SERVING PIECES FROM THE BRANICKI SERVICE
    MARK OF FRANCOIS-DOMINIQUE NAUDIN, PARIS, CIRCA 1819
    Each piece decorated with a peacock above a mask between two cornucopia, a bull's mask and stylised foliage, engraved with two coats-of-arms accollée below a coronet, comprising: two ice-cream spades; two basting spoons; two serving spoons and a pierced sifting spoon
    10¾ in. (27.5 cm.) long and smaller
    26 oz. (797 gr.)
    The arms are those of Branicki for General Count Francois-Xavier Branicki (1731-1819) and his wife Alexandra Vasil'evna Engelhardt (1754-1838) whom he married in 1781.

    As niece of Prince Potemkin, Alexandra Vasil'evna Engelhardt was presented at the court in St. Petersburg in 1772, when she was eighteen. She immediately became a favourite of the Empress Catherine and accompanied her on many of her travels. In 1781 she married Count François-Xavier Petrovich Branicki, of an old and powerful Polish family. Countess Branicki accompanied the Empress on her journey to the Crimea in 1787. After Catherine's death, she and her husband retired to their estates where the Count died in 1819. The Countess did not return to court until 1824 when she accepted the post of ober-gofmeistrina, or Senior Court Chamberlain. Having inherited the estates of her uncle Potemkin and her husband, she was thought to be worth 28 million roubles. (7)


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    Provenance

    Countess Branicki (1754-1838) and then by descent
    probably to Adam Branicki, who transferred most of the service to state ownership, circa 1920


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A EUROPEAN COLLECTOR
    (Lots 112-148)