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American & European Furniture & Decorative Arts at Bonhams & Butterfields on November 1st
A superb set of four late 18th century Italian Neoclassical giltwood armchairs (2 shown) each with an octagonal back carved with a laurel band over outset arms carved as ribbon tied clustered vines above water reed carved supports on tapering fluted legs, upholstered in Fortuny fabric. (est. $35/50,000). Friia. When the residence was later updated by Albert Hadley and Gary Hager of Parish-Hadley Associates, the chairs were reupholstered. They are illustrated in Architectural Digest, May, 1990, The Beaux Arts on Nob Hill, page 235. Photo: Courtesy Bonhams & Butterfields.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- Bonhams & Butterfields brings American and European furniture and decorative arts to auction in San Francisco on Monday, November 1, 2010 during Antiques Week in ‘The City.’ The international auctioneers will offer several important collections to bidders, including property formerly in the estate of noted interior designer Michael Taylor and property from an important private West Coast collection. Previews will open in the auctioneer’s San Francisco gallery on Friday, October 29th.

Collector interest should be strong for property originally from the San Francisco Estate of Michael Taylor, the noted interior designer whose work is recognized and renowned worldwide. In 1987, a year after the designer’s death, Butterfields hosted a wildly successful sale of Taylor’s property. According to Bonhams & Butterfields Vice President Jeffrey Smith, many of the Michael Taylor items to be offered in the November 1st sale were illustrated in room shots within that 1987 catalogue and are also illustrated in Stephen Salny's 2008 book Michael Taylor: Interior Design. These include a pair of Romano-Syrian (2nd-5th century AD) marble capitals that were used in Taylor’s famous house at Sea Cliff (est. $10/15,000). Also from his residence come a pair of rare English Baroque Bath stone urns, 18th century (est. $8/12,000); a 16th century French Renaissance stone urn; and an English Gothic heraldic capital.

Michael Taylor’s life-long fascination with Italian furniture is reflected in the pair of Venetian Rococo paint decorated tabourets on offer (est. $5/8,000) and his superb set of four Italian Neoclassical giltwood armchairs (est. $35/50,000) should interest international bidders. Many of Mr. Taylor’s own designs are featured in the sale, including a fascinating pair of polyhedron jardinières, a pair of silvered metal photophores and a pair of rusticated cast stone pedestals.

Jeffrey Smith said, “Michael Taylor was one of most important 20th century interior designers and the impact of his style has influenced successive generations of designers following in the footsteps of the ‘California Look’.” [See Editor Notes below for more on Mr. Taylor]

Americana opens the November sale and includes an H. B. Nims & Co. terrestrial floor globe from the second half of the 19th century (est. $4/6,000). A faux rosewood and gilt stencil decorated Federal recamier (est. $6/8,000) and a Baltimore Federal huntboard at the same estimate should interest collectors. Several American School portraits will be offered, as will a Prior-Hamblin School portrait of a gentleman, a mid 19th century oil on board, expected to bring $3/5,000. A circa 1880 Renaissance Revival carved giltwood and composition mirror deaccessioned from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and offered to fund future acquisitions could bring $3,000 to $5,000. From an East Bay home come three American Arts & Crafts painted wall mural panels of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, each an oil on canvas panel depicting the pilgrims traveling in a procession through the English landscape.

English offerings include early Worcester and Caughley porcelain, a George II walnut secretary bookcase (est. $12/18,000), and expected to bring as much as $20,000 is a magnificent Regency style gilt bronze-mounted brass-inlaid mahogany and ebony pedestal desk after the Anglesey desk by Marsh and Tatham.

An extensive offering of 17th, 18th and 19th century French examples include a good pair of Empire style rouge marble console tables (est. $25/40,000), stamped pieces by Dubois, Gaudreau, and Cresson, and a large collection of French 19th century bronzes from a Bay Area collection. A good French late Renaissance/Mannerist walnut cabinet a deux corps, Loire Valley, 3rd Qtr/16th century, features a pair of panel molded doors carved with grotesquerie of Hercules and Cacus, the mid case with three drawers flanked by a hound's head and a ram (est. $10/15,000).

The diverse Italian section is highlighted by two 17th century credenze, a 19th century Northern Italian Baroque style Arte Povera secrétaire decorated with panels of capriccio fantasy views of figures amid ruins (est. $18/25,000) and a fine Neopolitan Rococo commode. A fanciful 18th century Italian Baroque polychrome painted cassapanca with exuberantly scrolled back and arms decorated on both sides with C-scrolls and foliage could bring $5/8,000.

A fine 19th century Roman micromosaic plaque of St. Peter's Square, possibly from the Vatican workshops, is 13-inches wide, depicting figures on a rooftop terrace overlooking a panoramic view of the Square with the city of Rome beyond (est. $15/25,000).

Architectural items include 17th century French fire surrounds, as well as a collection of 19th century Italian marble fountains – one example featuring a cast figure of Neptune (est. $5/7,000) while another was designed with dolphin-form supports surmounted by a dolphin fountain head (est. $2,500/3,500).

Previews of the property to be sold to the highest bidders will open in the San Francisco gallery of Bonhams & Butterfields on Friday, October 29, continuing daily on Saturday and Sunday, as well as Monday, which is sale day.

Bonhams & Butterfields | American & European Furniture & Decorative Arts | Michael Taylor |




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