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"Il n'y a en art, ni passé, ni futur. L'art qui n'est pas dans le présent ne sera jamais." (Pablo Picasso)
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    A rare famille verte jar, Kangxi six-character mark and of the period (1662-1722)

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    Lot 3998. A rare famille verte jar, Kangxi six-character mark and of the period (1662-1722); 8 1/2 in. (21.5 cm.) high. Estimate HKD 600,000 - HKD 800,000. Price Realized HKD 2,420,000© Christie's Images Ltd. 2011 

    Finely enamelled with a pair of pheasants perched on decorative rockwork beside a flowering magnolia tree, peonies and bamboo, amidst numerous birds and insects in flight or perched on branches, all between keyfret around the foot and a band of cartouches enclosing scholarly objects interspersed with detached floral sprays on the shoulder of the jar, the short neck encircled by colourful chilong striding amidst ruyiclouds

    ProvenanceRalph M. Chait
    Previously sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 30 May 2006, lot 1431
    A private collection. 

    NoteAlthough the present design appears on a number of famille vertedecorated vessels from the Kangxi period, it is very rare to find a jar of this type inscribed with a mark. Cf. a baluster vase similarly enamelled with pheasants and inscribed with an apocryphal Chenghua mark, illustrated in Porcelains in Polychrome and Contrasting Colours, The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Hong Kong, 1999, pl. 74.

    Christie's. Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, 1 June 2011, Convention Hall


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    A fine aubergine and green-enamelled 'dragon' bowl, Jiaqing six-character sealmark and of the period (1796-1820)

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    Lot 3999. A fine aubergine and green-enamelled 'dragon' bowl, Jiaqing six-character sealmark and of the period (1796-1820); 4 3/8 in. (11 cm.) diam. Estimate HKD 180,000 - HKD 220,000. Price Realized HKD 250,000© Christie's Images Ltd. 2011 

    The exterior incised with two dragons pursuing 'flaming pearls' amidst flames and two cruciform clouds above rocks and waves, all under a dark aubergine enamel reserved on a green ground

    Christie's. Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, 1 June 2011, Convention Hall


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    A fine wucai 'dragon and phoenix' bowl, Daoguang six-character seal mark and of the period (1821-1850)

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    Lot 4000. A fine wucai'dragon and phoenix' bowl, Daoguang six-character seal mark and of the period (1821-1850); 6 1/8 in. (15.6 cm.) diam. Estimate HKD 120,000 - HKD 180,000. Price Realized HKD 400,000© Christie's Images Ltd. 2011 

    Brightly enamelled to the exterior with two scaly five-clawed dragons in pursuit of the flaming pearl, alternating with descending long-tailed phoenix, all amidst meandering leafy scrolls and below a band containing the Eight Buddhist Emblems, bajixiang, at the rim, the interior with a central medallion enclosing a five-clawed dragon in pursuit of the 'flaming pearl' , box

    ProvenancePreviously sold at Phillips London, 10 June 1992, lot 288

    Christie's. Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, 1 June 2011, Convention Hall


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    A fine doucai 'floral' bowl, Daoguang six-character seal mark and of the period (1821-1850)

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    Lot 4001. A fine doucai'floral' bowl, Daoguang six-character seal mark and of the period (1821-1850); 5 7/8 in. (15 cm.) diam. Estimate HKD 120,000 - HKD 180,000. Price Realized HKD 437,500© Christie's Images Ltd. 2011 

    Finely enamelled to the exterior with six stylised upright flower-sprays encompassed by a flower scroll, below a band of interlocking trefoils on a yellow-ground at the rim, the interior with a flower-spray encircled by a band of florettes and petals within arching trefoils and almond medallions

    Christie's. Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, 1 June 2011, Convention Hall


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    A fine doucai 'floral' bowl, Daoguang six-character seal mark and of the period (1821-1850)

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    Lot 4002. A fine doucai'floral' bowl, Daoguang six-character seal mark and of the period (1821-1850); 5 5/8 in. (14.3 cm.) diam. Estimate HKD 120,000 - HKD 180,000. Price Realized HKD 350,000© Christie's Images Ltd. 2011 

    Enamelled on the exterior of the deep rounded sides with six stylised lotus blooms surrounded by scrolling leafy tendrils, all between double-lines encircling the rim and overlapping ruyi lappets at the base, the interior glazed white

    ProvenanceOne of a pair previously sold at Christie's London, 8 December 1986, lot 440

    Christie's. Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, 1 June 2011, Convention Hall


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    A fine doucai ogee-form bowl, Xianfeng six-character mark and of the period (1851-1861)

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    Lot 4003. A fine doucai ogee-form bowl, Xianfeng six-character mark and of the period (1851-1861); 8 in. (20.3 cm.) diam. Estimate HKD 80,000 - HKD 120,000. Price Realized HKD 500,000© Christie's Images Ltd. 2011 

    Painted to the interior with a central flower head with overlapping petals encircled by four peaches alternating with four stylised chrysanthemum sprays, the rim with the Eight Daoist Emblems, anbaxian, tied to flower-sprays with bowed ribbons, the exterior with eight detached flower and fruit sprays above a band of ruyi-heads, all within double line borders, box

    ProvenancePreviously sold at Christie's London, 13 November 2001, lot 130

    Christie's. Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, 1 June 2011, Convention Hall


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    A fine doucai 'floral' bowl, Daoguang six-character seal mark and of the period (1821-1850)

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    Lot 4005. A fine doucai'floral' bowl, Daoguang six-character seal mark and of the period (1821-1850); 5 5/8 in. (14.3 cm.) diam. Estimate HKD 120,000 - HKD 180,000. Price Realized HKD 400,000© Christie's Images Ltd. 2011 

    Enamelled on the exterior of the deep rounded sides with six different floral heads surrounded by scrolling leafy tendrils, all between double-lines encircling the rim and overlapping ruyi lappets at the base, the interior glazed white

    ProvenancePreviously sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 20 May 1986, lot 111

    Christie's. Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, 1 June 2011, Convention Hall


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    Lot 85. A Naturalistically Cast Gilt-Bronze ‘Duck’ Incense Burner and Cover, Mark and Period of Xuande (1426-1435); overall height 28.5 cm., 11 1/4  in. Estimate 20,000,000 — 25,000,000 HKD. Lot sold 29,240,000 HKD. Courtesy Sotheby's.

    the incense burner and cover extremely well cast in the round in the form of a standing duck, its head slightly raised, with an open beak as if calling out and small beady eyes framed by long sinuous feathers trailing down its gracefully curved slender neck, the voluminous body with two crescent-form apertures to the sides, covered with finely detailed overlapping plumes conveying a sense of softness, the wings tightly tucked on either side, adorned with layers of triangular and curling feathers, pointing to an array of feathers fanning out from its tail, all supported on two sturdy webbed feet, standing on a hexagonal waisted stand inscribed horizontally on top of the base with a six-character Xuande mark, resting on six triangular feet on the corners.

    The Ethereal Golden Duck

    This outstanding ‘duck’ incense burner is richly gilt all over its naturalistically cast body, with its head supported on an elegantly curved neck, partially opened bill, and the webbed feet firmly planted on a hexagonal pedestal—a truly noble bearing. The pedestal is intricately inscribed with a Xuande reign mark (1426-1435). The incense burner is exquisitely cast in the form of a waterfowl. The forehead has an ‘S’-shaped cloud design, and although there is no conspicuous crest, the animal appears to be a type of duck. The breast and underbelly have thin, soft feathers and thick, fluffy down. On the head, feet, wings, and tail, the plumage, be it straight or curly, is clearly layered. The body of the incense burner is divided into two pieces, top and bottom, with the lower portion cast with a rim that fits into the upper portion. The interior is hollow. To promote circulation in the interior, there are two crescent-shaped vent holes in front of the wings. When incense is burned, the smoke ascends through the neck, and the gilt-bronze duck emits fragrant fumes through its bill.

    During the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), incense burners in the form of ducks were quite popular. For example, in 1406 Zhu Youdun, in Yuan gong ci yibai shou [One Hundred Lyric Poems of the Yuan Court], wrote, “The gold duck burns the remaining midnight fragrance. Only then do the ladies of the imperial family try on the Yue-weave skirts.” The Ming scholar official Jin Shan (alias Youzi, 1368-1431) wrote a series of ten poems titled Yuanxi ci guandeng [Viewing Lanterns on the Lantern Festival], in which he extolled the emperor’s bountifulness at a banquet held during the Lantern Festival at the beginning of the Ming dynasty. In one of these poems he wrote, “auspicious portents of lovely smoke rise forth from the golden duck censers”, recorded in Jin wen jing ji [A Collection of the Best of Jin’s Writing], vol. 4, in Qianding siku quanshu[The Complete Library in the Four Branches of Literature]. Jin Shan became a jinshi (presented scholar) in 1400. During the Yongle period (1403-1424), he was promoted to Grand Secretary of the Hall of Literary Profundity, and is recorded as having accompanied the emperor on expeditions. During the reign of the Xuande Emperor (r. 1425-1435), he helped compile and serve as the manager of the veritable records of the reigns of the Yongle and Hongxi Emperors. He passed away in 1431. According to this poem, already in the early fifteenth century there are records of a gilt-bronze duck incense burner like the present piece being used at court banquets.

    In general, gilt-bronze religious figures of the Xuande court bear a reign mark Da Ming Xuande Nianshi ('Bestowed in the Xuande reign of the great Ming dynasty') in regular script, read from left to right. Though this manner of reading is contrary to Han tradition, it conforms to the practice of Tibetan reading and writing. However, the current duck incense burner is not a religious object, which undoubtedly explains why the reign mark did not follow the traditional Tibetan way of writing. Rather, the incised reign mark accords with the Chinese way of writing, from right to left. This inscription resembles the horizontal Xuande reign marks that are found on the outer rims of large, thick Ming dynasty imperial porcelain bowls with blue and white designs of branches, flowers, and fruit (for example, a large bowl in the collection of the National Palace Museum, Taipei illustrated in Mingdai Xuande guanyao jinghua tezhan tulu/Catalogue of the Special Exhibition of Selected Hsüan-te Imperial Porcelains of the Ming Dynasty, National Palace Musem, Taipei, 1998, cat. no. 47, or the bowl sold in these rooms, 5th October 2011, lot 13).

    Published sources only reveal a small number of comparable extant bronze censers similar in form to the Speelman duck incense burner. Moreover, none of these other bronze incense burners bears a reign mark. A gilt-bronze duck incense burner designated as Ming dynasty was sold in France on 19th December 2007, lot 126, illustrated in Cabinet Portier, 100 ans, 1909–2009, Paris, 2010, p. 189, no. 782. Similarly depicted with its standing pose, detailed long and short, curved and straight feathering, incense smoke emitting from the bill, and crescent-shaped vent holes on both sides of the breast, it bears a striking resemblance to the Speelman piece, however differing in an overall lower quality casting and gilding, the protruding curved feathers, the less refined chest feathers, and the lack of a pedestal.

