• Centuries of Style: Silver, Eu auction at Christies

    Sale 7800

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

    17 November 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 152

    TWELVE SEVRES BEAU BLEU-GROUND PLATES FROM THE COMTE D'ARANDA SERVICE (ASSIETTE UNIE)

    1786, MANGANESE AND BLUE INTERLACED LS ENCLOSING DATE LETTER II OR JJ, VARIOUS PAINTER'S MARKS INCLUDING: CORNAILLES, BUILDON, MME TAILLANDIER, COMMELIN, TANDART, AND GILDER'S MARKS INCLUDING: DECAMBOS, PRÉVOST, ETIENNE-HENRY LE GUAY AND VINCENT

    Price Realised  

    TWELVE SEVRES BEAU BLEU-GROUND PLATES FROM THE COMTE D'ARANDA SERVICE (ASSIETTE UNIE)
    1786, MANGANESE AND BLUE INTERLACED LS ENCLOSING DATE LETTER II OR JJ, VARIOUS PAINTER'S MARKS INCLUDING: Cornailles, Buildon, Mme Taillandier, Commelin, Tandart, AND GILDER'S MARKS INCLUDING: Decambos, Prévost, Etienne-Henry Le Guay AND Vincent
    Each painted with a central bouquet of fruit and flowers within a circular gilt cartouche, the border gilt with scrolling foliage and swags of flowers divided by three shaped rectangular panels of trailing flowers and fruit between gilt band borders (minute footrim chip to one, very slight wear)
    Each approximately 9 in. (23.5 cm.) diam. (12)


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    The present twelve plates were part of a diplomatic gift from King Louis XVI to Pedro Pablo Abarca de Bolea Ximiez de Urré, Comte d' Aranda, Spanish Ambassador-Extraordinary to France and principal advisor to Carlos III, King of Spain. This generous gift marked the conclusion of his ambassadorship (1773-1787). He had been a successful reformer and man of enlightenment, forming friendships with Diderot and Voltaire while living in Paris. His progressive views were paired with a love for lavish entertaining and socialising. This extensive service, with its richly executed ornament, was one of the most expensive with non-figural decoration, costing a total of 43,428 livres. The use of a beau bleu ground is particularly significant in that this was the ground colour selected for Louis XVI's own service, now in the Royal Collection and on display at Windsor Castle.

    Following Louis XVI's imprisionment and execution, the Comte d'Aranda's enlightened leanings were seen as incompatible with the war that was declared against revolutionary France. He was removed from office and following a brief period of imprisonment and the threat of trial before the Inquisition, he died at Epila.

    The service entered the Spanish Royal Collection through Don Carlos who became Charles IV. Substantial parts of the service were then divided and sold in the 19th Century, the first of these being the sale from the apartments of Don Carlos in Madrid at Christie's on 11 March 1836, which included forty-eight plates in six lots. A further selection of the service from the collection of the Late Captain Charles Spencer Ricketts appeared at Christie's on 13 June 1867, which included twenty-eight plates in two lots. A further part service from the Lord Revelstoke Collection was sold on 28 June 1893, lot 366 to a Mr. C. Davis. Several pieces from the service have made their way on to the open market in recent years, in particular the plate from the Charles-Otto Zieseniss Collection sale at Christie's Paris on 5 and 6 December 2001, lot 210 and the example from the Pompey Collection sale at Christie's New York on 23 May 2002, lot 56.

    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

    Most probably acquired by James, 2nd Marquess of Abercorn (1811-1885), later created 1st Duke of Abercorn in 1868, and thence by descent.


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A NOBLEMAN