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THE PROPERTY OF A NOBLEMAN (LOTS 204-208)
This elegant group of bedroom furniture was reputedly supplied to Princess Pauline Borghese for her bedroom at the Palazzo Borghese following her marriage in 1803 to Prince Camillo Borghese, a dynastic alliance of two of Europe's most powerful families, which significantly furthered Napoleon's plans for political advancement in Italy.
Their fashionable à l'antique style, with neo-classical mounts of lyres, cherubs and swan's masks (Pauline's emblem), framed on panels of richly grained walnut, would have been entirely in keeping with Pauline's taste, who had employed the foremost ébéniste of the Empire period, Jacob-Desmalter, to furnish her Parisian town-house, the hôtel de Charost, and her country residence, the château de Neuilly.
When Pauline furnished her husband's library in the Palazzo Borghese in 1814 with a magnificent set of bookcases (sold Christie's New York, 26 October 1995, lots 220-1, and 31 October 1996, lots 389-90), she turned to the German-born cabinet-maker Karl Roos, who had trained in Jacob's atelier. Like the bookcases, her bedroom furniture was also later moved to the Villa Taverna-Borghese in Frascati. It is also interesting to note that her sister Elise, was the Grand Duchess of Tuscany, and patronised fashionable cabinet-makers such as Giovanni Socchi and Jean-Baptiste Youf to furnish the ducal palaces of Florence.