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Piguet Auction House to offer The Givaudan collection: The epitome of French 18th century taste
Louis-Léopold Boilly (1761-1845), La tendresse conjugale. Estimate: CHF 60,000-80,000.


GENEVA.- This Spring, Piguet Auction House gives pride of place to the Xavier and Leon Givaudan collection with the wonders of French 18th and 19th century art. The collection houses pieces of furniture and paintings from the most renowned cabinet makers and artists of the period as well as silver and works of art. These works will be auctioned during Tuesday evening’s sale on 14th March and on Wednesday afternoon and evening, 15th March.

The Givaudan collection will be sold alongside Piguet Auction House’s Spring sale on 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th March. An important ensemble of Jewellery and Watches, Fine Wines and Spirits, Luxury handbags, Silverware, Asian and Oriental art, Modern and Contemporary art will also be presented, having a total estimate of CHF 2.7-3.7 million.

The Xavier and Leon Givaudan collection
Originating from Lyon (France), Xavier (1867-1966) and Leon (1875-1936) Givaudan are prime examples of successful industrialists from the pre-war years. The brothers excelled in the production of synthetic perfumes, soaps and chemicals and made their fortune at the dawn of the 20th century.

These two erudite entrepreneurs developed a certain taste for the arts and were assisted by the best art dealers of the early 20th century in creating a collection that defines the sophistication of 18th century French taste and early 19th century art. Amongst their advisors was Jacques Seligmann & Fils from Paris, an important dealer whose client base included the likes of Count Moïse de Camondo, Baron Edmond de Rothschild and Henry Frick.

According to the invoices from Seligmann and notes conserved in the family archives, this renowned dealer assisted Xavier with the purchase of a magnificent pair of candelabras attributed to Rémond (lot 591 estimated at CHF 50,000-80,000) and advised the brothers on purchasing paintings, notably that of Boilly (lot 793) and those of Hubert Robert (1733-1808) (lots 803 and 804 each estimated CHF 15,000-20,000) at the Charpentier Gallery. These drawings benefit from a remarkable provenance that can be traced from the present owner right back to the artist.

The Givaudan collection also includes other works of art and furniture such as a rare pair of Louis XVI candlesticks attributed to one of the most celebrated 18th century gilders, Pierre Gouthière (1732-1813) who had among his clients Madame du Barry, the marchand-mercier Dominique Daguerre and even Marie-Antoinette (lot 599 estimated at CHF 50,000-80,000.

The artistic excellence of the 18th century is also apparent in this superb pair of Louis XV Meissen porcelain candelabras after a model by J.J. Kändler (circa 1740). These candelabras estimated at CHF 30’000-50'000 feature two birds, the speciality of the Meissen factory. These figures are enhanced by Kändler’s talent, Court Sculptor to Auguste le Fort.

A fine oil painting by Louis-Léopold Boilly (1761-1845), titled La tendresse conjugale, will delight collectors of genre scenes (lot 793 estimated at CHF 60,000-80,000). The collection also holds a red chalk drawing by one of the greatest 18th century Masters, Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732-1802) which was actually presumed lost. The subject emphasises that this artist was not only a romantic scenes painter, but also a talented historical painter, laureate of the prestigious Grand prix from the Royal academy and who mastered more academic compositions as well (lot 794 estimated at CHF 40,000-60,000).

Piguet Auction House also discovered a Portrait of Louis XIV by the workshop of Hyacinthe Rigaud (1659-1743) amongst the treasures in the Givaudan collection. This work is previously unseen and has never before come up for auction. It came from the prestigious collection of Councillor François Tronchin (1704-1798), renowned for his qualities as an art connoisseur and paintings expert. The work appeared on an estate inventory after the death of Tronchin in 1865 at Bessinge château in Cologny (Geneva). It was discovered when the Givaudan family purchased the property and its contents in 1938 (lot 792 estimated at CHF 7,000-10,000).

The continuous development of the Fine Jewellery and Watches sale
For a while now Piguet Auction House’s Fine Jewellery and Watches department has been progressing constantly. This March, the Spring sale continues along this upward path, not only by the quantity of pieces in the auction but also in terms of quality. Two watches of particular note for collectors are an 18 carat white gold Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Beach (lot 1236 estimated at CHF 18,000-22,000 and a limited edition Panerai, Luminor GMT (lot 1219 estimated at CHF 10,000-15,000). A large 9.57 carat diamond will draw a certain amount of attention in the Fine Jewellery sale (lot 1459 estimated at CHF 20,000-30,000) as well as a floral brooch Margharita Rosa by Adler estimated at CHF 20,000-30,000 and a pair of David Webb gold and diamond clip earrings (lot 1475 estimated at CHF 5,000-7,000).

The jewellery sale also includes lots which will be sold for charity such as a rivière diamond necklace from the internationally renowned Conductor Joseph Krips, considered the heir of Viennese tradition (lot 1405 estimated at CHF 20,000-30,000).

Spring Specialist sale: Fine wines and spirits
The Fine Wine and Spirits sale in the Spring 2017 auction offers a good selection of great vintage Clarets (Margaux, Mouton-Rothschild, Haut-Brion…), Burgundies (Corton, Mazis-Chambertin, Montrachet…) and some fine Italian wines.

In the spirits section, the sale includes Hennessy Cognacs (lots 111 to 114), 1928 Armagnacs Sempé (lots 103 to 105) and 1964 chartreuses (lots 108 to 109).

Great Spring 2017 deals
Tradition has it that Piguet Auction House always presents a selection of affordable lots and the Spring auction is no exception. Over 500 lots from the 1094 lots presented in the Silent sale are estimated below CHF 300. Here are some examples:

• Two bottles of 2003 (limited edition) and 1999 Dom Perignon Brut Champagne: CHF 200 (lot 1).

• A limited edition Mont Blanc Hemingway pen: CHF 200 (lot 890).

• 1177 (Medium)A pair of Tiffany & Co. gold and diamond heart earrings: CHF 200 (lot 1177 below).

• A patent yellow leather Christian Dior handbag: CHF 200 (lot 3084).

• A Louis Vuitton Speedy 30 handbag: CHF 200 (lot 3119).

• A Georges Braque lithograph (1882-1963): CHF 200 (lot 3492).

• A Henri Matisse lithograph (1869-1954): CHF 200 (lot 3560).

• A Dinh Van bracelet: CHF 200 (lot 4079).





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