    Though lacking a reign mark, a Ming bronze incense burner, similar in form and size to the present censer, was sold at Bonhams New York, 16th September 2013, lot 8103. In comparison with the present lot, the head of Bonhams' piece leans forward somewhat. The body, also cast with crescent-shaped vent holes, lacks closely laid feathers, and is not gilded. The legs are folded, and the duck is depicted seated on a lotus-flower pedestal. Another gilt bronze censer comparable to the present piece, also without a reign mark, was sold by Christie’s New York, 29th March 2006, lot 320. This piece, described as goose-form, was designated as Song to Ming dynasty. Its shape and size are nearly the same as those of the Bonhams piece, but without a pedestal, while the bill is somewhat elevated

    The present lot is also closely related to a bronze duck incense burner from the Tokugawa Art Museum Collection. Cast with draft apertures amongst the feathers, and depicted standing on a square pedestal held by, it is illustrated in The Shogun Age Exhibition: From the Tokugawa Art Museum, Japan, Tokyo, 1983, p. 107, no. 75 (fig. 1). This Speelman duck incense burner differs only in minor respects from the three pieces mentioned above. According to the author of this published description, the Tokugawa piece was produced early in the Ming dynasty, in the fourteenth or fifteenth century. In comparing the craftsmanship of the pieces mentioned above, it is clear that the Tokugawa Art Museum incense burner appears to belong to a somewhat later age, and artisans presumably made efforts to improve the design of the censer. For instance, in comparison with the Christie’s goose, the head is tilted higher, so that when incense is burned, the duck emits smoke in a more animated fashion. Down the back of the duck’s head, the feathers form crests, but on the body, there is no fine feathering. The border between the breast and underbelly, and the base of the wing, is decorated with a fine wavy pattern that is somewhat labored and not as natural as on the other examples.

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    Fig.1. Bronze Duck-Form Censer, Ming Dynasty, 14th-15th century Tokugawa Art Museum, Nagoya© Tokugawa Art Museum Image Archive/DNPartcom

    Another comparable piece is a sancai Chenghua (1465-87) reign-marked duck incense burner excavated in Jingdezhen, illustrated in Kōtei no jiki: Shin hakken no Keitokuchin kanyō/Imperial Porcelain: Recent Discoveries of Jingdezhen Ware, Osaka, 1995, cat. no. 116 (fig. 2). The bill is raised to as high a degree as in the Tokugawa Art Museum piece, and here too, the duck stands on a square pedestal. However, this porcelain incense burner has six air-intake vents skilfully concealed in the rim.

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    Fig.2. Sancai Duck-Form Censer, Mark And Period of Chenghua Excavated from a Chenghua Stratum at the Ming Imperial Kiln Site at Zhushan, Jingdezhen After: Imperial Porcelain: Recent Discoveries of Jingdezhen Ware, Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka, 1995, cat. no. 116.

    Incense burners were first produced in the form of waterfowl in the Han dynasty (206 BC-AD 220). For a Han dynasty bronze duck incense burner of similar form to the present piece, formerly in the collection of Arlene and Harold Schnitzer, and now preserved in the Portland Art Museum, see Donald Jenkins, Mysterious Spirits, Strange Beasts, Earthly Delights: Early Chinese Art from the Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Collection, Portland Art Museum, Portland, 2005, pp. 80-81 (fig. 3).

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    Fig.3. Bronze Duck-Form Censer, Han dynasty. Formerly the Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Collection of Early Chinese Art, Portland Art Museum, Oregon (2006.92.4). After: Donald Jenkins, Mysterious Spirits, Strange Beasts, Earthly Delights: Early Chinese Art from the Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Collection, Portland Art Museum, Oregon, 2005, p. 81

    Although no actual piece has been handed down or excavated, it is known from the poetry of later dynasties that they too, had duck censers. For example, the Tang poet Li Shangyin (813–858), in his poem Culou [Rapid Water Clock], wrote, “The fragrance for the resting-duck censer was changed to an evening incense.” Hence we know that these censers existed in Tang dynasty. This practice seems to have continued through to the Song dynasty, as demonstrated by a bronze duck censer closely resembling the present one excavated from the tomb of Zhang Xuanyi of the Southern Song (1127-1279), in Jishui District, Jiangxi. From an excavated edict, we know that Zhang Xuanyi was first re-buried in 1237 and was later entombed in the present location in 1254. As in the other examples, this duck incense burner has a long neck and an open bill to emit the incense smoke. See Chen Dingrong, ‘Jiangxi Jishui jinian Song mu chutu wenwu [A Chronology of Artifacts Excavated from a Song Tomb in Jishui County, Jiangxi]’, Wenwu, 1987, no. 2, fig, 2 and pl. 6:5.

    Compare also similar mallard duck incense burners produced in cloisonné enamel: one from the Stoclet collection, designated as sixteenth century, is illustrated in Chinese Works of Art from the Stoclet Collection, Eskenazi, London, 2003, cat. no. 18; another of the same period in the collection of the National Palace Museum, Taipei, is illustrated in Ming Qing falangqi zhan tulu/Enamel Ware in the Ming and Ching, National Palace Museum, Taipei, 1999, cat. no. 7. Dating to the early sixteenth century based on the enamels, the head of the mallard in the National Palace Museum piece is noticeably tilted upward at an angle close to that of the Tokugawa incense burner.

    Drawing from the long tradition of duck-form incense burners, with feathers meticulously rendered and exuberant thick gilding, the Speelman duck incense burner was clearly of earlier production than other comparable pieces offered at auction or the Tokugawa example. Closely fitting the description from the ancient poem of a golden duck which emitted auspicious fumes of lovely smoke at an imperial banquet, this rare Xuande-marked incense burner encapsulates the dynamic quality of gilt-bronze production in the early Ming dynasty.

    Sotheby's. Gods and Beasts – Gilt Bronzes from the Speelman Collection, Hong Kong, 08 Apr 2014


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    Spanning 14 auctions in total, remarkable lots with extraordinary provenance will be offered across mediums, periods and price points. © Christie’s Images Limited 2018

    LONDON.- Christie’s Classic Week sales in July present a vibrant array works of art dating from antiquity to the 20th century. Spanning 14 auctions in total, remarkable lots with extraordinary provenance will be offered across mediums, periods and price points. Works range from a rich offering of paintings, drawings and watercolours across Old Masters, Victorian, Pre-Raphaelite, British Impressionist, 19th Century European and Orientalist Art, to important decorative arts including sculpture, furniture, portrait miniatures and gold boxes, to inspiring books, manuscripts, illustrations, prints, science and natural history. Highlights include a poignant work by Rubens, Thomas Chippendale furniture marking the 300th anniversary year of his birth, Pre-Raphaelite works, two bronzes from ‘the Court of the Sun King’ Louis XIV of France, illustrations by Quentin Blake and Ancient Greek pottery. Works will be on public view at Christie’s King Street from 30 June to 12 July.  

    Antiquities | 3 July 
    Comprising 116 lots, the Antiquities sale will be led by a Faliscan red-figured calyx-krater, finely decorated with an elaborate scene set in the Underworld (estimate £70,000-90,000). The work is one of only eight known vases attributed to the Nazzano Painter who is considered one of the masters of the Faliscan school. Another highlight is a Roman marble head of the young Commodus, estimated at £50,000-80,000. This extremely powerful and rare portrait successfully captures the youthful arrogance of the Crown Prince, here depicted as a teenager. The sale also features part of the prestigious Resandro Collection of Egyptian art (lot 1-18), including a large bronze of the lion-headed goddess Wadjet-Bast (estimate £50,000-70,000) and a faience shabti for the Royal Scribe Horkebi (estimate £10,000-15,000) previously in the collection of Captain Spencer-Churchill.  

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    Lot 70. Faliscan red-figured calyx-krater, attributed to the Nazzano Painter, circa 380-360 B.C.; 16 ½ in. (42.3 cm.) high. Estimate GBP 70,000 - GBP 100,000 (USD 92,820 - USD 132,600)© Christie's Images Ltd. 2018

    Provenance: with Elie Borowski, Basel, 1967. 
    French private collection, acquired from the above.

    Note: The Nazzano Painter is considered one of the best and most well-known painters of the Faliscan school. From the town of Falerii in Southern Etruria, he is named the Nazzano Painter after his finest work, a calyx-krater with Dionysos and Ariadne, from Nazzano. Faliscan vase painting began about 400 B.C. and is in general regarded as the closest in style to the Attic school, especially when comprared to other centres for vase production in Etruria.

    The Nazzano painter is known for large vases depicting complicated mythological and epic scenes, with figures of varying sizes on different levels. There is only a small handful of other known calyx-kraters including: his name vase already mentioned; one in the British Museum (F479) with the infant Herakles strangling the snakes; one in Villa Giulia, Rome (1197) with a scene from the Sack of Troy; another in the Louvre (CA7426) with Athena's contest with Poseidon; another in The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (1970.487) with a scene from Euripides' Telephos; another in the Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Virginia (inv. 82.137) with a battle of Satyrs and Amazons; and another in a private collection in Pavia with Zeus and Ganymede.

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    Attributed to the Nazzano Painter, Faliscan red-figured bowl for mixing wine (calyx-krater), circa 400 BC, British Museum (888,1015.13). © The Trustees of the British Museum.

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    Calyx krater with red-figure decoration, ca 360 BC. Musée du Louvre (CA7426) © 1996 RMN / Hervé Lewandowski

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    Calyx-Krater, Faliscan. Attributed to the Nazzano Painter (Cahn), about 380-360 B.C. Height: 49.1 cm (19 5/16 in.); diameter: 53.7 cm (21 1/8 in.), John H. and Ernestine A. Payne Fund, (1970.487). © 2018 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 

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    Red-Figure Kalyx-Krater (Mixing Bowl). Attributed to the Nazzano Painter, ca. 370 B.C.; Overall: 19 × 19 1/2 in. (48.26 × 49.53 cm). Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Virginia (inv. 82.137). © 1996–2016 Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond

    The main scene is characteristic of his work with an elaborate array of figures, and seems to be unfolding in the Underworld. Sitting at the centre of the upper level is Hades, holding a trifoliate sceptre and a cornucopia. In front of him stands Adonis, holding flaming torches and dressed in oriental costume. On the right of Adonis sits Persephone, wife of Hades and mistress of Adonis and behind her sits a youth with an oinochoe at his feet. On the far right is Hermes wearing his traveller's hat and holding his caduceus, with Eros offering him wine. For a similar seated Hades holding a cornucopia from a Faliscan red-figured kylix, see Heidelberg University E49, in R. Lindner, "Hades/Aita, Calu," LIMC, IV, p. 397, no. 16, pl. 16.  

    On the lower left, Heracles is sitting on the lion skin, holding his club. On the right, bearded Odysseus wearing his pilos helmet, is addressing a seated youth holding a torch and a bakkhoi (branches of myrtle tied with lengths of white wool). A panther is running in the foreground. The seated youth may be Eubouleus, in his role as torchbearer, leading Odysseus back from the Underworld. The inclusion of the flaming torches, the bakkoi and Eubouleus would suggest a link with the Eleusinian Mysteries. 

    As with all the Nazzano Painter kraters, the reverse shows a Dionysian scene with satyr and maenads and a seated youth playing the lyre.

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    Lot 78. A Roman marble portrait head of the young Commodus, circa 175-177 A.D. Head, bust and socle: 21 7/8 in. (55.5 cm.) high. Head: 11 ¼ in. (29 cm.) high. Estimate GBP 50,000 - GBP 80,000 (USD 66,300 - USD 106,080)© Christie's Images Ltd. 2018

    Provenance: Canal collection, Paris and Jussac, France, prior to 1967, and thence by descent.

