The tastemaker House & Garden magazine

The tastemaker: House & Garden magazine

House & Garden  selects its favourite lots on offer in The Collector  online, until 1 June

For the first time, Christie’s in London is holding  The Collector sale online. Open for bidding until 1 June, it features 263 lots, ranging from 18th-century French decorative arts to novelty silver cocktail shakers that take the form of animals. There’s an excellent selection of lacquered pieces, ceramics, Meissen porcelain and gold boxes, too. 

For the online edition of The Collector, Christie’s has produced four interactive illustrated room vignettes to help collectors visualise how the objects might fit in their homes. 

In the study vignette (above), an 18th-century ormolu, amaranth and tulipwood writing desk is paired with a gilt-metal mounted lacquer karabitsu, a marble sculpture of Venus and an Italian micromosaic picture of the Temple of Vesta in Rome, while in the sitting room vignette (below), a pale green George III giltwood sofa is juxtaposed with a large Chinese famille rose vase and a 19th-century French ormolu and marble gueridon.

‘It seems that we are living almost every element of life through screens at the moment — to socialise, to work, to shop and even to exercise. The illustrated vignettes bring something a little different to our eyes,’ says Elizabeth Metcalfe, Deputy Features Editor of House & Garden, of the new Christie’s initiative. 

‘The drawings are charming, but they are also very helpful in showing the scale of pieces and how they work together in a domestic context, which is much harder to work out when we can’t physically see the pieces in the saleroom.’

Here, Metcalfe offers her take on selected highlights from the sale.

A pair of North European mirrors

A pair of North European stained beech and pine and blue-glass mirrors, possibly Swedish, late 19th century. 62 in (157.5 cm) high; 25 in (63.5 cm) wide. Estimate £4,000-6,000. Offered in 
The Collector Online, 11 May to 1 June 2020, Online

A pair of North European stained beech and pine and blue-glass mirrors, possibly Swedish, late 19th century. 62 in (157.5 cm) high; 25 in (63.5 cm) wide. Estimate: £4,000-6,000. Offered in The Collector: Online, 11 May to 1 June 2020, Online

‘The vivid blue glass framing these mirrors gives this otherwise traditional style a contemporary edge. They would look super in a sitting room either side of a chimney-breast.’ 

A 16th-century Italian Maiolica dish

An Italian maiolica copper-lustred dish, first quarter of the 16th century, probably cafaggiolo. 93⁄4 in (24.8 cm) diameter. Estimate £1,200-1,800. Offered in 
The Collector Online, 11 May to 1 June 2020, Online

An Italian maiolica copper-lustred dish, first quarter of the 16th century, probably cafaggiolo. 934 in (24.8 cm) diameter. Estimate: £1,200-1,800. Offered in The Collector: Online, 11 May to 1 June 2020, Online

‘This shallow bowl is superbly coloured with copper lustre and would look beautiful hung as part of a gallery wall or simply on a console table.’

A pair of Howard late-Victorian upholstered armchairs

A pair of Howard late-Victorian upholstered armchairs, by Howard & Sons, late 19th centuryearly 20th century. 31 in (78½ cm high; 33½ in (85 cm) wide; 46 in (117 cm) deep. Estimate £3,000-5,000. Offered in 
The Collector Online, 11 May to 1 June 2020, Online

A pair of Howard late-Victorian upholstered armchairs, by Howard & Sons, late 19th century/early 20th century. 31 in (78½ cm high; 33½ in (85 cm) wide; 46 in (117 cm) deep. Estimate: £3,000-5,000. Offered in The Collector: Online, 11 May to 1 June 2020, Online

‘Supremely elegant and even more comfortable, Howard armchairs are high up on my wish-list. This pair are particularly charming, upholstered in monogrammed Howard ticking. These would look lovely either side of a fireplace, alongside a low table for you to put a drink on.’

A pair of George III Blue John and alabaster candlesticks

A pair of George III Blue John and Alabaster columns, late 18th centuryearly 19th century. 14½ in (37 cm) high. Estimate £3,000-4,000. Offered in 
The Collector Online, 11 May to 1 June 2020, Online

A pair of George III Blue John and Alabaster columns, late 18th century/early 19th century. 14½ in (37 cm) high. Estimate: £3,000-4,000. Offered in The Collector: Online, 11 May to 1 June 2020, Online

‘These columns conjure up images of travel — specifically of Italy. I would put these alabaster candlesticks on a dining table, adding soft pink or perhaps cobalt blue candles.’

A George III wardrobe

A George III green and white painted wardrobe, 18th-century and adapted, related to a design by Thomas Chippendale. 84½ in (215 cm) high; 56½ in (144 cm) wide; 23 in (59 cm) deep. Estimate £4,000-6,000. Offered in 
The Collector Online, 11 May to 1 June 2020, Online

A George III green and white painted wardrobe, 18th-century and adapted, related to a design by Thomas Chippendale. 84½ in (215 cm) high; 56½ in (144 cm) wide; 23 in (59 cm) deep. Estimate: £4,000-6,000. Offered in The Collector: Online, 11 May to 1 June 2020, Online

‘With its soft green paint and trailing bell-flower mouldings, this wardrobe feels surprisingly contemporary and would work in almost any bedroom. It would work equally well against a chintz wallpaper in a more traditional interior, or even simple white-painted walls in a more contemporary space. Another plus point — it’s lined with marbled paper.’

A pair of 19th-century French refraichissoirs

A pair of French silvered-copper and bronze refraichissoirs, 19th century. 8½ in (21.5 cm) high; 10 in, (25.5 cm) wide. Estimate £4,000-6,000. Offered in 
The Collector Online, 11 May to 1 June 2020, Online

A pair of French silvered-copper and bronze refraichissoirs, 19th century. 8½ in (21.5 cm) high; 10 in, (25.5 cm) wide. Estimate: £4,000-6,000. Offered in The Collector: Online, 11 May to 1 June 2020, Online

‘These Régence-style urns, with their lovely patina, would make super ice buckets or even rather beautiful indoor planters, filled with pelargoniums.’

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A pair of George III bookcases

A pair of George III black-and-gilt and green-japanned waterfall bookcases, circa 1800. 47 in (120 cm) high; 18½ in (47 cm) wide; 11¾ in (30 cm) deep. Estimate £4,000-6,000. Offered in 
The Collector Online, 11 May to 1 June 2020, Online

A pair of George III black-and-gilt and green-japanned waterfall bookcases, circa 1800. 47 in (120 cm) high; 18½ in (47 cm) wide; 11¾ in (30 cm) deep. Estimate: £4,000-6,000. Offered in The Collector: Online, 11 May to 1 June 2020, Online

‘These charming gilt bookcases are beautifully decorated, but they are also brilliantly narrow, making them ideal for small spaces — halls, corners of bedrooms or just an unloved space that needs livening up.’