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Sotheby's opens a selling exhibition of fine and decorative arts from nineteenth-century Europe
Sotheby’s Xavier Jover, Head of Department of 19th Century Furniture, Sculpture & Decorative Works of Art (left), and Constantine Frangos, Head of Corporate Art Services, Europe & 19th Century European Paintings Specialist (right), presented an array of highlights at the Age of Elegance media call, including An Amateur By John William Godward, British, 1861-1922, signed and dated J.W. GODWARD. 1915 and A Louis Xvi Style Gilt-Bronze Mounted Lacquer and Ebonised Commode by Paul Sormani. Photo: Sotheby's.

HONG KONG.- Sotheby’s Hong Kong is presenting Age of Elegance, a selling exhibition of European Paintings, Furniture and Works of Art from nineteenth-century Europe, from 8 to 16 November 2012 at the company’s Hong Kong Gallery on the 5th Floor of One Pacific Place, Admiralty. The exhibition marks the first occasion Sotheby’s has offered decorative arts for sale in Asia. Comprising twenty-five items of furniture, seventeen paintings, twelve pieces of silver and five sculptures, each work has been selected to showcase the artistic and technical excellence that flourished in the European decorative arts in the nineteenth century. The group represents the pinnacle of European achievements in their era. Prices range from US$12,000 to US$1 million / HK$93,600 to 7.8 million.

Patti Wong, Chairman of Sotheby’s Asia, commented: ‘‘Sotheby’s has created this unique opportunity for our clients to experience first-hand a curated selection of nineteenth-century masterworks, all of which are available for private sale. Asian interest in exceptional items of furniture and decorative arts produced in Europe is currently flourishing. This exhibition will cater to the diversifying taste of Asian collectors that is expanding beyond traditional Asian arts.’’


An Amateur By John William Godward, British, 1861-1922, signed and dated J.W. GODWARD. 1915. lower left, oil on canvas, 61 x 75.9 cm.

Painted at Godward’s studio in Rome in 1915, An Amateur is a sublime depiction of feminine beauty. The painting demonstrates a degree of technical mastery to rival the artist’s Victorian contemporaries’ treatment of classical subjects. Along with Frederic Lord Leighton and Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Godward was one of the most popular painters during the Victorian era.

Meadows Near Etampes by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, French, 1796-1875, signed COROT lower right, oil on canvas, 42.2 x 61.1 cm.
The scene is near Etampes, south of Paris in a flat, fertile agricultural region just west of the Forest of Fontainebleau where Corot and the other Barbizon painters (notably Jean-François Millet, Charles-François Daubigny and Constant Troyon) pioneered plein-air painting in the midnineteenth century. The painting is an excellent example of the artist’s distinctive free style, with feathered brushstrokes in the trees and a rich palette which influenced French Impressionism.

The Concert Interval by Arturo Ricci, Italian, 1854-1919, signed Arturo Ricci lower left, oil on canvas, 69.2 x 93 cm.
Unquestionably Ricci’s masterpiece, deftly capturing an array of elegant figures in a highly-detailed and engaging scene, from the shimmering satin of the ladies’ dresses to the flashes of gold in the sumptuous interior.

Further highlights among the paintings include works by John Atkinson Grimshaw, Alfred Stevens and Henry Moret.

• A Louis Xvi Style Gilt-Bronze Mounted Lacquer and Ebonised Commode by Paul Sormani, the lock inscribed ‘PAUL SORMANI 10, Rue Charlot PARIS’, French, circa 1875.

• A Louis XVI Style Carved Giltwood and Aubusson Tapestry Five Pieces Salon Suite. Upholstered with Aubusson Tapestry Depicting Scenes from Aesop’s Fables, French, circa 1880.

• A Large Pair of Gilt-Bronze Mounted Chinese Imported Famille Rose Porcelain Vases With Dragon Form Handles And Floral-Cast Garlands, Set on Rocaille-Cast Bases, circa 1890.

• A Louis XVI Style Gilt-Bronze and Sèvres Style Turquoise Ground Porcelain Wall Clock and Barometer, French, circa 1880.

• The Bather by Henri Weigele, French, 1858-1927, signed: H. Weigele, white marble, 76 cm. high.

• A Magnificent Pair of George IV Silver-Gilt Three Light Candelabra, Philip Rundell, London, 1820, 61 cm. high; 13151 gr. weight.

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