PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF COUNT GERARD JOSEPH EMILE D'AQUIN, BUYER FOR WILLIAM RANDOLPH HEARST
Count Gerard Joseph Emile d'Aquin, born in Rotterdam on 7 February 1865, emigrated from the Netherlands to the United States in his early twenties. While residing in California, he became acquainted with the formidable newspaper publisher and businessman William Randolph Hearst. Over the years, Count d'Aquin and his wife, Countess Antonia Cistue d'Aquin, became close friends of Hearst and his family. After the birth of the d'Aquin's son, Louis, in 1907, Mrs. Phoebe Hearst became his godmother.
Around 1900, Count d'Aquin returned to Europe, where he worked as a journalist and art dealer. From across the Atlantic, Count d'Aquin maintained his friendship with Hearst and assisted him in amassing his large and diverse collection of art, furniture and objets d'art (see D. Narsaw, The Chief: The Life of William Randolph Hearst, 2000, p. 301). Among the works d'Aquin aided Hearst in acquiring were objects for his famed estate in San Simeon, California -- today the National Landmark Hearst Castle -- where d'Aquin had occasion to visit.
Count d'Aquin was also a collector in his own right. Offered in the present sale are an important group of Dutch and British cabinet pictures and miniatures from his collection that include among them a stunning Portrait of a man by seventeenth-century Amsterdam painter Thomas de Keyser. This work, like several others purchased by d'Aquin, is accompanied by an original bill of sale. Purchased on 8 December 1926 from Frederik Muller in Amsterdam, the De Keyser is described on the invoice as a 'Zelfportret' with a provenance from the Bischoffsheim Collection. Considered together, these paintings and their contemporary documentation provide an important glimpse into the taste and practice of savvy, internationally-minded collectors in the early twentieth century. Lots from the Collection of Count Gerard Joseph Emile d'Aquin include lot 12 and 13 in this sale; and lots 282-286 in Old Master Paintings Part II.