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.
‘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
‘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
‘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
‘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
‘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
‘These Régence-style urns, with their lovely patina, would make super ice buckets or even rather beautiful indoor planters, filled with pelargoniums.’
Sign up today
Christie’s Online Magazine delivers our best features, videos, and auction news to your inbox every week
‘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.’