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English country elegance at Freeman's
Important Louis Philippe long case regulator clock, J.F. Henri Motel, Horologer de la Marine (1786-1859), circa 1845. Estimate: $100,000-150,000.

PHILADELPHIA, PA.- If you’re an of enthusiast English country elegance, then Freeman’s offerings in the May 21 English & Continental Furniture & Decorative Arts auction will surely speak to your sense of style. Three private collections in the sale feature significant works from the eighteenth to nineteenth centuries— all suitable to furnish an aristocratic manor.

Longcase regulator clock by J.F. Henri Motel from the collection of David S. Landes (est. $100,000-150,000)
From the Collection of David S. Landes, noted author and Harvard University Emeritus Professor of Economics, this remarkable Louis Philippe clock was designed and constructed in the workshop of Jean-François Henri Motel (French, 1786-1859). Purchased by Landes in Zurich in 1984, it is exceptionally rare and is only one of four tallcase regulators by Motel. Known for the incredible precision of his marine chronometers, this longcase regulator, circa 1845, uses a gilt brass Graham deadbeat escapement behind a circular silvered dial with radial Roman numeral hours, and is signed “J.F. Henri Motel, Horloger de la Marine Royale, a Paris.” The dial’s blued steel hands are in the manner of Breguet. A large and impressive Ellicott-style lever compensation pendulum, developed by John Ellicott (British, 1706-1772), hangs below. Standing at an imposing 84” the clock is enclosed in an ebonized and gilt-painted case with a central glazed door with similar doors to each side of the case.

The Eugene Fleischer Collection of English & Continental Stirrup Cups (est. $60,000-90,000)
The manufacture and use of stirrup cups in the second half of the eighteenth and the nineteenth centuries coincided with the increasing popularity of the village hunt, where landowners and their party would meet and go fox hunting. (In season one of Downtown Abbey, Lord Grantham hosted such a party and his staff served refreshments in these cups before the hunt.) A stirrup cup would be brought to the riders seated on horses, and then returned after drinking its contents. This explains why there is no need for a base on the cup. Also known as a ‘parting cup,’ stirrup cups more generally were given to guests when arriving or departing in the saddle.

The collection of hundreds of stirrup cups assembled by Eugene Fleischer is as fine and comprehensive as any likely to be encountered. Renowned for his ceramic collections (his fine collection of Staffordshire and other eighteenth and nineteenth century English ceramics was sold to acclaim by Freeman’s in 2007), Eugene Fleischer gathered these stirrup cups over several decades, during visits to England and through well-established contacts on both sides of the pond. While the focus naturally lies on pieces made in the potteries of North Staffordshire, England, there are also examples from Meissen and others; and several fine and rare silver cups, including Russian, German, and English. They generally run true to form and comprise the head of an animal. There is also a wide variety of finishes and glazes on display, from bisque and polychrome to lusterware and thick majolica.

A Private South Carolina Collection of Important English & Continental Furniture
Though consigned from Charleston, South Carolina, this private collection of English and Continental furniture is comprised of significant pieces, including an Important Regency Egyptian Revival gilt mounted calamander secretaire cabinet attributed to George Oakley circa 1810 estimated at $40,000-60,000. This cabinet is one of only a small number of cabinets attributable to Oakley, and one of only two known examples. The other is housed in the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum in San Francisco. Another notable piece is a very fine George III mahogany, stainwood, tulipwood and kingwood library book case circ. 1780 and estimated at $30,000-50,000.

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