Auctions | November 25, 2011

Christie's to Auction an Iberian Private Collection

London - Christie’s is pleased to announce the upcoming auction An Iberian Private Collection with Part I: Important Gold Boxes & Objects of Vertu on 8 December 2011 and Part II: Furniture, Silver, Jewellery, Paintings, European, Chinese and Islamic Ceramics on 9 December 2011. This eclectic collection, which spans the 16th to the 21st century, reflects the exquisite taste of a passionate collector and includes exceptional golden splendors which will appeal to both serious collectors and individuals looking for luxurious gifts in the festive season.

This superb collection was formed over five decades by a visionary connoisseur, known for his refined taste and expertise and a prominent figure in the art world since the 1960s. The sale is led by precious materials, notably gold which is present in all forms, from raw nuggets, gold leaf and ingots to elegant jewellery, engraved gold boxes and chased ornaments. Nearly 250 gold boxes and objects of vertu form Part I of the sale, with opulent and sophisticated designs, outstanding provenance and craftsmanship by the most renowned goldsmiths. Fine silver pieces, Chinese and European porcelain, Islamic Iznik ceramic and luxurious French and Iberian furniture are amongst the many other highlights of this collection which is remarkable in its breadth, diversity and quality. The two-part sale is estimated to achieve in the region of £2.5 million and comprises over 600 lots, with estimates starting from under £1,000. Top highlights include:

Miniatures and Gold Boxes
A George II gold snuff-box by Francis Harrache (1738-1754) is an elegant example of guilloché or engine-turning engraving (estimate: £50,000-70,000). Very much in the French taste and unlike other gold boxes by Francis Harrache, this example was produced in 1757; it is a timeless classic.

A fine Louis XV enamelled gold snuff-box by Jean Fremin (1738-1786), Paris, epitomises the skill and craftsmanship of the Parisian goldsmiths that were working during the reign of Louis XV. Created in 1759/1760, it is enamelled with a parrot, an example of the popularity that exotic birds in decorative scenes enjoyed on gold boxes during the 1750’s and early 1760’s (estimate: £200,000-300,000).

Chinese and European Ceramics
A large Chinese export Monogrammed part-dinner service from the late Qianlong period, circa 1785-1795, reflects the quality of the porcelain on offer. It includes various tureens, sauce boats, and a large series of plates, decorated in blue enamel and gilt with the monogram JLF in a shield (estimate: £20,000-30,000).

A George III brass mounted satinwood amaranth and painted sideboard, with its mirrored back, rich shimmering satinwood surface and elegant lines would be a superb dining room piece set with decorative silver, porcelains or glassware. Of the late 18th century, possibly by George Simson, it is estimated at £20,000 to £30,000.

A Portuguese Silver Flagon is a rare and large example of Portuguese silver from the 17th century - amphora-shaped and with the front engraved with a coat of arms within foliage mantling (estimate: £50,000-80,000).

A Portuguese silver-gilt salver, circa 1530-40 (illustrated right) comes from the de Sousa family of Prado, descendants of an illegitimate son of King Alphonso III of Portugal (estimate: £70,000-100,000). The coat of arms and feet probably date from the 18th century.

Old Master Picutres
Peaches, grapes, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, corn, a pomegranate and other fruit hanging from a blue ribbon in a niche is an opulent still-life by important Antwerp artist Joris van Son (1623-1667). The poet Cornelis de Bie described its fruits as so naturalistic that they would tempt a pregnant woman - alluding to the symbolism of fecundity and prosperity evoked by the painting (estimate: £20,000-30,000.

Auction: An Iberian Private Collection: Part I: Important Gold Boxes & Objects of Vertu & Part II: Furniture, Silver, Jewellery, Paintings, European, Chinese and Islamic Ceramics on 8 & 9 December 2011
Viewing days: Christie’s London, 8 King Street, St James’s, London SW1Y 6QT, 2-8 December 2011