    Note: Aurelius Commodus Antoninus Augustus - more commonly known simply as Commodus, was the son of Marcus Aurelius and Faustina the Younger and the last member of the Antonine dynasty of Roman emperors. He assumed the Imperial throne at the age of eighteen following the death of his father in 180 A.D. and quickly developed a reputation for megalomania and sexual depravity. Towards the end of his reign he re-founded Rome and called it 'Colonia Commodiana', and had the months re-named after his various titles. After several attempts on his life, Commodus was finally strangled during a coup which was organised in 192 A.D. by members of the Praetorian Guard, the Imperial household, and his favourite concubine Marcia. 
    Despite receiving the damnatio memoriae, Commodus was celebrated post-mortem and received divine honours from his successor Septimius Severus. Thus, many statues of Commodus were made during Severus' rule (193-211), based on those created in Rome during the last five years of Commodus' life. 
    Official portraits of Commodus have been divided into five types. This portrait belongs to the first type and depicts him as Crown Prince and successor to his father Marcus Aurelius, at the age of fourteen to sixteen years old. The finest example of this type comes from the Villa of Antoninus Pius in Lanuvium and was made between 175-177 A.D., cf. D. E. E. Kleiner, Roman Sculpture, New Haven, 1992, pp. 273-275, fig. 241. According to Kleiner ‘the depiction of Commodus’ hair is a tour de force, as is the rest of the portrait, because the artist also succeeds in capturing the boy’s youthful arrogance in his expression’.

     

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    Lot 13. An Egyptian bronze of Wadjet-Bast, Late period, 26th dynasty, circa664-525 B.C.; 12 in. (30.5 cm.) high. Estimate GBP 50,000 - GBP 70,000 (USD 66,300 - USD 92,820)© Christie's Images Ltd. 2018

    Provenance: French private collection, Burgundy, prior to 1983.
    with Guy Ladrière, Paris. 
    Antiquities; Christie's, London, 11 December 1987, lot 128.
    Resandro collection, acquired from the above sale.

    Exhibited: Berlin, Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung; Berlin, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin; Munich, Staatliche Sammlung Ägyptischer Kunst Munchen; Hamburg, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, Gott und Götter im Alten Ägypten, 1992-1993.

    PUBLISHED: S. Schoske and D. Wildung, Gott und Götter im Alten Ägypten, Mainz am Rhein, 1993, pp. 62-64, no. 41. 
    I. Grimm-Stadelmann (ed.), Aesthetic Glimpses, Masterpieces of Ancient Egyptian Art, The Resandro Collection, Munich, 2012, p. 148, no. R-428.

    Note: In this example, the deity presents the characteristics of two powerful goddesses of Lower Egypt. The lion aspect represents Bast, or Bastet, the protector of Lower Egypt, whereas the rearing cobra fronting the sun-disc is associated with Wadjet, the deity originally from the Nile Delta region. Like many of the other gods, the ancient Egyptians brought together multiple aspects into one entity.

    The low-backed throne on which she sits on is engraved with a Horus falcon and scale motives which continue around both sides. The motive refers to the raising of the child Horus in the papyrus thicket in the Delta site of Khemnis; as Wadjet was also referred to as the nurse of the young god. 

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    Lot 12. An Egyptian blue faience shabti for the royal scribe Horkhebi, Late period, 26th dynasty, circa 664-525 B.C.; 6 in. (15.4 cm.) high. Estimate GBP 10,000 - GBP 15,000 (USD 13,260 - USD 19,890)© Christie's Images Ltd. 2018

     

    Provenance: Captain E.G. Spencer-Churchill (1876-1964), Northwick Park, Blockley, Gloucestershire.
    Antiquities from the Northwick Park Collection, the property of the late Captain E.G. Spencer-Churchill; Christie's, London, 21-23 June 1965, lot 191.
    Resandro collection.

    PUBLISHED: J.-F. and L. Aubert, Statuettes Égyptiennes: Chaouabtis, Ouchebtis, Paris, 1974, p. 215.
    I. Grimm-Stadelmann (ed.), Aesthetic Glimpses, Masterpieces of Ancient Egyptian Art, The Resandro Collection, Munich, 2012, p. 213, no. R-685.

    Note: The shabtis for Horkhebi share characteristics from both the 25th and the 26th dynasty. In Statuettes Égyptiennes: Chaouabtis, Ouchebtis, 1974, Aubert mentions the present example (p. 215) and translates the first column of hieroglyphs: ‘Blessed with Osiris, Lord of Busiris, the royal scribe Horkhebi, born of Khaemkhons, born of Neferneith’. On the second frontal column, we find the traditional formula from Chapter 6 of the Book of the Dead, still in its second version instead of the third, which continues on the three columns on the back. Because of their finely modelled face and their wide body, Cooney believed that they dated to the 25th Dynasty, with similar looking figures in serpentine. J. Yoyotte later suggested that they should rather be dated to the 26th dynasty because of the name of his mother. Neferneith (‘Neith is Good’) contains the name of the main deity of Sais, Neith, whose influence only grew after the reign of Psamtek I.
    It is not known where these statuettes were found. They are all blue, green or weathered to a brown patina, as with this example. Other shabtis for Horkhebi are known in some of the most prestigious institutions: four in Paris, but also Berlin, London and the Corning Museum, New York.

    Old Master & British Drawings & Watercolours | 3 July 
    This sale presents a selection of Dutch, French, German, English and Italian drawings, comprising over 150 lots in total. The Italian section is led by an unpublished Architectural Capriccio by Canaletto (estimate: £150,000-200,000). In his capricci Canaletto depended on his study of real cities and landscapes to create pleasing imaginary views, some more fanciful than others. Among the highlights from the section of Northern Drawings, is a previously unknown sheet by Caspar David Friedrich, the towering figure of 19th Century German painting, A Gothic brick building and two studies of trees (estimate: £70,000-100,000), and a group of 20 Dutch 17th and 18th century landscape and topography drawings from the collection Dr. J.A.M. Smit, with estimates ranging from £2,000 to £12,000. Further highlights include The Faerie Queen Appears to Prince Arthur by Johann Heinrich Füssli, Henry Fuseli, R.A. (estimate: £150,000-250,000). Much of Fuseli’s greatest work took its subject matter from great writers such as William Shakespeare, John Milton, and Edmund Spenser. This drawing depicts the moment when the Faerie Queen, Gloriana, appears in a dream to the knight Arthur, who is the perfection of all virtues. Fuseli also made a large-scale drawing of this subject, now in the Kunstmuseum, Basel. It is an outstanding example of Fuseli’s virtuoso draughtsmanship and understanding of the pen and ink medium. 

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    Lot 24. Giovanni Antonio Canal, called Il Canaletto (Venice 1697-1768), An architectural capriccio, traces of black chalk, pen and brown ink, brown and grey wash, 8¼ x 13¼ in. (21.1 x 33.8 cm). Estimate GBP 150,000 - GBP 200,000 (USD 198,900 - USD 265,200)© Christie's Images Ltd. 2018

    Exhibited: Paris, Galerie Miromesnil, Venise au XVIIIe siècle, 1978.

    Note: Canaletto’s mastery is equally evident in his topographical works, in which he recorded with accuracy – but never drily – the grandeur, beauty and liveliness of the sites he chose to depict, as it is in his capricci, for which he depended on his study of real cities and landscapes to create pleasing imaginary views, some more fanciful than others. The thick, curly lines and skillful use of wash seen in these latter works are typical of the artist’s later graphic style. The present, unpublished example seems to combine elements of the architecture of Venice and Padua, although none can be exactly identified. A closely related drawing is recorded in a New York private collection (see J. Bean, F. Stampfle, Drawings from New York Collections, III, The Eighteenth Century in Italy, exhib. cat., New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1971, no. 160, ill.).

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    Lot 85. Caspar David Friedrich (Greifswald 1774-1840 Dresden), A Gothic brick building and two studies of trees, inscribed ‘den 18t Aprill/ 1809/ Greifswald’ and ‘Breesen/ den 14t Juni/ 1809’ and ‘den 14t Juni’ and with number ’37.’ (recto) and with illegible trimmed inscription (verso), graphite, grey and brown wash, 12 1/8 x 9 7/8 in. (30.9 x 25.2 cm). Estimate GBP 70,000 - GBP 100,000 (USD 92,820 - USD 132,600)© Christie's Images Ltd. 2018

    Provenance: Johan Christian Dahl (1788-1854) (with his inscription ‘Caspar David Friedrich/ + zu Dresden d 7 May 1840.’).
    The estate sale of Karl Heinrich Beichling [date and place unknown], where apparently acquired by Dr. C. Jessen (according to Dr. Heinrich Becker's inventory).
    Bethel Institution, Bethel (near Bielefeld) from whom acquired in 1936 by Dr. Heinrich Becker (1881-1972), (according to Dr. Heinrich Becker's inventory), and by descent to the present owners.

    Note: The towering figure in 19th Century German painting, Friedrich was also a prolific draughtsman, by whom a very substantial number of sheets survive. Few important drawings remain in private hands, however, and the rediscovery of this unpublished example is a valuable addition to his œuvre. The drawing belongs to a group of nearly twenty studies on loose sheets (Loseblattsammlung), in which Friedrich focuses on trees and Gothic architecture in the surroundings of his birthplace Greifswald, in Northern Germany (C. Grummt, Caspar David Friedrich. Die Zeichnungen, Munich, 2011, II, nos. 579-595, ill.). All are dated between April and July 1809, when the artist visited his family, mainly to see his father, who had been ill for more than a year. As the artist’s own inscriptions indicate, the studies of trees were made on 14 June, the day of his father’s recovery, in Breesen, near Neubrandenburg, where (as a family letter informs us) his father had retired ‘to become healthy again by taking walks’ (ibid., p. 546). Nearly two months before, on 18 April, shortly after arriving at Greifswald, Friedrich made the study of a building in the upper half of the sheet, probably a house, characteristic for the region’s Gothic architecture. Drawing carefully from life, he subtly clarified its structure and materials by adding light brown washes, probably at home. (At upper right he had first tried out his brush after dipping it in the ink). The inscription at lower right is due to the great Norwegian painter Johan Christian Dahl, a friend of Friedrich who owned a large number of his works. Although not made as independent works of art, studies such as these, like Friedrich’s best pictures, show him both as an artist capable of close observation, and one finding a spiritual quality in the beauty of the world surrounding him.

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    Lot 100. Johann Heinrich Füssli, Henry Fuseli, R.A. (Zurich, Switzerland 1741-1825 Putney Hill, London), The Faerie Queene appears to Prince Arthur, from Edmund Spenser's 'The Faerie Queene' (recto); and A sketch for the Faerie Queene and Prince Arthur (verso), pen and black ink, black and grey wash, 15 ¼ x 20 in. (38.7 x 50.8 cm.). Estimate GBP 70,000 - GBP 100,000 (USD 92,820 - USD 132,600)© Christie's Images Ltd. 2018

    Provenance: ?Susan, Countess of Guilford (d. 1837), and by descent to her daughter
    ?Susan, Baroness North (1797-1884).
    Prof. Paul Ganz, Oberhofen, Bern (1872-1954), and by descent until 1975, when purchased by 
    the father of the present owners.

    Literature: P. Ganz, The Drawings of Henry Fuseli, Bern, 1947, p. 9 and London, 1949, p. 62, no. 9. 
    F. Antal, Fuseli Studies, London, 1956, pp. 20 & 140.
    G. Schiff, Johann Heinrich Füssli, Zurich, 1973, pp. 68, 97, 140, 220, 313, 325, 432, no. 337, ill.
    N.L. Pressly, The Fuseli Circle in Rome: Early Romantic Art of the 1770s, New Haven, 1979, pp. 28-9.

