MOLLY MAHON X CHRISTIE’S
‘Dining Room Dreams’: including a George III mahogany twin-pedestal dining table (estimate: £5,000-8,000); part of a set of ten Regency mahogany dining chairs (estimate: £6,000-10,000); a Hicks & Meigh ironstone china part dinner-service, circa 1820 (estimate: £4,000-6,000); Baccarat glass 'Lulli' pattern part table-service (estimate: £2,500-4,000); and a pair of late 19th century Chinese Imari vase lamps (estimate: £3,000-5,000). Photo © Emma Lewis
London – Christie’s Autumn edition of The Collector in London will collaborate with celebrated English print designer Molly Mahon. Comprising over 320 lots, this online sale will open for bidding on 2 November and run until 16 November. The Collector brings together the finest European and English furniture, sculpture, ceramics, silver, gold boxes and clocks from the 17th to the 19th century, showcasing works of art with distinctive craftsmanship and provenance, including Private Collections. Craftsmanship, beauty and design are at the heart of the works offered in The Collector, just as they underpin Molly Mahon’s work in the 21st century. Further united by a shared understanding of how these factors can contribute immeasurably to one’s life, Christie’s is excited to announce this collaboration. Molly’s passion for colour, shape, texture and line shine through in the vignettes she has created, which will be on public view for all to enjoy alongside the full sale in a pre-sale exhibition from 6 to 10 November.
Molly Mahon, commented "Combining these majestic pieces of fine English and European furniture, ceramics, silver, gold boxes and works of art from The Collector sale with my bold, colourful, energetic & modern hand blocked fabrics and wallpapers has been a real honour and moment of joy in my career. If we're honest when we're decorating our homes, it will express our true selves either as an individual or as a family. If you put away any rules or put away any worries that somebody might judge you, if you purely decorate and choose things based on what you and your family love, it will exude a story about yourselves. It will exude a wonderful energy. It will feel much more welcoming to people who come in to that space. I think that if we're honest and listen to ourselves, we can get to that energy.”
Arlene Blankers, Head of Sale commented: “Molly’s colourful and original designs are steeped in her longstanding appreciation and celebration of craftsmanship and provide a dynamic and engaging coupling with the pieces offered in The Collector, with the colours complementing and offsetting the different media used across the Decorative Arts offered. Molly’s pairings of these 17th, 18th and 19th century works with her own fabrics and wallpapers and her chosen paint colours are fresh, modern and inspiring.”
Molly has created titles for each of her vignettes. ‘Thinking Space’ (illustrated right), playfully presents a Louis XVI ormolu-mounted ebony, ebonised, and Japanese lacquer secrétaire by Etienne Levasseur, circa 1780, from the collection of Lady Baillie, Leeds Castle (estimate: £100,000-150,000) – open, as if mid-work in her sketch-book – with a black and gilt japanned dining chair, from a set of 12, early 19th century, the side chairs later (estimate: £7,000-10,000). The vignette pops against Molly’s ‘Trellis’ fabric in Grass/Sky’ fabric, framed by a canopy of her ‘Primrose’ fabric in Grass/Sky. Molly notes: “I love this piece of furniture. It's got the sweetest little desktop that folds down and the thought of sitting there on a Sunday afternoon and either doing a little painting or writing my letters, because I still believe in writing letters, is really romantic and charming.” The array of precious gold boxes on the top of the secretaire-en-cabinet and its shelves, include those depicted on page three from left to right:
A fine Italian micromosaic plaque in gilt-metal frame, Rome, circa 1810 (estimate: £6,000-8,000); a Continental gold-mounted mother-of-pearl snuffbox, Italy or Germany, circa 1730, from of a European collector (estimate: £3,000-5,000); a Louis XVI aventurine glass and gold bonbonnière set with a miniature by Claude-Pierre Pottier, Paris, 1783/1784 (estimate: £7,000-10,000), which is from a private Swiss collection as are the following five lots: a Louis XVI enamelled gold snuff-box by Charles-Alexandre Bouillerot, Paris, 1777/1778 (estimate: £20,000-30,000); a Swiss enamelled gold snuff-box Geneva, circa 1780 (estimate: £15,000-20,000); a Swiss enamelled gold snuff-box Geneva, circa 1790, (estimate: £3,000-5,000); a Swiss enamelled gold snuff-box Geneva, circa 1800, (estimate: £1,200-1,800); and a Louis XV enamelled gold snuff-box by Jean Formey, 1761/1762 (estimate: £25,000-35,000).
