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Christie's to sell the beautiful collection of the late Juan de Beistegui
Catherwood, Frederick. Views of Ancient Monuments in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatan. Londres: chez l’auteur, 1844. Titre et 26 gravures en couleurs (sur 25 planches). Demimaroquin vert de l’époque. (25). Estimate: €30,000-50,000 © Christie’s Images Ltd, 2018.

PARIS.- Christie’s has been entrusted to sell the beautiful collection of the late Juan de Beistegui which will be offered in Paris on September 10th at the time of La Biennale Paris. This legendary name reminds us of a golden age of collecting. The sale, which comprises around 160 lots estimated between 5 and 8 million euros, will offer a large selection of classical furniture and work of art, several of them with royal provenances. There will be also an important selection of books and three pieces of jewelry realized by Joël Arthur Rosenthal, better known as JAR, whose tribute to the collector will be published in the catalogue.

This spectacular collection has been assembled by Juan de Beistegui who started buying works of art after he married Annick de Rohan-Chabot in 1959.

Of course, the Beistegui name is very well known in the art world:

• Carlos de Beistegui (1863-1953) assembled a wonderful numismatic collection and paintings collection, the latter being given to the Louvre museum. Even to this day, his collection is still exhibited in the ‘Beistegui Room’ at the Louvre.

• The collector and decorator Charles de Beistegui (1895-1970), is associated to milestones of the Coffee Society such as the fabled decorations of his residences (including the Château de Groussay), and with the legendary Bal du siècle given in Venice in 1951.

• The collection Christie’s is offering in September was mainly assembled by his nephew, Juan de Beistegui (19302017) who was a real passionate of 18th century French art. Born in Biarritz in 1930, Juan de Beistegui was an important collector throughout his life, showing a very discerning eye, and a focus on fascinating provenances.

The auction Christie’s is organizing will mostly present important works of art from the time of Louis XIV, Louis XV and Louis XVI, such as a pair of Louis XIV pedestals attributed to André-Charles Boulle estimated €500,000-800,000, a Louis XVI lacquer “bureau de pente” stamped by Martin Carlin estimated €400,000-600,000 and a pair of Louis XVI royal giltwood chairs stamped by Georges Jacob, estimated €70,000-100,000. Also included in the sale is a pair of ormolu and mahogany armchairs by the German cabinet maker David Roentgen (€70,000-100,000) who supplied furniture to both Marie-Antoinette and the Empress of Russia.

Another masterpiece of the collection is the beautiful pair of ormolu and Sèvres porcelain candelabras executed around 1781-1785. Estimated at €300,000500,000, this pair of candelabras is coming from the Russian Imperial collections and the Pavlovsk Palace.

The collection does also include a pair of beautiful bronze busts by Robert Le Lorrain (1666-1743) depicting Mars and Venus estimated €120,000-180,000.

Simon de Monicault, Head of Decorative Arts: “We are thrilled to offer this fascinating collection which illustrates an impeccable taste and a very discerning eye. This legendary family has a real significance in the art of collecting and I am sure that all collectors will be pleased to discover these treasures selected throughout decades with the utmost care. It has been a real joy to work with these important pieces, associating perfect provenance and remarkable craftsmanship”.

In addition to classical works of art, the auction will offer an important selection of rare books, manuscripts, prints and drawings. Of Mexican origin, Juan de Beistegui had a taste for 19th century books related to the explorations of Mexico. The main lot is a delicately bound album of more than 120 original drawings by José Luciano Castañeda, relating the discovery of the ruins of Maya’s site such as Palenque or Monte Alban, estimated €200,000-300,000. Some of the drawings were later engraved and printed in several publications, including the first comprehensive study of the Mexican antiquities: Kingsborough’s Antiquities of Mexico, 1830-1848. A deluxe copy of the landmark book will be offered in the collection, estimated €60,000-90,000. The library comprises about 50 lots estimated between €1,200,000 and €1,800,000.

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