    Exhibited: Zurich, Kunsthaus, Johann Heinrich Füssli, 1926, no. 93.
    Zurich, Kunsthaus, J. H. Füssli, 1969, no. 120.
    Cologne, Schneggenbühl.
    Hamburg, Kunsthalle, Johann Heinrich Füssli, 1741-1825, 1974-5, number untraced.
    London, Tate Gallery, Fuseli, 19 February - 31 March 1975, no. 149.
    Paris, Petit Palais, Johann Heinrich Füssli, 21 April - 20 July 1975, no. 145.

    Note: This large, magnificent drawing from Fuseli’s early years in England (from 1764-70) has been described by Nancy Pressly, together with its near companion The Cave of Despair (Schiff 338, fig. 1), as ‘perhaps Fuseli’s finest works from the 1760s'. However, she also tells us that a large number of works from this period were destroyed by a fire at the house of his friend the radical publisher and bookseller Joseph Johnson in January 1770 (Pressly, pp. 28-9). Moreover, although Fuseli had arrived in London in 1764 he had only become a fully professional artist some time later, in part encouraged by Joshua Reynolds, following a period when he had concentrated more on his translation of Winkelmann’s Reflections on the Paintings and Sculpture of the Greeks, published in 1765, and on his ownRemarks on the Writings and Conduct of J.J. Rousseau, 1767. He left for Italy in the spring of 1770, not returning to England, after a stay of a few months in Zurich, until 1778. Works of the later 1760s are exceedingly rare. Moreover, it is perhaps the earliest surviving demonstration of Fuseli’s abilities as a draughtsman and inventor of striking imagery.

    The drawing illustrates the passage from Edmund Spenser’s (1552-1599) patriotic verse allegory The Faerie Queene, Book I, Canto IX, verse 13, in which Prince Arthur, the future King of that name, tells Una and the Red Cross Knight how, exhausted from hunting in the forest, he had dismounted and fallen asleep, only to dream of the Faerie Queene:

    ‘Forwearied with my sportes, I did alight
    From loftie steed, and downe to sleepe me layd:
    The verdant gras my couch did goodly dight, 
    And pillow was my helmett fayre displayd:
    Whiles every sence the humour sweet embayd,
    And slombring soft my hart did steale away,
    Me seemed, by my side a royall mayd
    Her daintie limbes full softly down did lay:
    So fayre a creature yet saw never sunny day.’

    After she had told him of her love and given him her name, she vanished and he awoke alone and bereft (verses 14-15):

    ‘Most goodly glee and lovely blandishment
    She to me made, and badd me love her deare.
    For dearly sure her love was to me bent,
    As, when just time expired, should appeare.
    But, whether dreames delude, or true it were,
    Was never hart so ravisht with delight,
    Ne living man like wordes did ever heare,
    As she to me delivered all that night;
    And at her parting said, she Queene of Faries hight.

    When I awoke, and found her place devoyd,
    And nought but pressed gras where she had lyen,
    sorrowed all so much, as earst I joy'd,
    And washed all her place with watry eyen. 
    From that day forth I lov'd this face divyne; 
    From that day forth I cast in carefull mynd, 
    To seek her out with labor and long tyne, 
    And never vowd to rest till her I fynd: 
    Nyne monethes I seek in vain, yet ni'll that vow unbynd.’


    Only the inclusion of the horse’s head, looming into the space of the drawing from the right, upsets the equilibrium of the scene, anticipating as it does the horse’s head in The Nightmare of 1781 (Schiff 757-9); surely Prince Arthur’s dream had not been a nightmare! However, at this early point in Fuseli’s developing imagery, it could perhaps reflect the more neutral significance of the lines about Queen Mab in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Act I, Scene 4:

    And in this state she gallops night by night
    Through lovers’ brains, and then they dream of love.

    (For the significance of horses and nightmares in Fuseli’s art see Christopher Frayling, 'Fuseli’s The Nightmare: Somewhere between the Sublime and the Ridiculous' in Martin Myrone, ed., exh. cat., Gothic Nightmares: Fuseli, Blake and the Romantic Imagination, London, Tate Britain, 15 February – 1 May 2006, pp. 9-20). The illuminated form behind the horse’s head is presumably Arthur’s spear, its presence a flash of light adding to the drama of the horse’s impact.

    In addition Fuseli adds a whole troupe of fairy-like figures including the gnome on the left holding a whip with serrated tooth-like edges culminating in a cat-of-nine-tails ending in flowers. These anticipate Titania’s attendants in the great canvases illustrating A Midsummer Night’s Dream – painted for Boydell’s Shakespeare Gallery in the 1780s (Schiff 753-4).

    Fuseli’s first illustrations to the world of English literature draw on elements from a wider circle than Spenser’s Elizabethan epic. Fuseli, despite his foreign background, was one of the pioneers in illustrating The Faerie Queene, a genre of literature coming into fashion in the later 18th Century at the same time as Ossian and the ‘Gothic’. The only important precedents were William Kent’s 32 engravings for the three-volume edition of Spenser’s text published in 1751 and four drawings by Mortimer dating to the mid-1760s, though not engraved and published by John Hall until 1777 (J. Sunderland, ‘John Hamilton Mortimer, his Life and Works’, Walpole Society, LII, 1986-8, pp. 180-1, nos. 132. 13-16, illustrated); his grand full-length painting of Sir Arthegal, the Knight of Justice, with Talus, the Iron Man at Tate Britain was not exhibited until 1778 (Sunderland, op.cit., p. 185, no. 136, illustrated). Alexander Runciman also illustrated four episodes in 1776 (Pressly, loc. cit.).

    It was perhaps Fuseli’s Continental background that lead him to go back to further international sources in the story of the enchantress Armida and the crusader knight Rinaldo in Tasso’s Jerusalem Liberata and Van Dyck’s paintings of the same subject of 1627 in the Baltimore Museum and the Royal Collection (S.J. Barnes, N. de Poorter, O. Millar and H. Vey, Van Dyck: A Complete Catalogue of the Paintings, New Haven and London, 2004, pp. 296-7, illustrated; both paintings were in England in the 18th Century). These were part of a tradition derived in their turn from Antique sarcophagi of Semele and Endymion. (For this tradition see Schiff, p. 68).

    Some twenty years after the present drawing Fuseli painted a later version of The Faerie Queene appearing to Prince Arthur in oils for the first volume of Thomas Macklin’s Poet's Gallery, 1780 (Schiff 721, Öffentliche Kunstsammlung, Basel, fig. 2); this was engraved by Peltro W. Tomkins (D.H. Weinglass, Prints and Engraved Illustrations by and after Henry Fuseli, Aldershot and Brookfield, VA, 1994, p. 88, no. 78, fig. 3). Whereas the painting measures 102.5 x 109 cm (40 ½ x 43 in.) the engraving is an upright, 42.5 x 35.4 cm. (17 ¾ x 13 7/8 in.); this was perhaps to make it conform to a standard book format, but in the event Macklin published his work as an oblong folio (H. Hammelmann with T.S.R. Boase, Book Illustration in Eighteenth-Century England, New Haven and London, 1975, pp. 34-5).

    Both painting and engraving share a more disciplined, neo-classical composition. The two main figures are less subtle in their articulation, the Queene standing rather than tripping forward as in the present drawing. The dominating, enveloping form of the Queene’s veil is tamed. The much clearer, more semi-circular form of Arthur’s body is now balanced by the largest of the attendant fairies. The horse’s head is still shown, largely invisible save for the eyes in the now bituminous background of the picture (see Schiff, p. 140) and even in the engraving is nearly lost against the dark background; the eyes are seen more from the front, closer to The Nightmare than to the present drawing.

    Weinglass points out that Fuseli’s undated letter of about 1800 suggests that verses 34 and 35 provide ‘soul, action, passion’ (Weinglass, ibid.), and quotes Laurel Bradley as suggesting that Fuseli is ironically deflating a lofty subject: the ‘powerful figure [of Gloriana, in Spenser equated with the Queene of the Faeries and Queen Elizabeth I] in a clinging garment and fashionable hat gestures imperiously towards the passive Knight and then becomes ‘a materialisation of Arthur’s erotic dreams rather than a spirit inspiring virtuous action’ (L. Bradley, ‘Eighteenth Century Paintings and Illustrations of Spenser’s Faerie Queene: A Study in Taste’ in MarsyasStudies in the History of Art, XX, 1979-80, pp. 31-91).

    Although the Zurich exhibition catalogue of 1969 gives the lender as anonymous, a label on the back of the drawing gives the source as Professor Paul Ganz (1872-1954). He was a distinguished Swiss art historian, specialising in Holbein and Fuseli, publishing books on the latter's drawings in 1948 and 1959. He was also closely involved in the Art Council exhibition of Fuseli’s works in 1950.

    A pencilled inscription on the back of the frame reading ‘From the collection of Baroness North’ suggests a possible earlier provenance though this has not yet been proven. Susan, Baroness North was the daughter of Susan, Countess of Guilford, one of Fuseli’s most important patrons in his later years; he died in her house on Putney Hill, in the presence of the Countess and her daughter, who inherited her collection of works by the artist.

    We are grateful to Martin Butlin, C.B.E. for his help in preparing this catalogue entry.

    Quentin Blake: A Retrospective; Forty Years of Alternative Versions | 3 July to 12 July 
    This July, Christie’s will present Quentin Blake: A Retrospective; Forty Years of Alternative Versions, a series of illustrations offered directly from the personal collection of one of Britain's best-loved illustrators. As part of Christie’s Classic Week, a selection of 30 illustrations by Quentin Blake will be presented in the Valuable Books and Manuscripts auction on 11 July, alongside a dedicated online sale of 148 illustrations open for bidding from 3 to 12 July. The works from this sale are being sold to benefit House of Illustration, Roald Dahl's Marvellous Children's Charity and Survival International. Quentin Blake: A Retrospective; Forty Years of Alternative Versions will be on view and open to the public from 7 to 10 July at Christie’s London. Estimates range from £200 to £10,000.  

    Treasured Portraits from the Collection of Ernst Holzscheiter | 4 July 
    Ernst Holzscheiter was a Swiss industrialist who amassed a large collection of over 700 portrait miniatures. After his death in 1962 the majority of the collection was sold but the family decided to retain pieces which they considered to be superlative examples of an artist’s body of work, and those pieces they liked the most. This group, considered to be the treasures of the collection, are the portraits being offered for sale. The main highlight of the sale is an extremely rare signed and dated portrait of a young gentleman by the Swiss artist Jean-Etienne Liotard (£60,000-80,000). Dated 1749, it was painted during a visit to France, during which time he painted members of the French royal family and members of the French court. This unidentified sitter wears the badge of the Order of Malta. Further works by Continental artists include a signed and dated portrait of Napoleon by Jean-Baptiste Jacques Augustin (estimate: £8,000-12,000) and a signed and dated portrait of Simon Duvivier by François Dumont, who worked for Louis XI, Louis XVI, Napoleon and George Washington (estimate: £20,000-30,000). Among the works by English artists are two good examples of works by Nicholas Hilliard which are both signed and dated (lot75 and 76, estimate: £15,000-25,000 and £8,000-12,000, respectively). 

