Christie's is pleased to announce the first London sale of European Noble & Private Collections Including Fine Tapestries which will take place 2 October 2013. The sale includes various properties from continental Royal and Noble collections, each displaying characteristics that reflect the collector’s passions. The lots offered reflect the wide interests and tastes of the collectors and offer a fascinating voyage through various European styles of living. Featuring 431 lots, the auction includes: furniture, silver, clocks, porcelain, glass, sculpture, rugs and carpets, arms and armour, textiles, prints, drawings, pictures and Asian works of art, from the medieval period to the late 19th century. In conjunction with the private properties, this sale will include important and fine tapestries from the early 16th century to the 18th century.
VARIOUS NOBLE GERMAN PROPERTIES
The sale includes various properties from German Royal and Noble collections including the properties of S.H. Erbprinz von Anhalt, Prinz Maximilian zu Fürstenberg and the Zu Lynar-Redern Family. The property from a Noble Rhinish Baroque castle includes fine French furniture with matching tapestry panel (estimate: £10,000 –15,000), Chinese works of art and an important Napoleon III ormolu centre table depicting the Four Seasons are further highlights of the sale. Combining rich gilt-bronze with Algerian onyx-marble the centre table is exemplary of the luxuriant furniture and objects made during the Second Empire. Onyx-marble had been known since antiquity and used by both the ancient Egyptian and Roman civilizations (estimate: £30,000 – 50,000). An important early pair of 18 ½ inch library globes, by Johann Ludwig Andreae, Nuremberg, circa 1715 comes from a Lower-Saxony Noble Family (estimate: £100,000 – 150,000).
REDISCOVERED OFFICIAL PORTRAIT STUDIES OF NAPOLEON III BY WINTERHALTER
From the property of a private European collector come two recently discovered, undocumented studies for Franz-Xaver Winterhalter’s famous official portraits of The Emperor Napoleon III; and Portrait of his wife The Empress Eugénie (estimate: £50,000 – 70,000). The originals, destroyed by a fire in the Tuileries Palace in 1871, were among Winterhalter’s most important commissions, cementing his international reputation, and reaffirming under the Second Empire the establishment position he had enjoyed under King Louis-Philippe in the 1840s. His portraits, distinguished by their fresh palette, a high degree of corporeal likeness along with a permissible amount of flattering idealization, were sought-after throughout the courts of Europe. The extensive pentimenti, and the studio setting of these works are significant differences between these and the imagined backgrounds in the finished portraits. These two highly worked up studies provide a rare insight into the artist’s working technique, while showing the same bravura qualities of painterly swagger and comme-il-faut elegance, which characterize the artist’s best finished portraits.
THE BARON PER ADOLF TAMM ORMOLU AND CUT-GLASS TABLE SERVICE
Further highlights of the sale include the impressive Baron Per Adolf Tamm ormolu and cut-glass table service, exclusively commissioned for an Imperial state dinner, hosted by Baron Per Adolf Tamm (1774-1856) in honor of the Russian Tsarevich Alexander and Swedish Crown Prince Oscar on the 20 June 1838 at Österby Bruk in Sweden. Baron Tamm contacted one of the finest sculptors and bronziers of the period, Pierre-Philippe Thomire (1751–1843) in Paris to make the ormolu-bronze table service for his royal guests, including Prince Liewen, Lord Youriwitsch, Baron Liewen, Barron Sparre, Chamberlin de Tolstoy, Minister Youkowsky and the Russian minister Count Potocki. The service is comprised of over 50 pieces including a Charles X ormolu surtout-de-table (estimate: £25,000 – 35,000) and a Charles X ormolu and cut-glass centre piece (estimate: £7,000 – 9,000).
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