At Auction | Centuries of Style at Christie’s

Posted in Art Market by Editor on November 19, 2013

Press release (5 November 2013) from Christie’s:

Centuries of Style: Silver, European Ceramics, Portrait Miniatures and Gold Boxes (#1162)
Christie’s, London, 26–27 November 2013

cks-1162lChristie’s announced the forthcoming bi-annual sale of Centuries of Style: Silver, European Ceramics, Portrait Miniatures and Gold Boxes (Sale 1162) that will be held over two consecutive days in London on Tuesday, 26 and Wednesday, 27 November 2013. This sale offers collectors a superb opportunity to add to their collections with a wide-range of important, rare and unique treasures.


The silver section of the sale presents exemplary pieces of extraordinary quality from the 16th century to the 21st century, it is expected to realise in the region of £1.5 million. The auction is led by two very important private collections of Georg Jensen silver, which contain many outstanding pieces by the maker and the largest collection to be offered in London in recent years. Among the stars is a rare and important Danish fish dish, cover and mazarine, designed by Harald Nielsen (1892–1977). This beautifully crafted silver displays the greatest originality of design and is amongst the largest items made by the Jensen workshop, measuring 65 centimetres wide. This work is expected to realise between £80,000 and £120,000. Further examples of the highest quality of European silver include a pair of Danish five-light candelabra (estimate: £40,000–60,000), which is one the most spectacular piece of Jensen silver to be offered. A further highlight is a magnificent Danish jug designed by Henning Koppel (1918–1981) (estimate: £25,000–35,000). Known as the ‘African Girl’, due to its elegant handle stacked with ‘necklaces’, this pitcher was the first in the series that was designed in 1948 and has become an icon of Scandinavian modern design.

Gold Boxes and Objects of Vertu

LOUIS XV ENAMELLED GOLD SNUFF-BOX This sale presents a varied and interesting array of gold boxes and objects of vertu, displaying examples of the many techniques employed by European goldsmiths during the 18th and 19th centuries. This section of the sale is led by a highly important and incredibly rare Louis XV enamelled gold snuff-box, by Louis Charonnat (Lot 298, estimate: £150,000–200,000). This striking piece displays outstanding enamelling extract, which has been attributed to Charles-Jacques de Mailly, who worked in Paris during the 1760s and 1770s and later in St Petersburg. De Mailly is known for his grisaille allegorical scenes which are surrounded by brightly coloured flower garlands.

A French jewelled enamelled gold presentation snuff-box, circa 1860, by Louis Tronquoy, a highly-sought after name in the world of gold boxes, is another important example (estimate: £40,000–60,000). The striking box is set with diamonds that form the initials of Isma’il Pasha (1830–1895) Khedive of Egypt and Sudan. A presentation box, it was given by Isma’il to a Dutch contractor who was working for him in Egypt during the late 19th century. Further highlights include an important private Greek collection belonging to the Late Mrs. Melas (1908–1983), comprising twenty-five boxes with estimates ranging from £2,000 up to £60,000. This outstanding collection started in 1954 when Mrs. Melas purchased a boîte-à-miniatures set with miniatures by the 18th-century engraver Jacques-Joseph de Gault, from the auction of the King Farouk Collection, The Palace Collections of Egypt, in Cairo. A leading example is an exquisite Louis XVI goldlined boîte-à-miniatures, by Adrien Vachette (estimate: £20,000–30,000).

Portrait Miniatures

DANIEL NIKOLAUS CHODOWIECKICharming British portrait miniatures are a notable part of the sale, they are offered alongside an array of rare and important Continental sitters and artists. A remarkable group of royal sitters is led by two exceptional examples by Nicholas Hilliard (1547–1619), King James I of England and VI of Scotland (1566–1625) (estimate: £15,000–20,000) and King Charles I (1600–1649) when Duke of York (estimate: £15,000–25,000). Further highlights from this group include an exquisitely detailed miniature of King James II of England and VII of Scotland (1633–1701) by Samuel Cooper, the second son of Charles I, who ascended to the throne upon the death of his brother, Charles II (estimate: £40,000–60,000).

Members of the German royal families of Bavaria, Hesse-Cassel and Prussia are well represented by a portrait of Queen Louise of Prussia (1776–1810) (estimate: £6,000–8,000) and two remarkable miniatures by Anton König (1722–1787) and Daniel Chodowiecki (1726–1801) depicting the German Emperor Frederick the Great, King of Prussia during the 1740s through to the 1780s. Both König’s Frederick the Great (estimate: £6,000–8,000) and Chodowiecki’s Frederick the Great on Horseback (estimate: £20,000–30,000) depict the King planning his military movements in battle. Frederick the Great remains one of the most renowned German rulers of all time for his military successes and his domestic reforms that made Prussia one of the leading European nations. Further highlights include exemplary works by Heinrich Füger (1751–1818), led by an impressive miniature of Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor (1747–1792) (estimate: £30,000–50,000).

European Ceramics

One of the many spectacular and unusual offerings in the European ceramics section is a striking pair of hispano-moresque copper lustre and blue drug-jars from the mid-15th century (estimate: £35,000–40,000). These boldly decorated pieces have not been on the market for over fifty years; they are very rare examples, remarkably large in size and in exceptionally good condition. A further rare piece is a Staffordshire salt glaze Stoneware ‘scratch-blue’ Jacobite loving-cup (estimate: £7,000–10,000). The cup depicts Charles Edward Stuart (1720–1788), known as the ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’. He instigated the unsuccessful Jacobite uprising of 1745 in which he attempted to restore the Stuarts to the throne of the Kingdom of Great Britain. The Meissen section of the sale is led by an important private collection of good early pieces decorated with Chinoiserie and European subjects, comprising sixteen lots with estimates ranging from £2,000 up to £12,000.

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