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    Lot 88. Jean-Etienne Liotard (Swiss, 1702-1789), A young gentleman in blue coat, wearing the badge of the Order of Malta. Signed and dated on the counter-enamel ‘pt. liotard / 1749’. Enamel on copper. Oval, 49 mm. high, cartouche-shaped ormolu frame with tied ribbon surmount. Estimate GBP 60,000 - GBP 80,000 (USD 79,560 - USD 106,080)© Christie's Images Ltd. 2018

    Provenance: Edouard Warneck (1834-1924) Collection, Paris, by 1911.
    His son-in-law, Arthur Sambon (1867-1947), Paris by 1923/1924.
    E. Warneck Collection, Paris; Part IV, Leo Schidlof’s Kunstauktionshaus, Vienna, 18 November 1926, lot 34.
    Friedrich Neuburg Collection, Litomerice, Moravia; Part I, Hôtel Drouot, 27 March 1939, lot 77 (41,000 FF). 
    Ernst Holzscheiter Collection, Meilen (inv. nos. MD/0180 and 363).

    Literature: Schidlof 1911, p. 381, pl. IV (as 'M. de Marigny'). 
    Clouzot 1923, p. 57, illustrated p. 56. 
    Clouzot 1924, p. 130. 
    Clouzot 1928, p. 123, illustrated pl. VII. 
    Long 1929, p. 275. 
    Trivas 1940, illustrated.
    von der Mühll 1947, p. 42, illustrated in colour p. 44, no. 11. 
    Schneeberger 1958, pp. 151, 153 footnote 257, illustrated figs. 53 and 54.
    Schidlof 1964, I, p. 507, II, p. 999, illustrated IV, pl. 372, fig. 753 (as the Marquis de Marigny and described as ‘excellent’)
    Foskett 1972, II, p. 64, illustrated pl. 212, fig. 535 (as 'Monsieur de Marigny'). 
    Loche/Roethlisberger 1978, no. S2, illustrated p. 125 (the property title erroneous). 
    Roethlisberger/Loche 2008, I, p. 369, no. 165 (as a ‘jeune chevalier de l’ordre de Malte’), II, illustrated fig. 273.

    Exhibited: Paris 1923, no. 237 (lent by Arthur Sambon).
    Paris 1925.
    Geneva 1956, no. 276, illustrated (as a presumed portrait of the Marquis de Marigny).
    Zurich 1957-58 and 1961.

    Note: In 1735, Jean-Etienne Liotard left his home town of Geneva for a long voyage. After highly successful sojourns in Italy, the Ottoman Empire, Austria, Germany and England, the self-styled peintre turc arrived in Paris between late 1747 / early 1748 where he remained until 1753. In Paris, Liotard was introduced at court by one his models, the Maréchal de Saxe and in 1749, the year the present enamel was made, he painted the French Royal Family. 
    Liotard, who excelled in pastels, oil painting, drawing, engraving and watercolour and gouache on paper, parchment and ivory, considered the enamel technique the most durable and the only technique worthy of royalty: ‘je le consacrerois à l’Immortalité en le peignant en Email en grand le seul genre durable et digne d’un Roi qui commence à regner avec tant de gloire.’ (from a letter to Lord Bute dated 4 March 1761, suggesting he immortalize the young King George III by painting him in enamel – Walker 1992, p. 260).
    We are indebted to Prof. Marcel Roethlisberger and Michael Asvarishch, Curator of the Numismatic Department at the State Russian Museum, St Petersburg, for their help in the preparation of this catalogue entry.

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    Lot 47. Jean-Baptiste Jacques Augustin (French, 1759-1832), Napoléon Bonaparte (1769-1821), Emperor of France 1804-1814/15, in Petit Costume d’EmpereurSigned and dated ‘Augustin. 1809.’ (mid-right). On ivory. Oval, 50 mm. high, silver-gilt réverbère frame with blue enamel border. Estimate GBP 8,000 - GBP 12,000 (USD 10,608 - USD 15,912)© Christie's Images Ltd. 2018

    Provenance: The Collection of the late Gertrude, Countess of Dudley (1879-1952), née Millar; Sotheby’s, London, 25 November 1952, lot 88. 
    With Leo R. Schidlof, from whom acquired by Ernst Holzscheiter in London, 11 February 1953 (inv. nos. MD/0605 and 37).

    Literature: de Langle / Schlumberger 1957, p. 106. 
    Pappe 2015, p. 305, no. 653, illustrated.

    Exhibited: Arenenberg 1954, no. 1, illustrated on the cover.
    Geneva 1956, no. 15.
    Zurich 1957-58 and 1961.

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    Lot 6. François Dumont (French, 1751-1831), Pierre Simon Benjamin Duvivier (1730-1819), engraver, making a medallion. Signed and dated ‘Dumont / f. l’an. 8.’ (mid-right). On ivory, 84 x 84 mm., gilt-metal frame, inscribed on the reverse ‘P.S.B. Duvivier peint par Franc. Dumont en 1799’. Estimate GBP 20,000 - GBP 30,000 (USD 26,520 - USD 39,780)© Christie's Images Ltd. 2018

    Provenance: With Hans E. Backer, from whom acquired by Ernst Holzscheiter in London, 15 April 1951 (inv. nos. MD/0514 and 188).

    Literature: Listed in the artist’s fee book for the year VIII of the French Revolutionary calendar, p. 29 as ‘Le C.[itoyen] Duvivier Graveur de medailles Payé
    Hofstetter 1994, I, p. 52, II, pp. 471, 494.
    Lemoine-Bouchard 2008, p. 214.
    Hofstetter 2018, p. 178.

    Exhibited: Paris, Salon, 1800, no. 135 (part).
    Geneva 1956, no. 136.
    Zurich 1957-58 and 1961.

    Note: The sitter was one of 17 children of Jean Duvivier and he came from a family of engravers from Liege, now Belgium. In 1762 he was appointed official engraver to King Louis XV and, on the ascension of Louis XVI to the throne in 1774, he became Engraver-General (chief engraver) of the Paris Mint. He was admitted to the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture in 1764. Through his engravings of medals he commemorated the private and public events in the lives of Louis XV and Louis XVI and in all likelihood the medals depicted in the present portrait are among his key works. In his left hand he holds a wax impression taken from the steel mould on the block in front of him. In the other hand he is perfecting the mould with a graving tool and in front of him on the bench are further graving tools. It is possible that the one on which he is shown working is that known as the ‘Washington before Boston Commemorative Medal’. Commissioned by Congress, the medal was first struck in 1790 in gold and issued in bronze in 1800. The image of Washington on the obverse of the medal was based on moulds taken by the sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdon from his original clay portrait bust of October 1785, which remains at Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington.
    We are indebted to David Cawte for his generous help with our research on the present portrait.

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    Lot 75. Nicholas Hilliard (British, 1547-1619), A girl of the Elizabethan court, aged 6, in elaborate dress and lace ruff, inscribed and dated in the blue background ‘Ano Dni 1586 / ac ano AEtatis sue 6’; gold border. On vellum. Oval, 52 mm. high, gilt-metal frame with spiral cresting. Estimate GBP 15,000 - GBP 25,000 (USD 19,890 - USD 33,150)© Christie's Images Ltd. 2018

    Provenance: Galerie Fischer, Lucerne and Zurich, 14 May 1936, lot 950.
    Ernst Holzscheiter Collection, Meilen (inv. nos. MD/0165 and 291).

    Literature: von der Mühll 1947, p. 42, illustrated in colour no. 17.
    Foskett 1972, I, illustrated colour plate VII, fig. 23.

    Exhibited: Zurich 1957-58 and 1961.
    Edinburgh 1975, no. 9, illustrated.

    Lot 76. Nicholas Hilliard (British, 1547-1619), A lady in gold dress with high standing ruff, inscribed and dated in the blue background ‘Ano Dni 1605 / Aetatis sua [ . ]’; gold border. On vellum. Oval, 51 mm. high, silver frame with spiral cresting. Estimate GBP 8,000 - GBP 12,000 (USD 10,608 - USD 15,912)© Christie's Images Ltd. 2018

    Provenance: T. Whitcombe Greene Esq.; (†) Sotheby’s, London, 7 July 1932, lot 120. 
    With Leo R. Schidlof, from whom acquired by Ernst Holzscheiter in Paris, 21 May 1938 (inv. nos. MD/0163 and 290).

    Literature: Foskett 1972, I, illustrated colour plate VII, fig. 22.

    Exhibited:  Geneva 1956, no. 210, illustrated.
    Edinburgh 1975, no. 28.

    Gold boxes| 4 July 
    The largest Gold Boxes sale at Christie’s to date, 106 lots will be offered on 4 July. Previously unrecorded, a Saxon hardstone and gold bonbonnière by Johann Christian Neuber, circa 1785, is an example of his small group of gold boxes that are set with numbered stones in a mosaic pattern between stripes of gold, a technique called Zellenmosaic, which is similar process to creating cloisonné enamel (estimate: £250,000-350,000). Having been in the same family for at least three generations it has not been seen in public before. Born in 1736, Neuber became a master of the goldsmith’s guild in Dresden in 1762 and Director of the Green Vaults in 1769. He was appointed Hofjuwelier to the court of Frederich Augustus III in 1775. Responding to an emerging interest in science and geology amongst the European aristocracy, he invented the Steinkabinettabatiere or a snuffbox forming a mineral cabinet, creating in his own words a small portable masterpiece that combined ‘luxury, taste and science’. The breadth of the sale is reflected by a Louis XV vari-colour gold-mounted lacquer snuff-box by Jean-François Breton, Paris, 1767/1768, which demonstrates how fashionable Japanese lacquer was at the 18th century French Court (estimate: £50,000-80,000), through to a German gold-mounted hardstone snuffbox in the design of a pug, Dresden, circa 1750 (estimate: £5,000-8,000). 

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    Lot 206. A Saxon hardstone and gold bonbonnière by Johann Christian Neuber, Dresden, circa 1785; 2 3/8 in. (60 mm.) diam. Estimate GBP 250,000 - GBP 350,000 (USD 331,500 - USD 464,100)© Christie's Images Ltd. 2018

    circular gold-lined 'Stein Cabinets Tabatière' inlaid with 64 numbered specimens of hardstones including a variety of dendritic and banded agates, carnelian, chalcedony, jasper, amethyst and quartz mounted within narrow peaked gold-bands, the cover centred by an oval brown quartz plaque applied with a carved relief of bloodstone and other hardstones depicting writing trophies set amidst foliage, inlaid with a concentrical circle of petal-shaped hardstone plaques within engraved gold mounts numbered from 1 to 12 and within a flat simulated pearl border on a polished gold band, the sides with two rows of various hardstone plaques numbered from 13 to 40, the base similarly inlaid with two concentrical circles of hardstone plaques within engraved gold mounts numbered from 41 to 64 around a central roundel inlaid with striated agate containing a central floral rosette with carnelian leaves and flat simulated pearl centre and framed by a polished gold band with flat simulated pearls.

    Note: This bonbonnière by Neuber is a previously unrecorded example of his small group of gold boxes that are set with numbered stones set in a mosaic pattern between stripes of gold, called Zellenmosaic, a technique which is similar to creating cloisonné enamel. Neuber was born in Neuwunsdorf in 1736. He became a master of the goldsmith’s guild in Dresden in 1762 and Director of the Green Vaults in 1769. By 1775 he had been appointed Hofjuwelier to the court of Frederich Augustus III. Responding to an emerging interest in science and geology amongst the European aristocracy, he invented the Steinkabinettabatiere or a snuffbox forming a mineral cabinet, creating in his own words a small portable masterpiece that combined ‘luxury, taste and science’. 

