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Christie's New York Announces European Decorative Arts Month

NEW YORK, NY.- Christie’s New York is pleased to announce European Decorative Arts Month, a series of six sales throughout October that will showcase furniture, sculpture, porcelain, and silver from the 18th century to the modern period. Broad in scope and rich in quality, the sales will be accompanied by a series of lectures, events, and viewings. Several exceptional private collections will offer connoisseurs a rare opportunity to acquire property that has never before been brought to the market.

European Furniture, Works of Art and Tapestries, Including Jansen: The Past Reimagined October 7

A pair of French polychrome-painted commodes commissioned by the Duke and Duchess of Windsor will highlight the 30 lots by Maison Jansen in this sale (estimate: $500,000 - 800,000). Maison Jansen, the Paris-based design firm (1880-1989), is recognized for its standard of luxury and quality, as well as its famous collectors, including Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy. The pair of trompe-l’oeil painted commodes, circa 1938, reflect the personal aesthetic of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Designed for their residence in Antibes, Château de la Cröe, the commodes have faux marble tops and are painted with naturalistic butterflies, pearl-fastened ribbons, and highly symbolic bejeweled gilt crowns resting atop pristine Prince of Wales plumes.

The sale also includes a majestic 20th century French ormulu-mounted ebony armoire by Jansen in the style of Louis XVI. Fitted with two doors inset with lustrous Chinese coromandel lacquer panels, the armoire recalls the innovative combination of exotic materials popular in 18th century Paris. Its fluted uprights emphasize the rigorous architectural form of the armoire (estimate: $40,000 - 60,000).

A blue resin cocktail table is one of Maison Jansen's most dazzlingly original pieces in the sale. The table was probably designed by Gérard Mille as a special order for Jansen — as Jansen also produced an identical model by Mille in black lacquer (estimate: $20,000 - 30,000). The table is likely a relic of the elaborate celebration in 1971 of the 2,500th Anniversary of the Persian Empire at Persepolis, where world leaders and dignitaries traveled to Iran to join Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi in celebration. Maison Jansen spent a decade planning for the occasion and oversaw the architecture and design of a series of tents set against the backdrop of the ancient city. This table boasts the elegant lines of the Louis XVI period with the brilliant colors and slick surfaces. The colors of the table mirror those of a peacock — a reference to the throne of the dynasty.

The sale includes an impressive partial Cloister created by George Grey Barnard (1863-1938), a gifted American sculptor from Pennsylvania, and will be sold to benefit the acquisition funds of the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh (estimate: $20,000 - 40,000). This present example, the 'Abbaye', was the second cloister Barnard arranged in the United States and completed in 1937. John D. Rockefeller bought the first example, known as the ‘Barnard Cloister,’ in 1925 for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The 'Abbaye' incorporates a wide range of architectural elements and works of art from the 11th through 13th centuries

Important English Furniture - October 17

The Important English Furniture sale on October 17, showcases 20 lots from a Distinguished New York Collection. Highlights of this group include a magnificent pair of George III three-light candelabra, circa 1771, by Matthew Boulton with beautiful bluejohn mined at Castleton in Derbyshire and ormolu-enriched in the French manner (estimate: $400,000 - 600,000); a striking George II calamander and ebony commode circa 1755, of serpentine form, with rococo stand on scrolled cabriole legs (estimate: $150,000 - 250,000); and ten George II mahogany and walnut dining-chairs from Glendon Hall, Northamptonshire (estimate: $150,000 - 250,000).

The fusion of antique and oriental tastes is evident in the Regency black-andgilt japanned faux-bamboo cabinet-on-stand, formerly in the Collection of Edjuli and Bachoo Dinshaw (estimate: $40,000 - 60,000). The celebrated brother and sister, from Mumbai, settled in a townhouse at 1080 Fifth Avenue, and Edjuli Dinshaw acted as his own interior decorator to create an opulent 18th century European interior filled with museum quality objects. This cabinet-on-stand splendidly demonstrates his eye as a collector. Another sale highlight is a George III mahogany serpentine commode, circa 1765, that has an exaggerated bombé form, carved embellishments and distinctive handles based on a design by Thomas Chippendale, it is closely related to the documented oeuvre of the celebrated Wakefield firm, Wright and Elwick (estimate: $200,000 - 300,000).

The Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Greenfield Collection of Porcelain, Russian Enamels and 19th Century Decorative Art – October 20

At the core of the Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Greenfield Collection on October 20 are plaques from various workshops of all genres from Romanticism to Realism. Two examples of plaques portraying 'beauties' include a Vienna style plaque painted after Hans Makart with five panels of full-length female nudes emblematic of the Five Senses (estimate: $30,000 - 50,000), and a Berlin (K.P.M.) oval plaque painted after Angelo Asti showing a chestnut-haired beauty in gauze and blue drapery (estimate: $18,000-22,000). A Berlin (K.P.M.) rectangular plaque of children playing 'coach and horses', with a collie in the foreground is representative of domestic themed subjects in the collection (estimate: $12,000 - 18,000).

