London announced that Thursdays sale of The Collection of Prince and Princess Henry de La Tour dAuvergne Lauraguais realised a total of £4,372,178/5,389,594/$7,072,872, well above the pre-sale estimate of £1.73 - 2.62 million. The sale, which comprised property from the London homes of one of Frances noblest families, was 85% sold by lot, 95% sold by value. The sale included museum quality Neo-classical and Empire furniture by some of the greatest French ébenistes, as well as drawings and books from the library of the Princes uncle, renowned designer and architect Emilio Terry.
The headline lot of the auction was a magnificent gilt-bronze mounted amaranth and tulip wood secrétaire by Joseph, circa 1770, which sold for £385,250. Estimated at £150,000-300,000, an identical secrétaire is held in the Getty Museum in Malibu.
Mario Tavella, Deputy Chairman, Sothebys Europe commented: It was a pleasure to see the enthusiasm with which the market responded to this wonderful collection from one of Frances greatest and most glamorous families The diversity and provenance of the works on offer, including Emilio Terrys books from the library at Château de Rochecotte generated intense competition between international buyers.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE SALE INCLUDED:
An exceptionally rare and near complete set of the first Paris edition, 1800-1807, of Giovanni Battista and Francesco Piranesi¡¦s works, (29 works in 27 volumes) estimated at £150,000-£240,000, realised £G253,250.
A pair of French bronze busts of Le Grand Conde and the Marechal Turenne, early 19th Century, realised £241,250 against an estimate of £G30,000-50,000.
A three-colour gold snuff box inset with an earlier enamel miniature of Henry de La Tour d'Auvergne, Vicomte de Turenne, by Jean Petitot Senior, Paris, circa 1670, maker's mark of Pierre Mathis de Beaulieu, Paris, 1780, estimated at £G60,000-80,000 realised £121,250.
A pair of Italian Scagliola panels by Enrico Hugford within carved giltwood and ebonised frames, estimated at £G20,000-30,000 realised £91,250.
The history of the de La Tour dAuvergne Lauraguais family is a long and distinguished one. Related by marriage to the noblest dynasties in France, it is one of only six families (alongside the houses of Savoie, Lorraine, Grimaldi, Rohan and La Tremoille) to be granted the rights and privileges accorded to foreign princes.
*Estimates do not include buyers premium