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Christie's to offer the collection of Alberto Pinto
Bureau Croco, a gilt-bronze desk by Claude Lalanne, 2008. Estimate: €120.000-180.000. ©Christie’s Images Ltd, 2017.

PARIS.- Christie’s France announces the sale of the collection of Alberto Pinto (1943–2012), unique elements from his Parisian apartment, which will take place in Paris on 12, 13 and 14 September during the Biennale des Antiquaires.

After having studied at the École du Louvre in Paris, Alberto Pinto set off for New York City where he created a photo agency specialising in architecture and decoration. Over several years Alberto developed his taste for interior design, notably when he had the chance to do photo shoots for Condé Nast. At the end of the 1960’s, Alberto Pinto personally designed the interior of his own New York apartment. A rush of requests to do others follows, leding him to create his interior design firm in Paris in 1968, where, according to him, you can find the most skillful and talented artisans and craftsmen. As a master designer and interior decorator, Alberto Pinto was able to take the eclectic taste of his international clientele and adjusts each decor to their individual desires. The elegance and balance present in each of his luxurious creations, whether they are classic, modern, intimate or sumptuous, made him one of the most sought after interior designers since the beginning of the 1980’s.

Following Alberto’s passing in 2012, his sister Linda, having always worked at his side, naturally took over the full management of Alberto Pinto Interior Design.

Alberto Pinto was a passionate collector. He was continuously buying from auction houses, from galleries, at important international art fairs such as the Biennale or Maastricht. He would buy collectibles and decorative art pieces that he either kept or carefully placed in different settings, giving a freshness to the lived-in homes of his clients. This signature touch, undoubtedly unique in the world of decoration, was one of the keys to his immense success.

The 1,000 lots, presented by Christie’s across two catalogues, reflect the celebrated decorator’s passion for a range of periods and styles, from the Renaissance to contemporary art. The collection includes an array of tableware, silverware, European and Asian porcelain, linen, of which Pinto was undoubtedly one of the greatest Parisian collectors, but also statuary, impressionist and contemporary art, classic furniture, and design, including three major pieces by Claude Lalanne.

This auction is a real tribute to the eclectic taste of Alberto Pinto and to his lifestyle, his love of rare and original objects, and as a decorator with an immense talent.

Linda Pinto about her brother: “He was a passionate collector, following all the sales, visiting antique dealers, art fairs and exhibitions. This was, in addition to his work and his Art de recevoir, his great passion.

I decided to entrust Christie’s with this sale. I love the idea that people can treat themselves with a piece of Alberto’s world, his universe”.

The Silver section will offer more than 250 pieces created by French, Italian, English, Russian and Portuguese silver. Connoisseurs from around the globe who appreciate beautiful tableware will be able to acquire decorative objects from the personal collection of Alberto Pinto, a keen collector in this field. This collection will present a large selection of animals acquired directly by Alberto Pinto from Luiz Ferreira, the Portuguese master in this category, famous for his fantastic bestiary. Amongst them, collectors will have the chance to discover beautiful pieces representing hippopotamus, ducks, giraffes, leopards, flamingos, fishes, swans and lobsters to decorate the most luxurious of tables. The highlight of this section is an important turtle in silver estimated €15,000-20,000 and measuring 110 cm long.

The sale will also offer chandeliers, plates and cutlery, including a silver verrière from Saint Petersburg made in 1840 for the Duchess Olga Nicolaiovna (1822-1892), daughter of Tsar Nicolas Ist (estimate: €30,000-50,000).

Alberto Pinto mastered the art of receiving guests and as a perfect host, he enjoyed creating many different ambiances. Over the decades, Pinto assembled numerous porcelain dinner services from Portugal, England and France, with the many plates, cups, dishes, sauceboats, teapots and tureens giving him numerous options to create a special atmosphere for his guests. One of the most important lots of this section is an early 19th century Paris Porcelain ornithological part dinner service estimated between €15,000 and €20,000. Alberto Pinto was so passionate about tableware that he even personally designed dinner services, like this lot comprising thirtyone plates hand-painted, depicting waves, shells or seahorses; the whole group of plates is estimated between €800-1,200. He also had copies made of famous services such as the one for the order of St Vladimir and the order of St Georges originally created for Empress Catherine II of Russia. Made in Portugal, these part services are estimated at €5,000-8,000 and €2,500-3,500 respectively.

