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Bonhams to offer contents of homes where Kings, Popes and Prime Ministers revelled
A Fine French late 19th century kingwood and gilt bronze mounted bombé commode. Photo: Bonhams.

LONDON.- Bonhams will be offering the contents of Count and Countess Martignone's Milanese and Genoese properties on 24th September at New Bond Street.

The collection is made up of over 500 items including old master paintings, fine furniture, sculpture, silver, ceramics and works of art. The majority of items are to be sold without reserve and the sale is expected to realize in excess of £1million.

Count and Countess Martignone, a noble family from the Como area of Italy whose lineage can be traced back to the 13th century, were known for their legendary hospitality. Leading figures of Italian society, from prime ministers and politicians to popes and even the last King of Italy enjoyed spectacular parties at the Martignone residence in the Italian Riviera.

The late Count Ettore Martignone was an esteemed doctor and the Countess Maria, one of the most influential businesswomen in post-war Italy. Their love of art and antiques is manifested in this magnificent collection of art and furnishings collected over generations.

Overlooking the sea, a short drive down the coastline from Genoa, stands the family's stunning villa where royals and nobles revelled, late into the summer's nights. The house and grounds are filled with fine art, fine furniture and garden statuary.

Bonhams also offers the contents of the family's Milanese townhouse, which is situated in the heart of the city and which brims with art and antiques sourced from across the globe.

Old Master painting highlights:
An exquisite Old Master oil on canvas painting of blossoming flowers with putti (cherubs) and fruit, painted in 1694 by Franz Werner von Tamm (Hamburg 1658-1724 Vienna), is estimated at £25,000-£35,000.

Two 17th century oil studies by a follower of Alessandro Gori (active Italy, 17th Century), one showing a goat, sheep, ducks and a scarlet macaw and the other of a stag, hawk and ducks in a river landscape are offered as a pair for £10,000-15,000.

Another of the Old Master highlights is ‘Portrait of a boy’ (attributed to the circle of Pier Francesco Cittadini, Milan 1616-1681 Bologna) which shows a small golden haired boy in green doublet holding a rose and an apple (estimate £10,000-15,000).

Fine furniture highlights:
A pair of Lombardy early 19th century fruitwood and ebony card tables are another of the notable lots. The reversible tops are inlaid with floral scrolls and an olivewood freize on one side and a lined playing surface to the underside. Probably by the renowned Giuseppe Maggiolini (1738-1814) who created pieces for a host of European royalty from his Milan workshop in the 1700s, the pair is estimated to sell for £12,000-18,000.

A fine French late 19th century commode in the manner of Charles Cressent is offered at £10,000-15,000. It is finished with a marble top and is elaborately decorated with gilt leaves, putti, and charming swinging monkeys and tight rope walking dogs.

Sculpture and works of art:
Two large early 18th century carved and gilded figures of angels stand guard in the Genoese property, overlooking the Ligurian sea. The pair stand tall on walnut plinths, gazing down with wings outstretched and are estimated at £3,000-5,000.

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