TWO FINE FRENCH ISLAMIC STYLE CENTRE-TABLES (LOTS 50 & 51)
These rare and exquisitely-carved tables once decorated the Chilean mansion, Las Majadas de Pirque, a palatial French Renaissance-inspired residence designed by Chilean architect Alberto Cruz Montt and with expansive parterre gardens designed by French artist Dubois. Built in 1907, the massive estate, complete with vineyards and chapel, was planned as a surprise by the children and wife of the Chilean Consul to Paris, Ramón Subercaseaux (1854-1937).
Subercaseaux held high-level positions as Minister to Germany and Italy and then Ambassador to the Vatican, although the Consul eventually returned to Chile and assumed a position as Minister of Foreign Affairs. However, while working in the French capital, Subercaseaux mingled in artistic circles, cultivating a number of friends, including John Singer Sargent, whom he met at the 1879 Paris Salon. Sargent was a frequent visitor the Subercaseaux family and in 1880 he commissioned Sargent to paint a portrait of his new bride, Madame Ramón Subercaseaux, née Amalia Errazuriz y Urmeneta. Having spent considerable time in Paris and in the Salons, it is possible that he acquired the tables between his arrival in 1874 and his eventual return to Chile at the turn of the century.