Hundreds of glasses are also part of the collection including an extensive Bohemian glass engraved armorial service within its wood case and estimated at €30,000-50,000.

Within his impressive collection of Porcelain dinner services, Alberto Pinto owned a large amount of 18th century Chinese services. These services from the Qing dynasty were usually created to be exported to all European courts and noble families such as the service which bares the arms of the French Audibert, dated circa 1770 and estimated at €30,000-40,000. The highlight of this section is a Famille Rose service dated circa 1775-1780 and estimated €100,000-150,000. In very good condition, the latter is nicely decorated with delicate flowers and comprises numerous plates and dishes of various dimensions, as well as covered tureens, candlesticks and saucers.

Another highlight is a pair of large Famille Rose Jardinières from the Qing dynasty depicting pheasants on branches and surrounded by colourful flowers. These impressive jardinières illustrate the remarkable savoir-faire of 18th century Chinese porcelain (estimate: €60,000-80,000).

Alberto Pinto also had an infinite passion for furniture and decorative arts. A remarkable pair of Anglo-Indian engraved ivory bureau-cabinets dated circa 1786 and manufactured in Vizagapatam, on the northern Coromandel Coast, are amongst the hundred pieces of furniture to be offered. These two bureau-cabinets were used as desk jewel-cases and dressing boxes, decorated with engraved panels depicting magnificent villa landscapes, trees and flowers surrounded by borders of scrolling foliage. It is believed that these cabinets were acquired by General Sir John Dalling while he was Commander-in-Chief in Madras around 1786. Estimated between €50,000-80,000, these cabinets are offered with English stands from the early 19th century. A pair of anglo-indian chairs will also be presented in this sale for €50,000-80,000, coming from the prestigious collection of Lionel de Rothschild (1808-1879). In addition to these impressive pieces of furniture, Christie’s will present four pairs of Dulac vases dated from the end of the 19th century, some Edward F. Caldwell lamps from the famous design store in New York and many other decorative objects such as Venetian mirrors, Italian consoles, English sofas, and Portuguese carpets. Also offered are a series of chairs, including a pair of beautiful Louis XVI-style polychrome-painted chairs, made after the Rambouillet chaumière aux coquillages for the ballroom of Arturo Lopez-Wilshaw (estimate: €5,000-8,000).

Welcoming friends and sharing an enjoyable moment around a table designed and dressed for their sole pleasure exemplifies Alberto Pinto’s generosity and style of living and entertaining. Each table was an excuse to give his interiors and collections a new feel, with each interior design offering an invitation for guests to interpret individually, to suit their own sensibility and imagination. This section of nearly one hundred items have estimates ranging from €100 to €2,000.

Lionel Gosset, Head of private collections: “Alberto Pinto built up a unique collection of antique linen, comprising table linen and bed linen with wonderful Richelieu openwork embroidery and lace insets. Crowns or coats of arms decorate damasks featuring decorative embroidery of plants or animals, including neogothic or hunting motifs”.

“There is a pleasure in touching them and using them; I can sense a kind of past luxury, an inner elegance,” Alberto Pinto once noted.

The impressionist and modern art section includes a beautiful portrait of Lucien Guitry by Edouard Vuillard previously owned by Hélène Rochas, whose personal collection was sold at Christie’s in September 2012. Featured as number 303 in the Vuillard retrospective at the Grand Palais (September 2003-January 2004), this painting dominated the entrance hall of la Belle Hélène’s beautiful apartment. This very large painting (151 x 94 cm) executed in 1921 and recently presented at the exhibition: Jacqueline Delubac, le choix de la modernité, is estimated €150,000-200,000.

Several post-war and contemporary works of art are also presented in Alberto Pinto’s Collection. His taste varies from classic postwar art with works on paper by Alexander Calder (estimate: €30,000-50,000) to contemporary art, such as a portrait of Audrey Hepburn by Vik Muniz (estimate: €40,000-60,000). Other artists such as Marc Quinn, César, Philippe Hiquily or Man Ray are also represented in this section.

Always very elegant, Alberto Pinto paid attention to small details of his appearance and enjoyed changing cufflinks every day. The collection offers 74 lots of cufflinks. From diamonds to sapphires, emeralds to rubies, coral to lapis, quartz or onyx, his accessories were made of many different materials from renowned jewelry brands such as Cartier, Van Cleef and Arpels, David Webb and Schlumberger. Estimates range between €200-6,000.

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