‘Perfect Pairings’ (illustrated left), presents a fresh context in which to celebrate a magnificent large Regency silver-gilt six-light candelabrum centrepiece, by Paul Storr, London, 1811 (estimate: £100,000-150,000), filled with pears, and sitting commandingly atop a Louis XIV ormolu-mounted amaranth, fruitwood, ebony and ebonised floral marquetry commode attributed to Aubertin Gaudron, early 18th century (estimate: £25,000-40,000). The commode is decorated overall with scrolling and floral motifs, the moulded rectangular top with a central flowering vase flanked by butterflies, masks, acanthus branches and birds. Set against Molly’s ‘Stars Reverse Light’ fabric in Indigo, the pieces are framed by her ‘Luna’ fabric in Khaki. Molly recalls: “When I saw the floral commode up close in person, it was incredible. The craftsmanship that's gone into it, I loved the theme, with birds and flowers and leaves; nature is a big inspiration to me. So I really had a connection with this piece.”
‘Flora & Fauna’ (illustrated above) continues to point to Molly’s great love of the natural world. Set against Molly’s ‘Tulip’ fabric in Iron/Indigo’, is a ‘waterfall’ George III satinwood and stained fruitwood bookcase, circa 1780 (which is one of a pair, estimate: £7,000-10,000), festooned with a selection of birds which have settled – as if for a rest mid-flight – amidst and on top of the bookshelves, alongside some of Molly’s handmade boxes in ‘triangle – pink’. The birds are part of a broader group of thirteen Meissen porcelain birds (estimate: £5,000- 8,000).
Molly’s ‘Mellow Yellow’ vignette (above) provides comfortable tranquillity with a William IV simulated rosewood bobbin-turned armchair, from the second quarter 19th century (estimate: £2,000 - 4,000), complemented by Molly’s ‘seed’ fabric in mustard which she notes to be ‘a little print denoting hope and new beginnings’, sitting quietly alongside a George IV mahogany occasional table, which is one of a matched pair, in the manner of Gillows (the pair, estimate: £4,000-6,000), against Molly’s ‘Lani * Gold’ wallpaper. Molly recalls: “The Bobbin chair really caught my eye because that bobbin style of furniture has come right back round, it's really fashionable at the moment. We've recovered the existing seats in our seed pattern, it's given it this lovely, fresh, bright, colourful feel.”
Presenting two contrasting approaches for complementing impressive works of art, Molly juxtaposes a pair of French ormolu and patinated bronze figural candelabra, in the manner of François Rémond, circa 1785 (estimate: £4,000-6,000), on Italian scagliola column pedestals, 19th century (estimate: £2,500-4,000), against her powerful ‘Marwari Horse’ wallpaper in Denim (right) and soft ‘Coffee Bean’ pink wallpaper (left), brought together in the centre with her light and airy window seat ‘Dianthus Day Dreaming’, using her ‘Dianthus’ fabric in Indigo and Iron.
Showing further alternatives, Molly also utilised the setting for ‘Dining Room Dreams’ to create another moment to take a seat, this time using a pair of chairs from a set of Louis XV walnut seat furniture, mid-18th century (estimate: £5,000-8,000), alongside a George IV mahogany occasional table, which is one of a matched pair, in the manner of Gillows (the pair, estimate: £4,000-6,000). The plates from a Hicks & Meigh ironstone china part dinner-service, circa 1820, which are displayed on the wall (estimate: £4,000-6,000), are hung against Molly’s ‘Garden Path’ fabric in Copper/Rose.
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