2 - 3 June 2015
JEAN-BAPTISTE JACQUES AUGUSTIN (FRENCH, 1759-1832)
Louis XVI (1754-1793), King of France 1774-1792, in gold-embroidered brown velvet coat, wearing the blue moiré sash and breast-star of the Royal French Order of the Saint-Esprit, the badge of the French Royal Military Order of St Louis, and the red ribbon of another order, probably the Golden Fleece, a purple cloak over his right shoulder, powdered wig en queue
Signed and dated ‘Augustin / decbre 1816.’ and inscribed by the artist on the backing card 'Louis XVI. / par Augustin / donné à M. de Seze par / en decembre 1816 / Par Louis XIII' [sic]
59 mm. diam., enamelled gold réverbère mount, set into the cover of a circular gold-lined tortoiseshell bonbonnière signed ‘Ouizille et Vachette, Bijoutiers à Paris 20 K. 5.’ with maker’s mark of Adrien-Jean-Maximilien Vachette (1753-1839), struck with the 2nd standard mark and excise mark for gold, Paris 1798-1809 and the Post-Revolutionary Parisian unofficial standard mark for 20.5 carat gold
According to the artist's inscription on the backing card, given to Raymond Romain, Comte de Sèze (1750-1828) in December 1816 by King Louis XVIII (erroneously inscribed XIII).
Leo R. Schidlof (1886-1966) Collection, in 1924.
With Herbert Asenbaum, Vienna, in 1992.
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Vienna, Albertina, Internationale Miniaturen-Ausstellung in der Albertina Wien, 1924, no. 57 (lent by Leo Schidlof).
Vienna, Albertina, Meisterwerke der europäischen Miniaturmalerei von 1750 bis 1850, 1965, no. 19.
The original recipient of the present lot, Raymond Romain, Comte de Sèze (1750-1828), was King Louis XVI's defence lawyer at his trial in 1792. He was considered one of the best lawyers in France and he argued passionately for the King's life to be spared and that it was against the constitution of 1791 to bring charges against him. Despite his arguments, he lost the trial and was imprisoned. After the Restoration he was made a peer, judge and a member of the French Academy. The present lot was presumably presented as a gift by the newly restored King Louis XVIII of France as a token of loyalty to his brother.
Prospective purchasers are advised that several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral, ivory and tortoiseshell. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country.
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