‘Mixing the old and the new can give immense spirit to interiors,’ says Marella Rossi Mosseri, an independent consultant in art and antiques who was previously director of Galerie Aveline in Paris. ‘It brings about all sorts of fresh conversations.’
In conjunction with The Collector sales on 23 and 24 May in London, visitors to Christie’s King Street headquarters will be able to view a room set curated by Rossi Mosseri. It features period furniture and objets d’art from those sales alongside handpicked works of contemporary art. ‘I wanted to create a dialogue across the ages,’ she explains.
In the turquoise-themed display pictured below she combines a late-19th century, French majolica jardinière and stand by Clément Massier; a pair of George IV silver, five-light candelabra, from 1826, by London silversmith Paul Storr; a George III mahogany side-table from 1760; and a painting on the wall behind them called Perovsquita III, from 2015, by Cuban artist José Yaque.
‘I think it’s important,’ she says, ‘to open the eyes of a new generation which has been attracted to buying contemporary art but which is yet to discover that, in any period, you look for the modern through the past.’
Elsewhere at King Street, she unites a Napoleon III, ormolu-mounted, ebony writing table; a pair of Empire candelabra from 1805; two old Chinese, incense-burning containers, in the form of cranes; and a set of doll sculptures by contemporary Cameroonian artist, Pascale Marthine Tayou. The other contemporary figures who feature in Rossi Mosseri’s installation (which opens on 19 May) are Cuba’s Osvaldo González Aguiar and the Moroccan photographer, Leila Alaoui.
The Collector consists of three sales — European Furniture, Works of Art & Ceramics and English Furniture, Clocks & Works of Art, both on 23 May, and Silver & 19th Century Furniture, Sculpture & Works of Art on 24 May.
‘It’s always nice to insert a bit of spirit into an interior,’ Rossi Mosseri says. ‘And why shouldn’t that spirit be 18th- or 19th-century?’