    In an advertisement in the Journal der Moden of April 1786, Neuber praised his stock-in-trade which he sold 'at the cheapest prices', and the present box must have been of the category of 'oval and circular boxes for gentlemen and ladies, as stone-cabinets, mounted in gold and lined with gold, of all Saxon country-stones, such as carnelians, chalcedonies, amethysts, jaspers, agates and petrified wood, numbered, together with an inventory of the names, and where they can be found’. Neuber sometimes provided an accompanying handwritten specification booklet with his boxes which would list the stones used in the construction of the box and the geographical areas from where the stones had been collected. The engraved number above each panel would correspond to the number in the booklet. The friezes of imitation half-pearls that are a frequent and recurring element in Neuber’s work are composed of cylindrical pieces of rock crystal on which the underside has been hollowed out in a half-circle and then lined with powdered silver to create the illusion of a natural pearl.

    A stylistically very close box with petal-shaped stones is in the Musée Cognacq-Jay, Paris (illustrated in C. Le Corbeiller, European and American Snuff Boxes 1730-1830, London, 1966, fig. 473), and very similar is the bonbonnière from the Dreesmann Collection, sold Christie's, London, 11 April 2002, lot 947. Three oval examples are also recorded (H. and S. Berry Hill, Antique Gold Boxes, London, New York, 1953, figs. 112 and 113, and A. K. Snowman, Eighteenth Century Gold Boxes of Europe, Woodbridge, 1990, figs. 692 and 692A and Christie's, Geneva, 14 November 1995, lot 51). Two further similar circular boxes were sold Christie's, Geneva, 14 November 1995, lots 92 and 112.

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    Lot 156. A Louis XV vari-colour gold-mounted lacquer snuff-box, by Jean-François Breton (Fl. 1737-1791), marked, Paris, 1767/1768, with the charge and decharge marks of Jean-Jacques Prevost 1762-1768, the contra-marks of Julien Alaterre 1768-1774 and Jean-Baptiste Fouache 1774-1780 and a post-1838 French guarantee mark for gold, struck with inventory number 12; 3¼ in. (83 mm.) wide. Estimate GBP 50,000 - GBP 80,000 (USD 66,300 - USD 106,080)© Christie's Images Ltd. 2018

    rectangular gold-lined box with canted corners, the cover, sides and base mounted en cage with panels of Japanese hiramaki-e gold lacquer on a nashiji ground depicting a riverside scene and mountainous landscapes with pine and prunus trees within chasedsablé gold foliate frames.

    Note: It is interesting to see how fashionable Japanese lacquer was at the French Court as early as the 1730s. The techniques were developed in Japan in the 1680s and were apparently so popular in Europe as to be copied only fifty years later by Parisian lacquer craftsmen. One may conjecture that these French artists must have seen Japanese originals in the collection of one of the very few extremely wealthy French connoisseurs able to afford such highly prized, rare and exotic objects.

    Thomas Chippendale 300 Years | 5 July 
    On 5 July, Christie’s landmark sale Thomas Chippendale 300 Years will celebrate the genius of Chippendale’s designs and the perfection of his execution, in the 300th anniversary year of his birth. The dedicated London auction will present 22 lots with estimates ranging from £5,000 to £5 million. Collectively, the sale encompasses some of the grandest pieces of 18th century furniture ever created, including Sir Rowland Winn’s Commode (estimate: £3-5million) and The Dundas Sofas (each sofa with an estimate of £2-3million). Remembered as ‘The Shakespeare of English Furniture makers’, Chippendale was the master of many mediums. This is highlighted by the breadth of works being offered, including his game-changing book which made his name The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker’s Director, first published in 1754, which astutely promoted his designs to the most affluent potential clients of the day (the expanded 1762 3rd edition, estimate: £5,000-8,000) alongside works executed in giltwood, mahogany, marquetry and lacquer. The full pre-sale exhibition will be open to the public from 30 June to 5 July. 

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    Lot 10. A George III mahogany and Indian ebony commode, by Thomas Chippendale, circa 1766-69; 35 in. (89 cm.) high; 62 ½ in. (158.5 cm.) wide; 23 in. (58.5 cm.) deep. Estimate GBP 3,000,000 - GBP 5,000,000 (USD 3,978,000 - USD 6,630,000)© Christie's Images Ltd. 2018

    The eared concave-sided rectangular top with moulded edge above a pair of doors with ebony key-pattern frieze and each centred by a circular stiff-leaf bordered panel within ebony-inlaid geometric strapwork, flanked by acanthus-headed pilasters with paterae and husks, the central parting-bead carved with acanthus and pendant beaded long-leaves, the interior with two mahogany-lined short drawers with concave quarter fillets above two removable mahogany pigeon-hole sections, each with ten compartments with pidgeon wood 'Coccoloba' frieze inlaid with 'ivorine' letters A-Z, above a further four mahogany-lined short drawers, each with one concave quarter fillet to the outer side; in 1769, when the two pigeon-hole sections were supplied by Chippendale, it is not apparent what they replaced but the four lower short drawers have been converted from the original long drawers; the sides each with conforming frieze above re-entrant panels centred by a lacquered-brass foliate handle, each flanked by paterae and lion-mask-headed volutes with swags and beaded stiff-leaves, the lower edge with flower-filledentrelac above splayed key-pattern feet carved with conforming foliage and central pendant acanthus, with brass-castors, the lock stamped E. GASCOIGNE, later hasp, the door bolts original, the upper one moved, concave quarter fillets, chamfered drawer-stops, short grain kickers, the deal panelled back with red wash and then black wash.

    ProvenanceSupplied by Thomas Chippendale to Sir Rowland Winn, 5th Bt. (1739-85) of Nostell Priory, probably for his London house 11 St. James's Square, London, circa 1767,
    Following his death it was included in the sale of the contents, Christie's, London, 9 and 11 April 1785, p. 9, lot 7 but was withdrawn from the sale (deleted from the auctioneer's book),
    Sir Rowland Winn, 6th Bt (d. 1805), and subsequently moved to Nostell Priory, Wakefield, Yorkshire, 1785,
    Sold from Nostell Priory anonymously, presumably following his death, Mr. H. Phillips, London, 6 May 1807, lot 283 (£6.5s).
    With Morton Lee, circa 1952, from whom acquired by 
    Samuel Messer, 23 June 1952,
    The Samuel Messer Collection of English Furniture, Clocks and Barometers, sold Christie's, London, 5 December 1991, lot 130, where acquired by the present owner.

    LiteratureC. Gilbert, 'A Supreme Piece of English Furniture', Christie's International Magazine, Spring, 1992, pp. 16-17. 
    L. Wood, Catalogue of Commodes, The Lady Lever Art Gallery, London, 1994, pp. 189-190, figs. 178-179.
    C. Cator, H. Chislett and D. Linley, Star Pieces: The Enduring Beauty of Spectacular Furniture, London, 2009, p. 10.
    K. Bristol, 'A Tale of Two Sales: Sir Rowland Winn and No. 11 St James's Square, London, 1766-1787', University of Leeds, 2016.

    Note: Sir Rowland Winn’s commode is considered a masterpiece of English 18th century furniture, illustrating the confidence of design and craftsmanship for which Chippendale is renowned. It is the only documented example of a carved mahogany commode by Chippendale in the neo-classical style, and is one of his earliest pieces of furniture marking the transition from his Director phase to neo-classicism (1). It is undoubtedly one of Chippendale’s most prestigious and significant pieces of case furniture remaining in a private collection.

    The commode has an illustrious history; it was supplied to Sir Rowland Winn, 5th Baronet (1739-85), probably for his London house at 11 St. James’s Square in circa 1767-68. On 14 February 1769, Chippendale invoiced Sir Rowland: ‘To a neat Nest of Mahogany drawers and pidgeon wood holes with an Ivory Alphabet made to fit into a Cupboard’ (2). In 1785, and following Sir Rowland’s demise, the house was sold and the contents included in a sale arranged by James Christie. However, this commode, almost certainly lot 7, ‘A large mahogany commode chest of drawers and leather cover’, was withdrawn. The commode was moved back to the family’s principal seat, Nostell Priory, Yorkshire where it remained until sold at auction on 6 May 1807, lot 283, by Mr. Phillips. In 1952, the commode was acquired by Samuel Messer (d. 1991), one of the most significant and discerning collectors of English furniture of the mid-late 20th century, whose collection was assembled with the assistance of the furniture connoisseur and writer, R.W. Symonds (d. 1958), and sold in Messer’s landmark sale from where it was acquired by the present owner. 

    SIR ROWLAND WINN, 11 ST. JAMES’S SQUARE AND CHIPPENDALE 

    Sir Rowland Winn purchased no. 11 St. James’s Square, London in May 1766 from the widowed Lady Macclesfield (3). The move to London from Yorkshire in 1763 was almost certainly prompted by Sir Rowland’s aspiring political ambitions and the opportunity for he and his wife, the Swiss-born Sabine, only daughter of Jacques-Philippe d’Herwart, governor of Vichy, to immerse themselves in the social round. This was particularly true of Sabine, who found English rural life difficult, and had a fractious relationship with her husband’s family. In December 1763, Ann Elizabeth Winn, Sir Rowland’s aunt, wrote disparagingly to her brother, the 4th Baronet: ‘She [Sabine] loves variety, & may truly be Cald Lady Restles’ (4). 

    Following Sir Rowland’s inheritance of the baronetcy in 1765, the architect-designer, Robert Adam (1728-92) was engaged to complete the interiors of the library, drawing room, saloon and top hall at Nostell, although he was not employed at 11 St. James’s Square until the near-completion of Nostell’s interiors in 1774, at which date he made a design to reface the house (5). However, he undoubtedly recommended Chippendale to Sir Rowland ‘as a cabinet maker who could be safely trusted to supply high quality furniture which harmonized sensitively with the refined décor’ (6). Adam continued to advise Sir Rowland on his choice of craftsmen: an aide-mémoire, dated 1772, in Sir Rowland’s hand, entitled ‘To Mention to Mr Adam’ includes the note: ‘Who to Employ for a Cabinet Maker and what Kind of Furniture to order for Drawing Room, Saloon’ (7). By the late 1760s, Chippendale was simultaneously working for Sir Rowland in London and in Yorkshire, but it seems likely, as Gilbert suggests, that the refurbishment of London came first. 

    The Nostell archive comprises correspondence (thirty-five letters and memoranda) between Chippendale and Sir Rowland, estimates and bills that span 1766-85, and is the most comprehensive account for Chippendale. There is a large bill for London and a later account has entries for 11 St. James’s Square combined with those for Nostell making it difficult to identify furniture for a particular mansion. However, almost all the items billed between June 1766 and June 1767 were probably for London, as were most of what was billed for June 1767 to February 1768. From the surviving accounts, Sir Rowland’s furniture at 11 St. James’s Square appears modest, especially when compared to Nostell, and it is surprising that he and Lady Winn, who undoubtedly followed the London social season, would have been content to settle with only unexceptional or second-hand furniture at their London address, which they retained for twenty years (8). 

    Only three pieces of significant furniture feature in the surviving ‘Town Account’, including: on 21 June 1766, ‘To a large bedstead with Mahogany feet posts fluted…’ that together with hangings and bedding came to over £50. The description of this bed corresponds exactly to one sold from the principal bedchamber in the Christie’s sale of the contents of 11 St. James’s Square, 9 and 11 April 1785, p. 9, lot 1. On 23 June 1766, ‘A very large mahogany bookcase with Glass doors and a pediment top £38’ is recorded in the accounts; this is possibly a bookcase listed in the 1785 sale, in room ‘No. XIV. The Study’, p. 10, lot 3, £24 3s, described as: ‘A mahogany library BOOK CASE with glass doors, 12 feet 3 wide by 9 feet high’. Finally, and again in the accounts, on 24 June 1766, ‘A Mahogany Lady secretary made of very fine wood, a bookcase at top, panelld doors with pidgeon holes and drawers in the uper case and a scrowl pediment £25’. Notably, there is no bill for ‘A large mahogany commode chest of drawers and leather cover’, p. 9, lot 7, in the 1785 sale, which was withdrawn, as noted in Christie’s auctioneer’s book. 

