A FRENCH SILVER-GILT DECANTER STAND FROM THE BRAZILIAN IMPERIAL SERVICE
PROPERTY OF THE STEINHARDT-SHERLOCK TRUST
A FRENCH SILVER-GILT DECANTER STAND FROM THE BRAZILIAN IMPERIAL SERVICE

MARK OF ODIOT, PARIS, CIRCA 1825

Details
A FRENCH SILVER-GILT DECANTER STAND FROM THE BRAZILIAN IMPERIAL SERVICE
MARK OF ODIOT, PARIS, CIRCA 1825
Circular, on three paw feet, the frame pierced with dolphins and grapevines, the raised central plinth with lotus and palmette band, the decanter frame with cornucopia border, laurel garland bottle sleeves and applied with three coats-of-arms for the Emperor of Brazil, the handle formed as a column supporting a figure of Victory holding a wreath, the stand with three cut-glass decanters and stoppers, marked under base and on figure
17 in. (43.1 cm.) high, 14¼ in. (36.1 cm.) diameter; 128 oz. 10 dwt. (4,004 gr.) weighable silver
Provenance
Emperor Dom Pedro
Laurence A. Steinhardt, thence by descent

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Lot Essay

This decanter stand forms part of the "Brazilian Service" made for Dom Pedro I, Emperor of Brazil (1798-1834). The decanter is applied with the coat-of-arms of the Kingdom of Brazil -- a gold armillary sphere with the cross of order of Christ, 19 stars within a circle, surmounted by a royal crown and surrounded by coffee and tobacco plants. It was likely produced circa 1825-28, when Charles-Nicolas Odiot supplied Dom Pedro I with a silver-gilt surtout-de-table in the classical style, also applied with the Brazilian coat-of-arms. The surtout sold Christie's, London, 22 November 2000, lot 25 and a design drawing is illustrated in J-M Pinçon and Olivier Gaube du Gers, Odiot l'Orfèvre, 1990, no. 147, p. 96.

In 1807, following the invasion of Napoleon, the Portuguese royal family fled to Brazil and established their court in that colony. In 1821, the Portuguese and Brazilian King João returned to Portugal, entrusting the Brazilian kingdom to his liberal-minded son Dom Pedro. Within a year, Dom Pedro split the Portuguese and Brazilian crowns by proclaiming himself Emperor of Brazil. However, his reign was short-lived. In 1831, Dom Pedro abdicated the Brazilian throne in favor of his five-year old son, Dom Pedro II, following a devastating war with Argentina, financial crisis and rioting.

The Brazilian Service was supplied by a number of silversmiths between 1798 and 1829 and is disbursed today throughout royal, public and private collections. While parts of the service were sold during the lifetime of Dom Pedro I, a large portion of the service remains in the Swedish Royal collection. Don Pedro I had married secondly Amalie of Leuchtenberg (1812-1873), the sister of Josephina, Queen of Sweden. As Amalie died without issue, her estate, including the silver service, was inherited by her sister.

Queen Josephina sold parts of the service to finance her charity work, and several pieces of the Brazilian service were sold privately in Dresden in the latter part of the 19th century. Other parts of the service were given to members of the family and are now in the royal collections of Denmark and Norway, and in private hands.

This decanter was acquired by the noted connoisseur Laurence Adolph Steinhardt, who gathered many treasures during his diplomatic postings. Steinhardt was from a prominent Jewish family active in the cultural life of New York. He was a nephew of Samuel Untermyer and first cousin of Judge Irwin Untermyer, whose collections greatly enriched the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Steinhardt's first diplomatic posting was to Sweden in 1933. From then on until his untimely death in a plane crash in 1950, he served as United States Ambassador to Peru, the U.S.S.R., Turkey, Czechoslovakia and Canada. When posted to the Soviet Union immediately following the onset of World War II, Steinhardt took the opportunity to purchase works of art that the Russian State deemed superfluous to their collections, such as the Dihl et Gurhard porcelain centerpiece from the Beauharnais Service which sold Christie's, New York, 9 June 2009. Steinhardt's collection of Russian icons are currently on loan to the Hillwood Museum and Gardens through the auspices of the Steinhardt-Sherlock Trust.

We are grateful to Merit Laine, Ass. Prof., Curator at the Royal Collections of Sweden, for her assistance in documenting the history of the Brazilian Service


Caption: Emperor Pedro I of Brazil (1798-1834)
Courtesy Christie's Images
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