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The animal kingdom shines in Christie's Important Silver Sale in New York
A Pair Of Large Silver-Gilt And Gem-Set Lions Retailed By Asprey & Co., 20th Century. Estimate: $30,000-50,000. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2013.

NEW YORK, NY.- On May 21, Christie’s Important Silver sale will present 186 remarkable examples by Paul Storr, Tiffany & Co., Buccellati, Georg Jensen, Gottfried Bartermann, Asprey & Co. and Cartier. The sale will present a stunning group of wildlife inspired pieces, led by an Important Louis XV Silver-Gilt Écuelle (estimate: $70,000-100,000) – includes a Pair Of Large Silver-Gilt And Gem-Set Lions Retailed By Asprey & Co., 20th Century (estimate: $30,000-50,000), and three 20th century Italian Silver Models Of A Lobster, the first by Buccellati ($20,000-30,000), the second signed Gianmaria Buccellati (estimate: $20,000-30,000), and the third with the mark of Lisi, Florence (estimate: $20,000-30,000). This selection also includes a Silver Ice Bowl And Ice Spoon, by Gorham Mfg Co., Providence, 1870 (estimate: $15,000 – $25,000), which, with its icicle and polar bear iconography, relates to the 1867 purchase of Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million.

Among the sale’s top lots, is an Important Louis XV Silver-Gilt Écuelle (estimate: $70,000-100,000), made for the duc de Penthièvre, Grand Huntsman of France. Born Louis Jean Marie de Bourbon (1725-1793), the duc was the son of the Comte de Toulouse, the legitimized son of Louis XIV and Madame de Montespan, and one of the richest men in Europe at the time. On his father's death in 1737, the twelve-year-old duke inherited numerous titles and positions, including Admiral of France, Marshal of France, and Grand Huntsman (Grand Veneur). The iconography on the écuelle, based on hunting scenes by the artists Oudry and Snyders, suggests that its use was reserved for the hunting-party lunches that were held in the fields and woods on hunting days.

Penthièvre's position as sole heir to Louis XIV and Madame de Montespan allowed him to live in grand style, both privately and in his apartments at the royal residences of Fontainebleau, Marly, and Compiègne, in addition to Versailles. It was his popularity as a philanthropist that spared him from the revolutionary murders taking place around him at the time of his death on March 4, 1793. His daughter and sole heir, the duchesse d'Orléans, was arrested a month later; some of her inherited possessions were seized
and sold, and some were restituted to her. Interestingly, the Penthièvre-Orléans service, taken from her in 1794, was deemed as too fine to melt by the revolutionary government. It seems likely, then, that the exceptional artistic quality of this écuelle was responsible for its survival.

Today's News

May 12, 2013

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"Drew Heitzler: Comic Books, Inverted Stamps, Paranoid Literature" opens at Marlborough Chelsea

Christie's announces highlights from its Important Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art Spring 2013 Sales

Colgate University gives Indigenous artwork collection to Curtin University in Western Australia

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Family album of last tsar, many were taken by Nicholas II himself, surfaces in Russian provincial museum

Detroit Institute of Arts sculpture The Lost Pleiad being cleaned in gallery for visitors to observe

The animal kingdom shines in Christie's Important Silver Sale in New York

Exhibition of Rory McEwen's remarkable paintings of plants opens at Kew Gardens

Museum of the African Diaspora announces change in executive leadership

Babe Ruth's 1935 'last' Yankees jersey brings $286,500 to lead Heritage Auctions' $6.2+ million event

Medieval crown jewels on display at Prague castle marking 20th anniversary of Czech independence

World records tumble at Bonhams £750,000 Poetry Sale

A wide spectrum of timepieces and exquisite antique form watched to be offered at Christie's Hong Kong

Design Museum Pop-Up Garden opens

"Cut, Rolled & Burnt: Manipulated Works of Paper" opens at Elisa Contemporary Art

Audemars Piguet's watch, made in honour of the world's best footballer bought by a U.S. collector

Carolee Schneemann's fourth exhibition at P.P.O.W opens in New York

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