London – On 2 May, Christie’s sale East & West will offer works of art from two private collections - from Eaton Square & Anouska Hempel - both formed with passion, connoisseurship and a discerning eye for quality. Including items originating from China and the Indian subcontinent, through the Middle East, Russia, the Baltic states, Western Europe and to the Caribbean, the extensive range of ages, geographical origins and media presented over 347 lots will delight collectors and decorators around the world. In total, the sale is expected to realise in excess of £2.5 million.
A Private Collection from Eaton Square (Lots 1 – 265)
The interiors formed by this anonymous collector over a period of almost forty years in his Eaton Square residence comprise 264 lots including a diverse array of furniture, pictures and works of art, ceramics, furnishings and garden statuary. Acquired at some of the most famous and important country house sales of the late 1970s and 1980s - including North Mymms Park, Wateringbury Place, Reddish House and West Dean - provenance was paramount in the formation of this collection. Royal pieces include an ormolu-mounted mahogany armoire made for the Queen of Spain - Doña Maria Cristina de Borbón, wife of King Fernando VII - in 1830 (estimate: £30,000-50,000) and an important bureau plat by Bernard II van Risenburgh (BVRB) which belonged to Louis XV’s mistress Madame de Pompadour (estimate: £70,000-100,000). Among the many curiosities is a pair of tole peinte, opaque glass and giltwood pineapple jardinière ornaments, circa 1950, which belonged to the photographer Henry Clarke, Cecil Beaton’s younger contemporary (estimate: £20,000 – 30,000, illustrated left).
Demonstrating how to recreate the essence of an English country house in Belgravia (illustrated page 1 top left), or anywhere in the world, beautiful Chinese export reverse-painted mirror pictures - including an example dating to circa 1770 which retains its original mother-of-pearl inlaid zitan frame (estimate: £8,000-12,000, illustrated right) - were hung alongside Georgian mirrors such as a George II giltwood example circa 1755 (estimate: £40,000-60,000, illustrated left) and early George III walnut seat furniture attributed to William Vile, circa 1760 (estimate: £40,000-60,000). A collection of giant clam shells (with estimates starting at £400 up to £1,200, examples below centre) are offered alongside Venetian grotto furniture (with estimates starting at £2,000 up to £6,000, examples illustrated below right) and an Anglo-Indian ivory-inlaid rosewood pedestal dining-table, circa 1820-30 (estimate: £50,000 – 80,000, illustrated left), collectively lending delight and exotic charm to the group.
Works of Art from the Private Collection of Anouska Hempel (Lots 270-352)
The collection of Early Portraits formed by Anouska Hempel at her home was dramatically displayed in a triple-hang on the staircase (illustrated page 1 top right). The rich dark tones of the paintings – both austere and charming in turn – were perfectly offset by her signature red and black furnishings which combined luxurious lacquer from China, such as a pair of 19th century centre tables (estimate: £6,000-10,000, illustrated right and detail above), with whimsical ‘Sailor’s Valentines’ made of shells from Barbados (estimates range from £800 to £4,000), in a quirky, eclectic and very ‘English’ look.
Comprising 82 lots, her collection includes a group of six portraits dating to 1626 which are known as the “Shafto” paintings, due to their Bavington Hall provenance, a house in Northumberland which belonged to the Shafto family and immortalised in the famous northern song ‘Bobby Shafto’ (lots 306-311 from left to right illustrated above, estimates range from £7,000 to £25,000). Further highlights include an English School portrait of Frances Marbury, aged 27, and her daughter, aged 4, of Marbury Hall Cheshire, dated 1613 (estimate: £30,000 – 50,000) and a half-length portrait by Cornelis Jonson (1593-1661) of Elisabeth Campion, from Danny Park, Sussex (estimate: £40,000-60,000, illustrated right).
A pair of Imperial Mughal red sandstone pierced screens (jaalis) dating to North India in the second half of the 17th century (estimate: £6,000-8,000, illustrated left) is offered alongside a Mughal marble fountain, circa 1700 (estimate: £5,000-7,000); these lots are among a small group of very attractive Indian items which would be marvellous additions to inspired garden design.
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