    THE DISCOVERY OF CHIPPENDALE’S BILL 

    The crucial link associating Sir Rowland Winn’s commode to Chippendale was the identification of a bill in the Nostell papers at the time the commode sold from the Messer collection in December 1991. On 14 February 1769, Chippendale invoiced Sir Rowland: ‘To a neat Nest of Mahogany drawers and pidgeon wood holes with an Ivory Alphabet made to fit into a Cupboard’ (9). As Christopher Gilbert noted in 1991: ‘This almost certainly refers to replacing one of the original drawers with a two-unit sliding letter-rack made of mahogany with a pigeon wood façade inlaid with an ivory alphabet [now 'ivorine']. It is implausible that Chippendale would have modified a piece of furniture made by one of his rivals’ (10). This adaptation of the commode evidently signifies a change of use, and is an invaluable insight into the status and use of the commode. The identification of the use of 'pidgeon wood' in the spandrels to the pigeon-holes is key to Chippendale because it so aptly describes the interior fittings of this commode including the identification of the two contrasting woods. Furthermore, several of Chippendale’s bills mention the use of pidgeon wood; in 1765, Chippendale invoiced Sir Lawrence Dundas (1710-81) for ‘a large 8 leg Mahogany table border’d with Pidgeon wood’, and a year later, Sir Rowland Winn was in receipt of two rosewood card-tables inlaid with pidgeon wood for Nostell (11). 

    Furthermore, the overwhelming evidence of the presence of this commode in the collection of Sir Rowland is a sale (no. 629) held by Mr. H. Phillips, 68 New Bond Street, on Wednesday 6 May 1807, lot 283, a copy of which is preserved in the Nostell archive: ‘A mahogany chest, inlaid with ivory, and ebony, and leather case’ that achieved £6 5s. A subsequent sale held on 20 May 1807 by the same auctioneer, sale no. 631, and also in the archive, is described as ‘the property of A NOBLEMAN removed from his mansion in Yorkshire’; the presence of both sale catalogues in the Nostell archive underlines that the contents of both sales were from Nostell. 

    THE DESIGN 


    This commode is closely related to a design by Chippendale, circa 1762, from the Chippendale Albums, no. 174, held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; another comparable design also in this collection, no. 173, was engraved for the 1762 edition of the Director LXVIII (12). This second design is described thus: ‘The Ornaments may be Brass; that on the Right hath two Doors, which represent Drawers, and a long Drawer above’.Chippendale was in turn perhaps inspired by a design by Jean Bérain (1638-1711), the artistic force in Louis XIV’s Royal office of the Menus-Plaisirs du Roi, who published a design for a commode with a closely comparable foot in L’Oeuvre Complet de Jean Bérain, Paris, n.d., pl. 88. Chippendale’s design was also probably influenced by a knowledge of Adam’s recent work; the commode’s ebony inlay reflecting the influence of Adam’s Etruscan style that became fashionable particularly for bedroom apartments in the late 1760s. 

    The commode is highly important in the history of English furniture-making because it signifies Chippendale’s transition from his Director phase to an early neo-classical style, which he was developing in the second half of the 1760s. This phase is fully illustrated in Chippendale’s commission for Nostell Priory from 1766, and reflects Sir Rowland’s preference for ‘richly styled, but not overtly opulent, furnishings’ (13). In spirit, Sir Rowland Winn’s commode echoes the more masculine furniture supplied to this patron for his library and dressing room at Nostell, which is fully documented; this notably includes the magnificent library table, invoiced in 1767, at Nostell, considered the pinnacle of Chippendale’s mahogany phase of the mid-1760s, a gentleman’s dressing table and a commode clothes press. The success of this commode lies in the quality of the mahogany, which together with the superb but subtle carving and mouldings and ebony inlaid borders in the gout grec manner allows the lustrous woods to govern the ornamentation. 

    THE MAHOGANY FORERUNNER 


    This commode is the prototype for a select group that includes: a pair of commodes, 1775-80, reputedly presented by Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington (1769-1852) to his campaign chaplain, the Rev. Thomas Cooke (1791-1874) (14). This tradition can be traced back to its sale by the collector Leonard Clow at Christie’s, London 10 June 1914; one of these commodes sold Christie’s, London, 6 July 1995, lot 152, the other is in the Lady Lever Art Gallery. The third commode from this group is the Harrington commode, circa 1770, from the collection of the Earls of Harrington, formerly at Elvaston Castle, Derbyshire (15). The association with Sir Rowland Winn’s commode to late Palladian furniture, the carved detailing and the ebony inlay treatment together with its close relationship to the Chippendale design in the Metropolitan Museum coupled with the existence of the bill indicates that this commode was the first of the group. These related commodes share attributes found in Chippendale’s other documented furniture. The distinctive rectilinear form with concave sides recurs in two celebrated commodes at Harewood House, Yorkshire: the Diana and Minerva commode and the 'Three Graces' commode (although these are break-fronted) and also the Panshanger cabinets, formerly in the collection of Lord Melbourne at Melbourne House, Piccadilly, and now at Firle, East Sussex. The carved lion’s head masks of Sir Rowland Winn’s commode are replaced by gilt-metal ram’s head mounts on the Wellington and Harrington commodes; a comparable but not identical mount is found on the library table from Harewood, now at Temple Newsam. Ram’s head masks also feature on the Panshanger cabinets. Both the Wellington commodes and Sir Rowland Winn’s commode bear near-identical feet although in this instance the mahogany is embellished with carved ‘Greek key’ mouldings. Another marquetry commode at Heaton Hall from the Manchester City Art Galleries is of similar form although with a different door and drawer configuration, and has similar gilt-metal ram’s head mounts to the Wellington commodes. 

    Interestingly, this commode and the Wellington pair still have the original brass locks stamped ‘E. GASCOIGNE’. Mrs. Elizabeth Gascoigne, a specialist metalsmith working in London in the mid-18th century, produced locks, mechanisms and other hardware for furniture made by several leading cabinet-makers at that time. Her locks are usually found on furniture by Chippendale and other makers of the highest quality. They feature on this commode, as well as on a jewel cabinet supplied to Queen Charlotte in 1762 by William Vile at a cost of £138 10s, and on locks and hinges of several doors supplied to Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire by Mayhew & Ince in 1776-77 and 1787 (16). 

    SAMUEL MESSER 

    In 1991, this commode was the highlight of Christie's extraordinary sale of the Samuel Messer Collection, brought together at his Regency-style home at Pelsham in Sussex. The Messer collection of furniture, clocks and barometers epitomized the Chippendale period of furniture-making. In one way the sale marked the end of a generation of great English furniture collections formed in the 20th century in Britain, while on the other hand it raised the appreciation for fine English furniture to new heights inspiring a new generation of collectors. Samuel Messer was a part of the very small, elite group of connoisseurs of Georgian furniture - including Percival Griffiths, Geoffrey Blackwell, J. S. Sykes, Fred Skull and James Thursby-Pelham - who formed the nucleus of their collections under the guidance of R. W. Symonds. Messer's superlative collection concentrated on the Chippendale period with particular attention being paid to untouched condition, original patination and fine quality of timber, combined with good proportions, an elegant line and a balanced use of crisply carved ornament, the touchstones of Symonds's influence. 


    (1) C. Gilbert, ‘A Supreme Piece of English Furniture’, Christie’s International Magazine, Spring, 1992, p. 16. 
    (2) C. Gilbert, The Life & Work of Thomas Chippendale, London, 1978, vol. I, p. 188. 
    (3) K.A.C. Bristol, ‘A Tale of Two Sales: Sir Rowland Winn and No. 11 St. James’s Square, London, 1766-1787’, History of Retailing and Consumption, May 2016, p. 6. 
    (4) Ann Elizabeth Winn to Sir Rowland Winn, 4th Baronet, 9 December 1763, NP WYW1352/1/4/11/8 quoted in Bristol, ibid., p. 5. 
    (5) ‘Soane Museum, St James's Square, number 11, London: executed design for refacing the house, for Sir Rowland Winn, 5th Baronet, 1774’: the surviving drawing at the Soane Museum is one of two alternative designs provided to Sir Rowland. The façade was executed in accordance with the extant drawing in 1774-76, and included Adam's Spalatro order columns. 
    (6) Gilbert, op. cit., vol. I, p. 166. 
    (7) C. Gilbert, ‘New light on the furnishing of Nostell Priory’, Furniture History, 1990, p. 58. 
    (8) Bristol, Ibid., p. 22. Sir Rowland and Lady Winn also purchased second-hand furniture from the Macclesfield sale for no. 11 although their intention may have been to display ‘the finery of a previous owner of higher social status’ in anticipation of Sir Rowland’s elevation to a peerage, an aspiration that remained unfulfilled. 
    (9) Gilbert, The Life and Work…’, op. cit., vol. I, p. 188. 
    (10) Gilbert, ‘A Supreme…’, op. cit., p. 16. 
    (11) A. Bowett, Woods in British Furniture Making 1400-1900, Wetherby, 2012, p. 186. 
    (12) The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rogers Fund, 1920 (20.40.2 60, 61). 
    (13) Gilbert, The Life and Work…’, op. cit., vol. I, p. 169. 
    (14) L. Wood, Catalogue of Commodes, Liverpool, 1994, pp. 180-185, no. 20. 
    (15) Sotheby’s, London, 7 December 2010, lot 69 (£3,793,250 inc. premium).
    (16) Ibid., p. 184.

    The Exceptional Sale 2018 | 5 July 
    From the Court of King Louis XIV of France, the ‘Sun King’, Christie’s will present two of the most significant sculptures to come to the market in recent years in The Exceptional Sale 2018. A unique rediscovered masterpiece by Louis XIV’s Royal sculptor François Girardon, Louis XIV on Horseback, Paris, circa 1690-1699, is believed to be the lost sculpture from the artist’s own collection, depicted in the famous engraving of the Galerie de Girardon (estimate: £7-10 million). Hercules Overcoming Acheloüs, circa 1640-50 by Florentine sculptor Ferdinando Tacca (1619-1686), was a gift from Louis XIV to his son, the Grand Dauphin, in 1681, remaining in the Royal collection until the Revolution (estimate on request: in the region of £5 million). Both works attest to the significance of Louis XIV as a connoisseur collector, celebrating the very best art from France and beyond. Comprising 30 lots in total, further highlights from The Exceptional Sale include The Stowe Cistern, a George I silver cistern, with the mark of Jacob Margas, London, 1714, which was part of Christie’s landmark Stowe sale in 1848, when it sold for £330 12s (estimate: £1-1.5 million); The Newhailes Sageot Commode, a Louis XIV ormolu-mounted polychrome-decorated boulle commode, by Nicolas Sageot, circa 1710, which has been in the family collection for at least the last 150 years (estimate: £150,000 – 250,000) and an Augsburg Masterpiece Clock by Hieronymus Syx, 1705 (estimate: £400,000 – 600,000).  

