Christie's announces Collections: A new sale concept debuting in Paris

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Christie's announces Collections: A new sale concept debuting in Paris
Grand salon de la villa des Cèdres - Saint Jean Cap Ferrat. © Christie's Images Ltd 2020.

PARIS.- Christie's introduces Collections: a new sale concept debuting in Paris following successful iterations in New York and London. Presenting curated ensembles of artworks and furniture from prestigious provenances, this exclusive sale explores four collections, four universes. The first is a selection of Old Master paintings and works of art from King Leopold II's villa in Saint Jean Cap Ferrat; the second is a tribute to the craftsmanship from Mr Henri Klinger’s collection; and a European collection partly composed of HRH Princess Murat’s former private collection housed in her hôtel particulier on rue de Monceau - make up the third element. Lastly, drawings, paintings, furniture and works of art belonging to Mrs Françoise Heftler’s estate, will close this auction full of charm and elegance.

Lionel Gosset, Director of Collections, comments: "We are very pleased to launch the Parisian edition of Collections, which brings together the acute sensibility of several collectors, offering a wide scope of decorative arts and art history, and celebrating sumptuous settings, such as the vast salon of King Leopold II's villa adorned by splendid chandeliers (ill. below). Merging different universes, the dialogue between arts and eras should seduce the modern collector”.

The sale will firstly lift the curtain on a selection of paintings and artefacts from the renowned Villa des Cèdres. Acquired by Leopold II, King of the Belgians, in 1904, he transformed the space into a Florentine villa featuring ceremonial salons, including three magnificent chandeliers over 3 metres high (estimate: €30,000-50,000 each). In 1924, the property was acquired by the Marnier-Lapostolle family, who created an exotic garden and arboretum as famous as the one in Monaco, nearby. Alexandre Marnier-Lapostolle was a great collector, especially of classical paintings. Amongst his acquisitions is a work by Hubert Robert and his studio: Vue imaginaire d'un temple (€30,000-50,000) as well as another one by Claude-François Desportes: Cygnes et canards sur une pièce d’eau (€20,000-30,000). Collectors will also discover important pieces of Decorative Arts such as a bronze sculpture by Rembrandt Bugatti Eléphant et deux gazelles (€200,000-300,000) and a suite of four Empire parcel-gilt beechwood stools stamped by Jacob Desmalter (€8,000-12,000).

This selection will be followed by a group of companion works from the Henri Klinger Collection. The staircase featured here illustrates the exceptional quality of execution (from €2,000 to €8,000).

The sale will then introduce a European collection coming partly from the former collection of HRH Princess Murat, specifically from her hôtel particulier located on the rue de Monceau. Memories of the Empire are evoked by several works such as a painting attributed to Franz Joseph Kinson, Portrait du maréchal Ney, duc d’Elchingen, prince de la Moskova (€15,000-25,000, ill. left), a marble group after Antonio Canova: Pauline Borghèse Bonaparte (€2,500-3,500), a marble medallion featuring the general Joachim Murat (€10,000-15,000) and several pieces of furniture such as an ensemble stamped by Charles-Jacques Petit (€8,000-12,000). The enthusiasm for the Haute-Epoque can be found in a beautiful cupboard inspired by Sambin (€4,000-6,000), a Louis XIV Aubusson tapestry depicting the abduction of Helen (€4,000-6,000) and in a pair of rare and strange wolves’ heads made of carved and painted wood, a Venetian work dating from the 1720s (€5,000-7,000).

The sale will end with the collection of Mrs François Heftler’s estate, which was housed in her apartment near the Bois de Boulogne. This charming and elegant section is led by a large canvas attributed to Frans Snyders Le concert des oiseaux (€80,000-120,000), numerous views of Paris by various 19th century artists including two beautiful testimonials on canvas by Giuseppe Canella Le pavillon de Marsan, rue de Rivoli (€7,000-10,000) and Vue du Pont-Neuf à Paris (€40,000-60,000).

Amongst the modern paintings, collectors will be pleased to discover a beautiful painting by Maurice de Vlaminck, Au potager (€70,000-100,000). Faithful to the Galerie Chantal Kiener throughout her life, Mrs François Heftler ensembled many works on paper and terracotta objects in her collection such as a drawing by Thomas Couture, Etude d'un bras et d'un ceinturon (€2,000-3,000), another one enhanced with watercolour by Isidore Pils, Gardiens du jardin des Tuileries (€1,500-2,000), as well as a terracotta statue by Paul Montford: Robert Burns en pieds (€1,200-1,800) and a bronze after Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, Buste du prince impérial, N°1 (€3,000-5,000). Finally, it is worth mentioning a pair of armchairs from Maison Jansen (€1,000-2,000) and a bronze silk velvet sofa by Victor Grandpierre (€4,000-6,000), with the classic elegance of the 20th century.

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