The sale includes an array of Viennese enamels, highlighted by a monumental and masterfully executed mother-of-pearl-mounted nef by Hermann Böhm, circa 1890 (estimate: $70,000-100,000). Highlights from the selection of Russian enamels include a silver-gilt and cloisonné enamel kovsh (estimate: $100,000-150,000) by the renowned Russian enamel maker Feodor Rückert, and a silver-gilt and cloisonné enamel goblet (estimate: $40,000-60,000).

Minton Pâte-sur-Pâte Masterworks from a Distinguished Private Collection – October 21

The October 21 sale of 29 works of Minton Pâte-sur-Pâte Masterworks from a Distinguished Private Collection is the one of the finest and most representative collections of Mintons pâte-sur-pâte to ever come to the market and includes works by the Master, Louis Solon, and the artists he trained. Many of the vases are detailed in Solon's illustrated journal and record the dates and hours he spent working on them, providing collectors with an insight into the artist’s work.

Highlights include a pair of Minton pâte-sur-pâte olive-brown vases depicting a scene of a maiden trying to fetter putti with straps or receiving putti bearing hearts, the respective obverse inscribed in Latin 'FUGIT' or 'VENIT' (estimate: $200,000 - 300,000), and a pair of Minton pâte-sur-pâte peacock-blue and chocolate-brown vases, 1881, finely painted and hand-tooled in white slip with a continuous frieze (estimate: $150,000 -200,000). A pair of Mintons Exhibition polychrome pâte-sur-pâte vases made for the 1878 Paris Universal Exposition, are finely painted and hand-tooled in white slip with a putto holding a mask emblematic of the theatre (estimate: $150,000 - 200,000).

19th Century Furniture, Sculpture, Works of Art & Ceramics – October 21

The 19th Century Furniture, Sculpture, Works of Art, and Ceramics sale on October 21 includes a number of private estates and collections featuring attractively-priced works from every collecting category in the field.

Three private collections of sculpture, ranging from terracotta reductions to life-size marble, bronze and cast-iron masterworks, are highlighted by an important French over-life-size cast-iron figure of Neptune, cast by Val D'Osne, from the model by Gabriel Vital-Dubray (estimate: $100,000 - 200,000); and a German life-size marble figure group of Diana and her Hound, by Constantin Dausch, 1883 (estimate: $70,000 - 100,000).

Highlights among the fine furniture in the sale include examples by François Linke such as a French ormolu-mounted mahogany, amaranth, sycamore marquetry and parquetry side-cabinet (estimate: $50,000 - 80,000), and a French ormolu-mounted mahogany, tulipwood and parquetry tea-table (estimate: $30,000 - 50,000). Among the decorative arts is a French bronze-mounted ivory, brass and stained fruitwood marquetry cachepot by Maison Giroux based on a design by Ferdinand Duvinage (estimate: $30,000 - 50,000).

Porcelain highlights include a collection of Meissen figures, Sèvres works with distinguished and Royal provenance, impressive Berlin clocks and intricate glass works in the Persian taste. Royal examples are led with the two Sèvres vases and covers gifted from Napoleon III to Baroness Burdett-Coutts Sevres (estimate: $50,000-70,000). Also featured is an array of English ceramics in the Arts and Crafts style and delicate vases by the master painter Désiré Leroy.

Important Silver and Objects of Vertu – October 23

The Important Silver and Objects of Vertu sale on October 23 will offer a strong selection of 35 lots of early Modern silver ranging from candelabra, wine coolers and coasters, to a large collection of the iconic grape pattern. A very rare and important piece to appear on the market is a fine Danish silver fish platter designed by Johan Rohde and characteristic of early Jensen pieces (estimate: $100,000-150,000). The sale also offers a selection of 18th century gold boxes. A leading example is a German gold and hardstone “Steinkabinetts-Tabatiere” box by Johann-Christian Neuber — a specimen box of 57 Saxon stones, each one individually numbered (estimate: $70,000-100,000).

The sale includes several lots by Paul de Lamerie, the premier name in 18th century English silver. Leading the group is a pair of George II silver waiters of exquisite quality and condition, that were commissioned by de Lamerie’s wealthy patron, Sir Matthew Lamb (estimate: $70,000-90,000). A rare Chinese export silver-gilt teapot is an example of a small group of teapots created for the English market when tea was introduced as a new beverage in 17th century (estimate: $80,000-120,000). The English adopted not only the custom, but also the form, as demonstrated by the ginger-jar shape, bamboo spout and handle, and auspicious emblem decoration.

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October 5, 2008

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