The Exceptional Sale 2012 in London realised £18,065,650, selling 85% by lot. The highest price was £1,721,250 for The Leinster Dinner-Service, setting a world record price for an English dinner-service sold at auction. The Brand Cabinet, a George II ivory-mounted padouk medal-cabinet, achieved £1,217,250; a Louis XV ormolu-mounted Chinese clair-de-lune porcelain vase doubled its pre-sale high estimate to reach £1,161,250; and The Ogden Mills ‘armoires à six medailles’ sold for £1,049,250.
The international appeal of the sale was highlighted by the varied nationalities of the buyers, with collectors and connoisseurs from thirteen different countries bidding in the 48-lot auction. Concluding an extraordinary series of sales in London, the success of its unique cross-category format was evident, with four lots exceeding £1 million and an average price of £440,000 for lots sold. Held once a year, The Exceptional Sale was established by Christie’s in 2008 to offer the very finest examples in a variety of collecting categories across the traditional decorative arts, from English and European furniture to silver and sculpture, clocks and porcelain.