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    Lot 130. A bronze group of Louis XIV on horseback, Francois Girardon (1628-1715), circa 1690-1699; 40 7/8 x 35 3/8 x 16 7/8 in. (104 x 90 x 43 cm.). Estimate GBP 7,000,000 - GBP 10,000,000 (USD 9,240,000 - USD 13,200,000)© Christie's Images Ltd. 2018

    Bronze group; the king depicted in classical armour and with a cloak about his shoulders, his right hand holding a baton; on a naturalistic canted rectangular plinth and later marble base inscribed to the side in gilt ‘699’.

    Provenance: Almost certainly the bronze from Girardon’s own collection, depicted in the centre of Plate VI of the Galerie de Girardon published in 1708. 
    Possibly Christie's, London, 16 May 1800, 'A most Superb and Matchlefs ASSEMBLAGE of French Porcelain; Large French-Plate Pier Glasses etc. Many of the above Magnificent Articles were formerly in the Possession of the King of France & brought from the Palace of St. Cloud', lot 94, 'A Magnificent Equestrian Group in bronze of Louis 15 [corrected to 14], very highly finished'.
    Purchased by the present owner in Toronto, circa 1993.

    Old Masters Evening Sale | 5 July 
    Rubens’s highly poignant portrait of his daughter, Clara Serena, offers a rare glimpse into the private life of the greatest artist of the Northern Baroque (estimate: £3-5 million). The Last Judgement is a key work by the Florentine painter and miniaturist Zanobi Strozzi, and the most major monumental panel in the tradition of Fra Angelico to remain in private hands (estimate: £2-4 million). Ludovico Carracci’s arresting Portrait of Carlo Alberto Rati Opizzoni in armour is a testament to the artist’s revolutionary talent that made him a key exponent of the early Italian Baroque (estimate: £3.5-5 million). Further highlights include Rembrandt’s Christ Presented to the People (‘Ecce Homo’) (estimate on request), being offered from the collection of the late Samuel Josefowitz, which is considered to be among the artist’s most significant achievements in any medium - executed on a monumental scale and dating to 1655, it is one of only eight known impressions of the celebrated first state of this print and is the last known example in private hands.  

     

    From Artist to Woodblock: Japanese Prints Online | 5 to 12 July 
    Christie’s will present From Artist to Woodblock: Japanese Prints Online. A highlight of the sale is a fine group of dramatic mythological prints by Utagawa Kuniyoshi and Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, amongst others. The sale also includes iconic landscapes by Katsushika Hokusai and Utagawa Hiroshige, beautiful women by Kitagawa Utamaro and Chobunsai Eishi, as well as 20th century works by Shin-hanga artists Kawase Hasui and Hashiguchi Goyo. Estimates range from £300 to £30,000.  

     

    Old Masters Day Sale | 6 July 
    One of the many sale highlights includes A rocky river landscape with a cottage on a cliff by Jacob van Ruisdael (estimate £50,000-70,000), a recently re-attributed and previously unpublished work. The careful handling of the composition, and the masterful creation of atmosphere through the subtle effects of light, is characteristic of the painter’s work at around the time he settled in Amsterdam circa 1656 or 1657. The Madonna and Child enthroned by Vincenzo De Rogata is an addition to the small corpus of the Salernese artist, with only three other known pictures by the master (estimate: £70,000 - 100,000), previously in the collection of Riccardo Gualino (1879-1964), an Italian Industrialist and owner of Fiat. A further highlight is A Concert, an intriguing painting by a very skilled Northern Follower of Caravaggio in the seventeenth century, who likely studied the Roman painters first-hand, or was deeply influenced by artists returning from the city who worked in the painter’s pioneering style; it was last sold by Christie’s in 1888 (estimate: £40,000 - 60,000). 

     

    Science and Natural History | 10 July 
    On July 10th Christie’s will hold its inaugural King Street Science & Natural History auction. On offer will be important examples of: early scientific instruments; meteorites; fine and decorative minerals; and fossils from the ice age to the dawn of life 2.5 billion years ago. Highlights include a Regency armillary sphere (£40,000-£60,000), a rare 150 million year old Jurassic flying lizard (£80,000-£100,000), a large slide of the Esquel meteorite (£25,000-£35,000). 

     

    Victorian Pre-Raphaelite & British Impressionist Art | 11 July 
    An artist in her own right, Head study of Marie Spartali Stillman (1844-1927) for 'Dante's Dream', 1870, by Dante Gabriel Rossetti is one of the top lots of the sale (estimate: £200,000-300,000). While images of women predominate Pre-Raphaelite paintings, the wider artistic circle included many talented female artists who made a career out of their craft, alongside their male counterparts. In this centenary year of women’s suffrage, Christie’s is offering a notable group of works by talented female Victorian artists: Portrait of Mary Emma Jones, bust-length, wearing a pearl necklace, 1 874, a recently discovered work by Emma Sandys (estimate: £20,000-30,000); Portraits of Alice Mildred and Winifred Julia Spencer Stanhope, 1884 by Evelyn de Morgan (1855-1919) (estimate: £20,000-30,000); and Study of a woman seated, a man standing behind by Elizabeth Rossetti, née Siddal (1834-1862) (estimate: £1,000- 1,500). The sale also presents the largest and most comprehensive collection of drawings and watercolours by Simeon Solomon to come to the market, comprising some of his rarest and most haunting images (lots 1 to 26). Solomon’s seemingly endless inventiveness was explored at its best through his core activity, drawing. Despite his early success as one of Rossetti’s most talented pupils, Solomon’s star was eclipsed when he was involved in a scandal and arrested. Shunned by Victorian society his powerful and beautiful drawings are only now finally receiving the recognition they deserve. Highlights within the remarkable private collection include Night and her child Sleep, 1892, a subject that fascinated Solomon and which he returned to repeatedly (estimate: £25,000-35,000) and Aspecta Medusa, 1894 which relates to Rossetti’s poem of the same title and also highlights another recurring theme within his oeuvre (estimate: £4,000-6,000).  

     

    Valuable Books and Manuscripts | 11 July 
    Christie’s will offer an outstanding array of Books and Manuscripts on 11 July. Highlights include the Plantin Polyglot Bible, one of only 13 copies printed on vellum, produced over 450 years ago for King Phillip II (estimated at £400,000-600,000); Gould’s The Birds of Asia which is comprises 7 large folio volumes and 530 fine hand-coloured lithographic plates (estimated £80,000-120,000), and Redoute’s Liliacees, one of the most luxurious and spectacular botanical books ever published. This copy was specially produced for the Duchesse de Berry and bound in a sumptuous red morocco gilt binding (estimate £350,000-500,000).  

     

    19th Century European & Orientalist Art | 12 July 
    Comprising a total of 95 lots, the 19th Century European & Orientalist Art sale is led by Giovanni Boldini’s Ritratto della Signorina Concha de Oss, 1888 (estimate: £250,000 - 350,000). Along with Sargent and Whistler, Boldini was the choice for members of high society who wanted their portrait painted by one of the most modern artists working in Europe. His bravura technique perfectly captured the nervous energy and high fashion of the period. The present sitter was one of three beautiful Chilean nieces of Boldini’s distinguished patron, Luis Subercaseaux. Further highlights include a tale of virtue's triumph over villainy in Susanna und die beiden Alten 1913, by Franz von Stuck (estimate: £200,000-300,000) and Rudolf Ernst’s In the Mosque in which he faithfully adheres to the mood and culture that he experienced during his travels, whilst masterfully contrasting textures and colours (estimate: £100,000-150,000).

     

     

     

    Supplied by Thomas Chippendale to Sir Rowland Winn, 5th Bt. (1739-85) of Nostell Priory, probably for his London house 11 St. James's Square, London, circa 1767,
    Following his death it was included in the sale of the contents, Christie's, London, 9 and 11 April 1785, p. 9, lot 7 but was withdrawn from the sale (deleted from the auctioneer's book),
    Sir Rowland Winn, 6th Bt (d. 1805), and subsequently moved to Nostell Priory, Wakefield, Yorkshire, 1785,
    Sold from Nostell Priory anonymously, presumably following his death, Mr. H. Phillips, London, 6 May 1807, lot 283 (£6.5s).
    With Morton Lee, circa 1952, from whom acquired by 
    Samuel Messer, 23 June 1952,
    The Samuel Messer Collection of English Furniture, Clocks and Barometers, sold Christie's, London, 5 December 1991, lot 130, where acquired by the present owner.

    G. Brice, ‘Notices sur Francois Girardon et sur Antoine Coysevox’ in Nouvelles Archives de l’Art Francais, Societe de l’histoire de l’art Francais,1873, p. 121-127.
    F. Souchal, ‘La Collection du sculpteur Girardon d’après décès’ in Gazette des Beaux-Arts, July/August 1973, pp. 1-98.
    F. Souchal, French Sculptors of the 17th and 18th Centuries, The Reign of Louis XIV, Oxford and London, 1981, II, pp. 55-60, 1993, IV (supplement), pp. 109-111.
    Paris, New York and Los Angeles, Louvre, Metropolitan Museum of Art and The J. Paul Getty Museum, Cast in Bronze: French Sculpture from Renaissance to Revolution, 22 Oct. 2008 - 27 Sep. 2009.J. Draper, G. Bresc-Bautier and G. Scherf, eds., 2008
    J. Bassett and F. Bewer, ‘The cut-back core process in late 17th- and 18th-century French bronzes’, in French Bronze Sculpture: Material and Techniques 16th-18th Century, 2014.
    A.-L. Desmas, ‘Bofrand’s and Mariette’s Descriptions of the casting of Louis XIV and Louis XV on Horseback’, in French Bronze Sculpture: Material and Techniques 16th-18th Century, 2014.
    A. Maral, François Girardon (1628-1715) – Le Sculpteur de Louis XIV, Paris, 2015.


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    Lot 90. A Gilt-Bronze Figure of a Water Buffalo, Late Ming-Early Qing Dynasty; 17.2 cm., 7 in. Estimate 400,000 — 600,000 HKD. Lot sold 500,000 HKD. Photo Sotheby's.

    naturalistically cast as a muscular buffalo sturdily standing on four cloven feet, the raised head turned to the left, its dignified features depicted with alert round eyes and a ruyi-shape nose, framed by a pair of curved mighty horns, above pointed ears with finely incised lines representing the fur, the hunched shoulder covered with extra layers of loose skin leading to an attenuated lean body, terminating with a long tail swished alongside its left hind leg.

    NoteSmall gilt-bronze sculptures of animals from the late Ming dynasty are frequently found, utilised as paperweights or accoutrements for the scholar’s desk, but it is extremely rare to find a figure of this large size and weight. Although it could possibly have been used as a large paperweight, it is more likely that it was made as a freestanding sculpture for the personal enjoyment or prestige of a wealthy individual. The sheer quality of the casting process, which has enabled a bold portrayal of a water buffalo with naturalistic attention to its poised posture and well rounded, muscular body, places it alongside the select group of large jade water buffaloes recorded in museum and private collections. These differ from the current gilt-bronze example in that the animals are depicted recumbent or reclining, but never standing. For a jade water buffalo from the collection of Sir Joseph Hotung, previously sold in our London rooms, 1st November 1966, lot 47, see Jessica Rawson, Chinese Jade from the Neolithic to the Qing, British Museum Press, London, 1995, cat. no. 26:19. See also an example from the collection of Somerset de Chair, sold in our London rooms, 9th June 2004, lot 151.

    For a smaller gilt-bronze ‘buffalo and boy’ paperweight sold at auction, see the example sold in these rooms, 10th April 2006, lot 1708.

    Sotheby's. Gods and Beasts – Gilt Bronzes from the Speelman Collection, Hong Kong, 08 Apr 2014