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Christie's offers works of art from The Giuseppe Rossi Collection
A pair of north Italian white-painted and parcel-gilt pliants possibly by Giuseppe Maria Bonzanigo, Turin, circa 1780, (estimate £5,000-8,000). © Christie's Images Ltd 2020.

LONDON.- Christie’s London announced the sale of Works of Art from The Giuseppe Rossi Collection, Sold to Benefit a Charity. The collection charts the evolution of European style, taste and design during the 18th century from the Baroque to neoclassicism totaling 148 lots and includes: Italian and French furniture, ormolu-mounted Chinese and European porcelain, Old Master paintings and drawings, silver, clocks, and French, German, Italian and Chinese ceramics.

Dottore Giuseppe Rossi (1914-1989) is acknowledged as one of Italy’s greatest post war connoisseur collectors and most prestigious antique dealers acquiring works from collections such as that of King Umberto II and the Rothschild family. He was acknowledged as having an exceptional eye and built one of the 20th centuries most important collections of 18th century decorative arts.

Born in Turin to a family of cabinet makers at the outbreak of the First World War, it was undoubtedly this heritage which inspired what would become a lifelong passion. Whilst working for the family firm, he initially studied business, graduating in 1937 and taking a job with a paper manufacturer. Following military service during the Second World War, Rossi re-joined the family atelier working alongside his father and sister, Maria Luisa. It was then he began to focus on serious collecting and dealing, leasing the Palazzo of the Marchese Carrassi del Villar on Piazza San Carlo, Turin, from the late 1940s as a suitably prestigious location for his burgeoning business.

Rossi rapidly developed a reputation for excellence, supplying museums and collectors alike and working with other renowned dealers such as Mallet, Bernheimer and the celebrated Pietro Accorsi – the latter connection evidenced by lot 4 in this sale, a splendid neoclassical commode, attributed to the Savoia court cabinet maker Giuseppe Viglione, which bears an Accorsi label. Rossi’s reputation was not only based on the objects he sold but on the renowned private collection he was building for his own pleasure. The collection demonstrated his dedicated focus on the development of the decorative arts during the 18th Century, both in Italy and the wider continent. Following his death in 1989, the gravity of the collection Rossi assembled was illustrated by a landmark sale of works, which realised in excess of £20,000,000.

Rossi’s sister Maria Luisa Rossi (1919-2017) shared his passion and worked alongside him from 1944. The collection now comes to market following Signorina Rossi’s death three years ago at the age of 98. The sale comprises prized pieces acquired by her brother and retained by Miss Rossi during their time working together. The family archives indicate that the many of the pieces have been in the collection since the 1940s and 50’s. Miss Rossi studied Economics graduating with honours in 1942 whilst also working for her father’s business. She always had a strong interest in conservation and restoration and so when health problems led her brother to stop dealing, she opened ‘Bottega del Restauro of Rossi Maria Luisa’ going on to carry out restoration work at important Turin landmarks, such as the Sede della Piccola Casa della Divina Provvidenza, Istituto delle Rosine and the Opera Barolo.

Miss Rossi was widely known for her charitable works both in the community and
for the city of Turin and in 1995 she was honoured with the Cavaliere al merito della Repubblica Italiana. As with the proceeds from her brother’s sale, the proceeds from this auction are to go to charity and will help support the work of the Scuola per Artigiani Restauratori, Turin, a school specialising in conservation and restoration which Miss Rossi co-founded in 1994.

Adrian Hume-Sayer, Director & Head of Sale, Private & Iconic Collections, comments: ‘We are thrilled to have been entrusted with the sale of this remarkable collection which will be offered for sale online from our international headquarters in London. One of Italy’s most revered connoisseurs, Giuseppe Rossi’s name continues to resonate with international collectors some thirty years after his death. We are delighted that the proceeds from this auction will go to support important charitable works in Turin, in line with Miss Rossi’s wishes’.

Estimates range from £500 to £30,000 and the sale is expected to realise in the region of £500,000. A highlights view will be taking place at Christie’s, King Street from 24 – 29 September.

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