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A Louis XV silver tureen to lead Sotheby's October Auctions of Furniture & Decorative Arts in New York
The Tureen “Aux Écrevisses” A Louis XV silver Pot-a-Oille, Cover, Liner, and Stand, Thomas Germain. Estimate: stimate $2/3 million. Courtesy Sotheby's.

NEW YORK, NY.- Sotheby’s will present their autumn series of furniture & decorative arts auction from 23–25 October 2019 in New York. Spanning three sales, this season’s offering is distinguished by an impressive selection of works from important private collections and spans more than 900 lots, with estimates ranging from $200 to $3 million.

All of the works on offer this October are on view in Sotheby’s York Avenue galleries.

Auction 24 & 25 October at 2PM & 10AM EDT

The October offering of silver, ceramics and furniture is led by an exceptional Louis XV Silver Pot-À-Oille, Cover, Liner, and Stand by royal silversmith, Thomas Germain (estimate $2/3 million). Remarkably rare, the present work is likely one of the last two known major works by Germain remaining in private hands. The other example, a Tureen from the royal Penthièvre-Orléans service, was sold at Sotheby’s New York in November 1998 for $10.3 million – an auction record for both any work of French decorative arts and three times the previous benchmark price for any silver object at that time.

Considered the finest goldsmith of 18th-century Europe, Thomas Germain (1673-1748) spent his early years in Rome, working on the ornaments of the church of Il Gésu and absorbing a range of stylistic influences. At almost 30, Germain returned to Paris and was received as a master in 1720; in 1723, he was appointed sculptor and goldsmith to the King, with the privilege of workshops in the Louvre Museum. Germain’s work was held in great esteem at the time, with patrons including Louis XV and the Royal Household, the Queen of Spain, the Kings of Naples and Denmark, the Emperor of Austria, and the King of Portugal with several members of his Court.

The few other pieces preserved from Germain’s workshop largely reside in museum collections, including the Louvre Museum, The Getty in Los Angeles, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, and the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga in Lisbon.

Another highlight from the two-day sale is a stunning Royal Louis XIV Savonnerie Fragmentary Carpet (estimate $200/300,000). Commissioned by King Louis XIV in 1667, the present work is part of one of the most important and audacious artistic commissions of his reign: the decision to cover the entire Grande Galerie of the Louvre with a series of 93 carpets ordered from the Savonnerie factory, which was founded in 1615.

Following the death of his First Minister Cardinal Mazarin in 1661, Louis XIV assumed full control of the government, and one of his first projects was to transform the Louvre into the most magnificent royal palace in Europe, part of a dual policy of seeking the glorification of the French monarchy through the splendor of its official residences, and promoting French arts and industry.

In total all but one of the 93 projected carpets were woven between 1668 and 1688. The works remained in the possession of the Royal Garde-Meuble, some occasionally used in various royal residences and others offered as diplomatic gifts. In 1797, the Directoire government gave 27 Grande Galerie carpets to the supplier Raymond Bourdillon as payment for horse fodder, including the present lot, which apparently returned into government possession before definitively leaving the national collections at an unknown date. Numerous examples were reduced in size and/or cut down and re-assembled, while many others are still unrecorded and presumed lost. The French Mobilier National state collections still retain the largest surviving group of over 50 carpets, which were woven together and laid on the floor of the Hall of Mirrors during the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, possibly the only instance of these carpets being used as they were originally intended.

Other surviving carpets or fragments are in the Metropolitan Museum New York, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Huntington Art Museum and Waddesdon Manor.

Auction 23 October at 10AM EDT

Unarguably one of the best of its kind, the Starr Collection of English ceramics was formed over 50 years with great passion and attention to detail. Comprised of 256 lots, the October sale reflects the diverse production of the Wedgwood manufactory, this year celebrating its 260th anniversary. In particular, the group encompasses 18th century Wedgwood jasperwares, agatewares, black basalts and encaustic vases; as well as Chelsea porcelain; superb Minton pâte-sur-pâte designed by Marc Louis Emmanuel Solon; and over 20 pieces of reticulated Royal Worcester designed by George Owen.

Individual highlights from this superlative ensemble include: a Pair of Mintons Pâte-Sur-Pâte Peacock-Blue-Ground Vases, 'Brewing Mischief' and 'Explosion' circa 1883 (pictured above, estimate $60/80,000); a Pair of Mintons Pâte-Sur-Pâte Blue-Ground 'Pompeian' Vases and Covers circa 1874 (estimate $50/70,000); and a Wedgwood Black and White 'Portland Vase' that was once in the collection of the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Virginia and is one of only 19 unnumbered ‘first editions’ of this particular vase (estimate $5/7,000).

Auction 24 October at 10AM EDT

Building on a collection formed in Germany by his mother in the interwar period, the late Henry H. Arnhold assembled one of the greatest collections of Meissen porcelain, second only to that now found in the Dresden Porcelain Collection. The dedicated offering this October, which is being sold to benefit The Arnhold Foundation, presents a selection of early Meissen and European porcelains, as well as Chinese and Japanese porcelain wares relating to forms produced at the Meissen factory. Proceeds from

In particular, Mr. Arnhold collected Meissen pieces and the corresponding Japanese or Chinese prototype, such as a Chinese Blue and White Lobed 'Phoenix' Dish, Qing Dynasty, Kangxi Period, 1700-20 and a Meissen Blue and White Lobed 'Phoenix' Dish, circa 1745 (estimate $5/7,000).

The selection on offer also presents an impressive group of Commedia dell’Arte figures modeled by Johann Joachim Kändler, including a Meissen Figure Group of ‘The Mockery of Age’, circa 1740-45 (pictured right, estimate $60/80,000); a Meissen Figure Group of ‘The Indiscreet Harlequin’, circa 1740 (estimate $60/80,000 each); a Meissen Figure Group of Harlequin and Columbine, circa 1743 (estimate $40/60,000) and a Meissen Figure of ‘The Greeting Harlequin’, circa 1740-45 (estimate $20/30,000).

The group is further distinguished by a significant assemblage of pieces that were formerly in the Royal Collections of Saxony, Japanese Palace, Dresden, and feature the incised inventory numbers of the Palace: a Pair of Large Japanese Imari Tureens and Covers, and a Large Dish, Edo Period, 1690-1700, from the Royal Collection (estimate $30/50,000) and a Meissen Blue and White Saucer Dish, circa 1721-22 (estimate $4/6,000).

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