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Elegant eclecticism at Bonhams New York Fine Furniture, Decorative Arts and Silver Auction
A pair of North Italian Neoclassical gilt bronze mounted marquetry commodes in the manner of Giuseppe Maggiolini, late 18th century, height 37in (94cm); width 48in (122cm); depth 25in (63.5cm). Estimate: $70,000-100,000.


NEW YORK, NY.- Bonhams will present an array of exceptional furniture and silver at auction to be held on June 18 in the Madison Avenue salesrooms.

The large and impressive collection of fine furniture is composed primarily of Italian 18th and 19th century pieces. Leading the sale is a pair of North Italian Neoclassical gilt bronze mounted marquetry commodes in the manner of Giuseppe Maggiolini (est. $70,000-100,000). These delicate and ornate commodes belonged to the Pozzo di Borgo family of Corsica, one of the most famous members being Carlo Andrea, a lifelong opponent of Napoleon Bonaparte and ambassador to Russia under the reign of Louis XVIII. Other examples include an Italian Neoclassical blue painted and silver gilt commode (est. $50,000-70,000) and an Italian Rococo silver gilt console table with a green-banded Sarrancolin marble top (est. $50,000-70,000).

A strong selection of English furniture will also be offered, the most notable of which is a fine George III parcel-gilt and paint-decorated inlaid satinwood demilune table in the manner of Robert Adam (est. $60,000-80,000). Robert and his brother James were proponents of Neoclassicism. Their influence was widespread and they were among the first to advocate an integrated style of design that combined aesthetics of architecture with interior design. Also on offer is a George III carved and giltwood pier mirror from the third quarter of the 18th century (est. $18,000-25,000). The frame depicts one of the most popular of “Aesop’s Fables: ‘The Fox and the Grapes.’” “Aesop’s Fables” were tremendously popular in the 18th century. Targeted to both adults and children, they served as reminders of human virtue and frailty.

An elegant bonheur-du-jour (est. $10,000-15,000) demonstrates the appeal of formal French design to English collectors in the mid-to late 19th century. Featuring bronze mounts, porcelain plaques, trellis inlay and a retailer's label, it was made by Donald Ross in the Louis XVI style.

This sale marks the first time that Bonhams has included mid-century Modern and Contemporary furniture in a traditional fine furniture auction, reflecting the current decorating trend towards eclecticism. Among the modern lots is a circa 1969, 16-foot-long jacaranda wood sofa by Brazilian designer Joaquim Tenreiro (est. $6,000-9,000).

Featured among fine silver highlights is an elegant pair of William IV wine coolers (est. $45,000-65,000) by John Bridge of the London firm of Rundell, Bridge & Rundell, and modeled after John Flaxman's 1811 drawing of the Theocritus Cup. Consigned by a private New England collector, they formerly belonged to the Archdeacon Onslow and retain their original fitted canteen. From various other private collections are a mid-19th century convertible centerpiece by Barnard's, London (est. $12,000-18,000); a set of four robustly modeled candlesticks owned by the first Earl of Durham (est. $7,000-9,000); and a remarkably modern-looking George II cream skimmer by Aymé Videau (est. $3,000-5,000). Also featured are a matching sugar bowl and waste bowl by renowned American Colonial silversmith Joseph Richardson Sr. (est. $8,000-12,000) and a Tiffany & Co., 18 karat yellow gold two-handled bowl (est. $15,000-20,000).

Examples of 20th century design include two early Acorn and Pyramid pattern flatware services by Georg Jensen (est. $10,000-15,000 and $7,000-9,000 respectively), Buccellati figures of a stallion and stag (each $8,000-12,000) and three table services designed by Alphonse LaPaglia (estimates starting at $3,000-5,000). An international assortment of tobacco articles will also be auctioned, including a Russian trompe l'oeil cigarette box (est. $1,200-1,800), various snuff boxes and mulls, two French Art Deco hardstone smoking sets and an Austrian boar-tusk cigar cutter by Georg Adam Scheid (est. $2,000-3,000).

Bonhams’ Fine Furniture, Decorative Arts and Silver sale will take place on June 18 in New York. The sale will preview at Bonhams June 14-18.





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