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Hôtel des Ventes to offer a unique collection of 16th to 19th century scientific instruments and books
Microscope miniature à main en laiton, repliable, manche galbé en ivoire, porte-objet sur glissière pour la mise au point, dans son étui d’origine, milieu XVIIIe s., long. 5 cm.
GENEVA.- For the first time ever, the Hôtel des Ventes de Genève [Geneva Auction House] will explore the major discoveries in the history of science from the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries with a special sale of nearly 300 lots of scientific books and instruments (estimated at CHF 250,000–350,000 ; EUR 200,000-280,000 ; USD 260,000-370,000). This spectacular collection comes to us from a Swiss hobbyist, an internationally known doctor and university professor in radioactivity, who has collected exceptional pieces like an eighteenth-century pedometer by Johann Willebrand, a rare microscope from Passemant (eighteenth century), and numerous reference works penned by Apianus, Clavius, Galileo, and more. Our public viewing next June 14th to 16th encompasses all the knowledge of an era.

In addition to this superb collection, our summer auctions at the Hôtel des Ventes will offer over 2500 lots of antique books, art objects, Middle East and Oriental art, vintage cameras, furniture, paintings, jewelry, and watches with a total estimate of more than CHF 2,000,000 (EUR 1,600,000; USD 2,100,000). In keeping with our goal of making auctions accessible to everyone, half of the lots selected (1300 lots) have estimates lower or equal to CHF 300. So all aficionados can try their hand at the auction game and become the proud owners of unique works of art, or simply furnish their home inexpensively.

A broad range of styles is on display at our summer auctions: we have cameras that will follow up Napoleonic souvenirs, on the heels of fine tableware embellishing antique and contemporary furniture, all rubbing elbows with Asian art. Among the standout artworks in the seventeenth- to twentieth-century items are a lovely set of drawings by Albert Anker, Paul Signac as well as Toulouse-Lautrec and even a Rembrandt etching. Over 800 lots of jewelry and watches, a large number of which crafted by the biggest names in the field, add a delicate touch of glamour. Furthermore, numerous objects that have been grouped into dozens of lots come straight from French actor Christophe Lambert.

Bernard Piguet, director and auctioneer of the Hôtel des Ventes, is delighted with this new auction. “It’s one more element in our continuum of auctions that offer visitors not only exceptional items from famous collections, but many quality pieces in all price ranges, along with a few nice surprises.”

The fabulous collection of a passionate scientist – a new specialty from the Geneva Auction House: Scientific books and objects from the sixteenth- to nineteenth century
For the first time, the Hôtel des Ventes is presenting a specialized sale of scientific books and objects coming from the collection of a Swiss hobbyist, an internationally known doctor and university professor in radioactivity. As he traveled from country to country and on one trip to another, this passionate collector spent his whole life seeking out objects that defined the history of science. Along the way, he acquired books and documentation for the items, and sought to make sure he had singled out the “right” instruments, “right” was determined by quality, authenticity, and provenance. His collection contains rare objects such as an eighteenth-century microscope from Passemant, the “Ingénieur du Roi au Louvre” [official instrument-maker to the King] (lot 374 estimated at CHF 30,000-50,000; EUR 24,000-40,000; USD 32,000-53,000), and an amazing eighteenth-century pedometer made by Johann Willebrand (lot 295 estimated at CHF 6,000-8,000; EUR 5,000-7,000; USD 6,500-8,500). Telescopes, celestial globes, and nautical instruments round out the lots, as well as the Accademia del Cimento (lot 8 estimated at CHF 600-800; EUR 500-700; USD 650-850), and the sixteenth- to seventeenthcentury books of Apianus (lot 9 estimated at CHF 1,000-1,500; EUR 800-1,200; USD 1,100-1,600), Clavius (lot 17 estimated at CHF 1,000-1,500; EUR 800-1,200; USD 1,100-1,600), Galileo (lot 21 estimated at CHF 700-900; EUR 600-800; USD 750-950), and Pascal (lot 27 estimated at CHF 300-500; EUR 200-400; USD 320-520), placing this magnificent collection right at the birth of the history of science. Bernard Piguet invites you to travel through a panorama of the greatest discoveries of Humanity.

