• Press release
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  • London
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  • For immediate release
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  • 11 May 2020

RELEASE | Christie's Presents The Collector: Online At Home With Craftmaship | 11 May - 1 June

European and English Furniture, Silver, Ceramics, Gold Boxes and Works of Art from the 17th to 19th Century

London – Christie’s unveil The Collector: Online, bringing centuries of artisan craftsmanship into your home, encompassing European and English furniture, silver, ceramics, gold boxes and works of art ranging from the 17th to the 19th century. The 264 lot sale, with estimates ranging from £200–35,000, includes notable designers and makers John Linnell, Thomas Chippendale, Jean-Baptiste Gourdin, Alfred Beurdeley, William Pitts and Christofle amongst others. From an antique bureau for your study or office, to statement lighting designed to enhance any room, our specially commissioned series of four virtual vignettes (see above) showcase highlights from the sale to inspire. The auction is now open for browsing and bidding online until 1 June.

Paul Gallois, Head of Sale, comments: Following the very successful New York Collector Sale which closed last week, for the first time from London we are delighted to present ‘The Collector: Online’, opening for bidding today, 11 May, until 1 June. During this unprecedented period in our lives, whilst a great many are spending more time than ever at home, interiors have become a major focus of comfort, familiarity and aesthetic expression. Browsing The Collector sale via both the sale e-catalogue and in situ via the original illustrated vignettes is seamless and inspiring”.

Paul continues, “We have an opportunity to revisit, enlighten and refresh our living space, perhaps now more than at any other time, via the addition of beautiful, yet accessible antique furniture and objets d’art. ‘The Collector: Online’ sale will enable collectors, enthusiasts and interior designers to discover pieces sustainably to fit their own, or their clients’ requirements, to ultimately enhance and add to the overall enjoyment of their homes”.

English Furniture and Objects
Amongst the fine examples of English furniture is: An Irish George II Mahogany Silver Table, circa 1750, an excellent example of mid-eighteenth century furniture. The frieze is beautifully carved with scrolls and centered by a shell, an iconic Irish characteristic (estimate: £8,000-12,000).

A George III Mahogany Serpentine Dressing-Commode. Attributed to William Gomm, circa 1765. This piece relates closely to a design from the early 1760s by the cabinet-maker William Gomm (circa 1697-1780) of Clerkenwell Close, and it was published by the important furniture historian R. W. Symonds in his Masterpieces of English Furniture and Clocks, London, 1940. The    commode was previously in the renowned collection of   Lord and Lady Samuel of Wych Cross (estimate £30,000-50,000).

A pair of George III stone-painted, walnut hall chairs, circa 1760. From the mind of an iconic designer, these distinctive hall chairs are after a famous design by Thomas Chippendale (1718-1779), considered by many to be Britain’s greatest cabinet-maker. His reputation spread far beyond the shores of his homeland, and his genius is reflected in the number of beautifully designed and executed pieces of furniture that survive today (estimate: £4,000-6,000).

European Furniture and Objects
Highlights from the European Furniture and Objects include: A late Louis XV Ormolu-Mounted Sycamore, Tulipwood, Satinwood, Amaranth and Fruitwood Marquetry Secretaire showcasing excellent marquetry. Its unusual hinged, deep, rectangular top is stamped by the ébéniste Antoine-Léonard Couturier, maître in 1767. It was in the collection of Frances, 4th Marchioness of Bath (1840-1915), née Vesey, daughter of Thomas Vesey, 3rd Viscount de Vesci), who married John Alexander Thynne, 4th Marquess of Bath in 1861. When the 4th Marquess died in 1896, their eldest son, Thomas Henry Thynne inherited the title and estates. Although it is not known when the Dowager Marchioness acquired this secrétaire, in 1915 it was recorded in an inventory in the 'Sitting Room' of her London address at 15 Manchester Square. (estimate £15,000-25,000).

A Pair of Louis XV Giltwood Fauteuils A La Reine by Jean-Baptiste Gourdin, Third Quarter 18th Century. The elegant and sinuous design of these superb fauteuils, consisting of a delicate interaction of scrolls, curves and lines, is characteristic of Jean-Baptiste Gourdin’s most accomplished work executed during the early years of his career, circa 1748-’60 and a superb example of the very best seat furniture masterminded in France in the 18th century (estimate £40.000-60,000).

Gold Boxes
A Swiss enamelled gold snuff-box, Geneva, circa 1820. Although unmarked, this beautiful snuff-box is an exceptional example of the high quality of objects produced by the most eminent craftsmen working in Geneva at this time, with many destined for export to the far and Middle East. Goldsmiths produced a variety of magnificent objects of vertu from small etuis to more elaborately decorated boxes such as this example illustrated left. Many Swiss pieces were not signed by their makers, perhaps in response to their Chinese clients preference for pieces to be unsullied by marks (estimate £6,000-8,000).

