Combining superb Florentine pietre dure plaques with opulent gilt bronze mounts, elaborate marquetry and beautifully modelled figurative carving, this cabinet is a superb example of the magnificent cabinets produced in Paris in the mid-17th century. Almost certainly given to Queen Hedvig Eleonora of Sweden, or indeed commissioned by her, it is one of only very few surviving cabinets executed at the Royal Gobelins workshops in Paris. It illustrates the brilliance of the best Italian, French and Flemish artists and craftsmen who had been drawn together at the Gobelins and exemplifies the luxurious sophistication of early Baroque at the Royal courts of Versailles and Stockholm.
Marcus Rädecke, Director and Head of Sale: We are thrilled with the result achieved by the magnificent Cucci Cabinet from the March Family Collection, which realised £4,521,250, selling to an anonymous buyer on the telephone. A once in a lifetime opportunity, this rare survival from the Gobelins workshops attracted international interest and drew collectors, institutions and dealers from around the world to Christies London. The top ten lots demonstrate the depth and breadth of current collecting tastes which are met by the new sale format: 500 Years: Decorative Arts Europe. We look forward to our next sale in Paris on Thursday 17th December 2009.
Robert Copley, Christies
International Head of Furniture and Decorative Arts: Christies global sales for traditional furniture and decorative arts have exceeded £140million, so far this year. On behalf of the team, I am particularly proud that the exceptional Cucci Cabinet is now one of the most expensive pieces of furniture ever to be sold at auction - eight of the top ten have been sold at Christies.
Christies is proud to be founded on a history of presenting some of the greatest pieces of furniture in existence to the market over the past 243 years and hold the record for 8 of the top 10 European furniture lots sold at auction. In December 2004 The Badminton Cabinet, commissioned by Henry Somerset, 3rd Duke of Beaufort, from the Grand Ducal workshops, was sold for £19.1 million / $36.6 million - setting the world auction record for any piece of traditional furniture.