The Royal House of Savoy will be offered for auction on 15 October, the latest chapter in Christies
long held tradition of hosting Royal collection sales. This follows the highly successful auctions from The Collection of S.A.R. La Principessa Reale Maria Beatrice di Savoia in 2005 and S.A.R. La Principessa Reale Maria Gabriella di Savoia in 2007; Christies also offered the collections of H.R.H. The Princess Margaret in 2006 and the Kings of Greece in 2007. Comprising approximately 150 lots, this eclectic Royal collection presents a wealth of opportunities for collectors spanning some twenty-four centuries of artistic achievement: from Daunian pottery, circa 4th-6th century B.C., 16th century family portraits and rare manuscripts, to Chinese porcelain, cars and post-war works by artists such as Lichtenstein and Pomodoro, which were set against the striking architectural form and interior of a 1970s lake-side house. The Royal House of Savoy is expected to realise in excess of £1 million.
Adrian Hume-Sayer, Director, Head of Sale, Private Collections, Christies London: It is a great honour to have been entrusted with this fascinating Royal collection, The Royal House of Savoy. The breadth of this collection is astonishing. Ancient Daunian pottery sits alongside family paintings boldly juxtaposed with Lichtenstein prints and Pomodoro sculpture. This sale gives a unique glimpse of Royal collecting in our own time.
POST WAR & CONTEMPORARY
The top lot of the sale is Rotante Massimo, III, 1967/68, by Arnaldo Pomodoro, one of the leading Italian Post War artists (estimate: £180,000-250,000). Alongside works by César, Victor Vasarely and Jim Dine, is Bull V, 1973, a lithograph, screen-print and linecut in colours numbered 55/100 from Bull Head Series by Roy Lichtenstein (estimate: £4,000-6,000). .
OLD MASTER PAINTINGS AND SCULPTURE
The 11th Duke of Savoy, Carlo Emanuele (1562-1630), is captured in a bronze after Pietro Tacca, German, early 20th century (estimate: £15,000-25,000). A full-length portrait of a noblewoman is thought to be of Maria Giovanna Battista of Savoy-Nemours (1644-1724), circle of Charles Dauphin (estimate: £5,000-8,000), whilst a 17th century half-length Portrait of Vittorio Amedeo I, Duke of Savoy (1587-1637) shows the sitter wearing the collar of the Order of the Most Holy Annunciation, Piedmontese School (estimate: £1,000-1,500). A half-length Portrait of Carlo Emanuele III, King of Sardinia (1701-1773), wearing the Chain of the Order of the Annunciation, is attributed to Maria Giovanna Clementi, la Clementina (estimate: £3,000-4,000).
BOOKS & MANUSCRIPTS
The two most valuable books offered are a splendid Neapolitan humanist manuscript of the essential medieval treatise on kingship, signed and dated by Giovanni Marco Cinico and illuminated by Cola Rapicano, 1470 (estimate: £70,000-100,000) and Les dits notables de Monsieur Philippe de France, Duc d'Anjou, frere unique du Roi, Paris, 1655, by Reverend Jean Aumônier, which is one of only five copies, printed on vellum and illuminated in gold, red and blue throughout, with a unique dedication to the Duke of Savoy (estimate: £70,000-100,000). It has a distinguished provenance, having been in two of the greatest French book collections of the 19th century. Elsewhere in the sale, bearing the Savoy family crest, is Statutes of the royal chivalric order of St Michel, thought to be one of the deluxe manuscripts ordered by François I, King of France (1494-1547) from the Parisian court painter Étienne Colaud in 1523 for presentation to his loyal knights, this example intended for his uncle, René of Savoy (estimate: £20,000-30,000).
Evocative of Royal grandeur is a pair of Charles X ormolu and patinated bronze figural ten-light candelabra, circa 1820-30 (estimate: £20,000-30,000); a Meissen porcelain purple Indianische Blumen pattern part table- service, late 19th century, the borders embellished with the crown of Savoy (estimate: £6,000-10,000, illustrated left) and a Vinovo porcelain portrait coffee-cup and saucer, 1776 (estimate: £1,5002,500). The saucer is painted with a portrait of King Carlo Emanuele IV, King of Sardinia (1751-1819), the cup with his consort, Queen Marie-Clotilde of France (1759-1802).
Exemplifying the antiquities featured, lots include a Campanian Red-Figured BellKrater, attributed to the Caivano painter, circa 350-330 B.C. (estimate: £10,000-15,000) and two Daunian Pottery Vessels, circa 6th-4th century B.C., both decorated with geometric patterns (estimate: £1,000-1,500). Daunian pottery was produced in the Daunia, the modern-day region of Apulia (Puglia) in Southern Italy, beginning as early as 7th century B.C. The vessels were formed by hand, rather than thrown on a potters wheel and are characterised by buff coloured clay decorated with geometric patterns.
The collection presents three cars. A rare Asa 1000GT coupe, 1965, smartly finished in classic rosso and presented with factory original Borrani wheels (estimate: £50,000-80,000). A Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith, 1955, the exclusive 1950s transport of royalty, and dignitaries, with orders ranging from the House of Windsor to Italian film producer Roberto Rosselllini (estimate: £40,000-60,000). The ultimate young car enthusiasts play-car, a classic Ferrari style miniature a Sbarro Ferrari childrens car, 1981 (estimate: £15,000-25,000).