A German paste-set and enameled gold presentation snuff-box. Carl Martin Weishaupt & Söhne (FL. From 837), Hanau, circa 1880. The crowned cypher A for Albert (1828-1902) was the King of Saxony and a member of the House of Wettin. He was the eldest son of Prince John who succeeded his brother Frederick Augustus II on the Saxon throne as King John in 1854, by his wife Amalie Auguste of Bavaria. Albert had a successful military career leading Saxon troops that participated in the First Schleswig War, the Austro-Prussian War. Carl Martin Weishaupt was established as a goldsmith in Hanau in 1801 and from 1837 onwards the firm was registered as C.M.Weishaupt und Söhne. European royal courts frequently bought French and German snuff-boxes, mounted with the cypher or portrait of their respective rulers for use in diplomatic presentations. Hanau boxes by makers such as Charles Colins Söhne or Carl Martin Weishaupt and Sons were frequently used in the 19th century and were directly commissioned by the royal courts to either make or adapt snuff-boxes for presentation to celebrate coronations, weddings or diplomatic treaties (estimate £6,000-£8,000).

A large Austro-Hungarian Silver jug which served as a horse racing prize for the well-known Nemzeti-Dij, won by Metallist in 1884; the jug is symbolically chased with views of Buda and Pest and in the forefront the famous Széchenyi Chain Bridge designed by English engineer William Tierney Clark, built in 1849 by Scottish engineer Adam Clark, while the handle is cast with a large dragon known as a sárkány, a legendary monster in Hungarian mythology (estimate £6,000-8,000).

A Victorian Silver-Gilt Salver, mark of Daniel and Charles Houle, London 1866, is applied in the centre with the arms of Mervyn Wingfield, 7th Viscount Powerscourt (1836-1904) of Powercourt, co. Wicklow and his wife Lady Julia Coke (1844-1931), daughter of Thomas, 2nd Earl of Leicester (1822-1909), whom he married in 1864. It matches another one with the arms of his father Richard, the 6th Viscount. Both were instrumental in the upgrading and completion of the magnificent gardens at Powerscourt, the remodelling of the interior of the house with the addition of a wing and a new dining room realised under the direction of the eccentric architect Daniel Robertson (estimate £5,000-8,000).

19th Century Furniture and Objects 
Emile Coriolan Hippolyte Guillemin (French,1841-1907) Rétiaire et Mirmillon, gladiateurs romains (Retiarius and Murmillo). These Roman gladiators dating to 1870 are inspired by Jean-Léon Gérôme’s painting Ave Caesar! Morituri te salutant (Hail Caesar! We Who Are about to Die Salute You), which depicts similarly posed gladiators saluting the Emperor Vitellius. The gladiator styled as a fisherman with weighted net and three-pointed trident is called a Retiarius and the other is a Murmillo. Such 19th century characterisations informed the gladiatorial fight scenes in American cinema, and similarly styled figures appear in Ben-Hur (1959) and Gladiator (2000) (estimate £12,000–18,000).

About Christie’s

Founded in 1766, Christie’s is a world-leading art and luxury business. Renowned and trusted for its expert live and online auctions, as well as its bespoke private sales, Christie’s offers a full portfolio of global services to its clients, including art appraisal, art financing, international real estate and education. Christie’s has a physical presence in 46 countries, throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, with flagship international sales hubs in New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris and Geneva. It also is the only international auction house authorized to hold sales in mainland China (Shanghai).

Christie’s auctions span more than 80 art and luxury categories, at price points ranging from $200 to over $100 million. In recent years, Christie’s has achieved the world record price for an artwork at auction (Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvador Mundi, 2017), for a single collection sale (the Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller, 2018), and for a work by a living artist (Jeff Koons’ Rabbit, 2019).

Christie’s Private Sales offers a seamless service for buying and selling art, jewellery and watches outside of the auction calendar, working exclusively with Christie’s specialists at a client’s individual pace.

Recent innovations at Christie’s include the groundbreaking sale of the first NFT for a digital work of art ever offered at a major auction house (Beeple’s Everydays, March 2021), with the unprecedented acceptance of cryptocurrency as a means of payment. As an industry leader in digital innovation, Christie’s also continues to pioneer new technologies that are redefining the business of art, including the creation of viewing and bidding experiences that integrate augmented reality, global livestreaming, buy-now channels, and hybrid sales formats. 

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