A Sale of Many Dimensions
According to House tradition, Bernard Piguet is auctioning off a rich and varied selection of more than 2500 lots of silver-work, Art Nouveau, furniture, paintings, jewelry, watches, and more.

The offering contains nearly 80 lots belonging to Christophe Lambert, A-list French actor and iconic hero in Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Subway, and Highlander. African and Asian artworks, furniture and paintings make up these 80 lots that come to us from the apartment of the actor’s parents and were the backdrop to his childhood. Among his personal belongings, we can find his Charles and Ray Eames Lounge Chair (lot 888 estimated at CHF 2,000-3,000; EUR 1,500-2,500; USD 2,100-3,100), his Super Ellipse Piet Hein dining room table (lot 891 estimated at CHF 400-600; EUR 300-500; USD 420-620), the enigmatic face painted by Leonor Fini (lot 1092 estimated at CHF 2,000-3,000; EUR 1,500-2,500; USD 2,100-3,100), and a lithograph by Alexander Calder (lot 3482 estimated CHF 300-500; EUR 200-400; USD 320-520).

The artworks included in our specialty items are remarkable not only for the lovely group of Swiss drawings and posters from the early twentieth century, but for some of the great names in the history of art. Arman, Paul Signac, Albert Marquet, Toulouse-Lautrec, Francis Picabia, Louis Valtat are some of the grand masters in this selection, along with a Rembrandt etching (lot 1141 estimated at CHF 3,000-5,000; EUR 2,000-4,000; USD 3,200-5,200). And in Swiss masters, we can single out two splendid watercolors by Albert Anker (lots 1145 and 1146, each estimated at CHF 30,000-50,000; EUR 24,000-40,000; USD 32,000-53,000) and an Etude de femmes [study of women] by Ferdinand Hodler (lot 1156 CHF 1,200-1,800; EUR 1,000-1,500; USD 1,300-1,900) among works by Etienne Duval, François-Adolphe Grison, and Albert Lugardon.

We are certain the 800-plus lots of jewelry and watches will make mouths water. For men, we have the sporty-chic allure of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak steel chronograph watch (lot 1543 estimated at CHF 8,000-12,000; EUR 6,000-10,000; USD 8,500-12,500), with its counterpoint, the elegantly restrained Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso (lot 1564 estimated at CHF 4,000-6,000; EUR 3,000-5,000; USD 4,300-6,300). For the ladies, we offer a beautiful set of unmounted diamonds and a large solitaire ring mounted with a diamond of approximately 5.7 carats (lot 1764 estimated at CHF 100,000-150,000; EUR 80,000-120,000; USD 105,000-155,000). And for everyone’s pleasure, we have included a selection of jewelry and watches from the leading houses: Adler, Breguet, Bulgari, Cartier, Dinh Van, Hermès, Hublot, Omega, Parmigiani, Rolex, Sterlé, Van Cleef and Arpels, Vacheron Constantin, and more.

In order to attract new buyers and make auctions accessible to everyone, half of the lots selected have estimates lower or equal to CHF 300, making objets d’art, furniture, and other decorative objects within reach of the general public (250 pieces of gold jewelry are contained in this selection). Items that fall under this category include a Hans Erni lithograph priced at CHF 300 (lot 1133), an eighteenth-century microscope for CHF 300 (lot 384), a set of 21 Baccarat crystal glasses for CHF 200 (lot 397), and a 1932 Leica going for CHF 200 (lot 526). Items from the major houses are also being auctioned at attractive estimates: a Chanel evening bag in perfect condition for a suggested price of CHF 250 (lot 1291), a gold ring by Gübelin for CHF 200 (lot 1410), and a gold and metal Omega Constellation wristwatch for CHF 300 (lot 1384).



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June 16, 2013

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