Alain.R.Truong

31 mars 2015

A fine and rare doucai 'Peaches and Lotus' bowl, Mark and period of Yongzheng

A fine and rare doucai 'Peaches and Lotus' bowl, Mark and period of Yongzheng

A fine and rare doucai 'Peaches and Lotus' bowl, Mark and period of Yongzheng (1)

A fine and rare doucai 'Peaches and Lotus' bowl, Mark and period of Yongzheng (detail)

A fine and rare doucai 'Peaches and Lotus' bowl, Mark and period of Yongzheng (2)

A fine and rare doucai 'Peaches and Lotus' bowl, Mark and period of YongzhengEstimate 400,000 — 600,000 HKD (45,606 - 68,410 EUR). Photo Sotheby's

the deep rounded sides resting on a slightly tapered foot, the exterior exquisitely decorated in multi-coloured enamels with a leafy scroll painted in shades of green issuing gnarled purple twigs bearing large lotus blossoms and double-peaches, above a vividly painted upright petal lappet bordering the base, all between two bands of leafy scrolls alternating with blue bats with outstretched wings encircling the rim and the foot, the interior centred with a medallion enclosing a beribboned stylised wan symbol wreathed in leaves and peaches, all within a double-line border repeated at the rim, the base inscribed in underglaze blue with a six-character reign mark within a double-circle - 14.3 cm., 5 5/8  in.

ProvenanceAn old Japanese collection.

NotesThis is an extremely rare Yongzheng interpretation of a design more commonly found in the Kangxi period. Only two other examples, both of identical size, form and decoration appear to be recorded: the first, originally in the collection of Dr Robert Barron, New Orleans and now in the Meiyintang collection, illustrated by Regina Krahl, Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyingtang Collection, London, vol. 4, pt. II, London, 2010, no. 1746, the second, from the collection of Dr Richard and Mrs Mary Eckhardt, originally acquired in Japan between 1947-52, and sold in our New York rooms, 20th March 2012, lot 100. For the Kangxi prototype, see the pair sold in these rooms, 27th October 1992, lot 167 and again 8th October 2014, lot 3632, illustrated on the cover. 

Both Kangxi and Yongzheng examples are characterised by the elegant and unusual design of a narrow band depicted as though a wreath has been wrapped around the bowl. Both exude refinement of composition,  accentuated by the variation of colours and delicacy of the enamelling which illustrate carefully observed details: the ripeness of the peaches is finely captured through pointillist iron-red dots and the blossoms are rendered both in full bloom with darker petal tips and as buds about to open. The Kangxi example differs from the Yongzheng bowl in having a swastika border at the rim in underglaze-blue and lacks the band of bats amidst foliage encircling the rim and foot. 

Although the decoration on these bowls does not closely follow a specific Chenghua design, it nevertheless takes its inspiration from the Chenghua period (1465-87) through the choice of the doucai technique and the painting style. Compare, for example, the execution of the leafy branch and manner in which the fruit has been painted in yellow and iron-red on a Chenghua mark and period bowl, excavated from the waste heaps of the Ming Imperial Kilns from Zhushan, Jingdezhen, included in the exhibition A Legacy of Chenghua, The Tsui Museum of Art, Hong Kong, 1993, cat. no. C115. The continuous band of a fruiting and flowering tree is found on a Chenghua stemcup, which depicts two boughs of fruiting apple branches amongst which sit a pair of birds, such as one in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, included in the Special Exhibition of Ch’eng-hua Porcelain Ware, National Palace Museum, Taipei, 2003, cat. no. 170. 

Sotheby's. Yongzheng – The Age of Harmony and Integrity, Hong Kong, 07 avr. 2015


An extremely rare and superbly enamelled pair of Famille-Rose 'Peach' bowls, Marks and period of Yongzheng

An extremely rare and superbly enamelled pair of Famille-Rose 'Peach' bowls, Marks and period of Yongzheng

An extremely rare and superbly enamelled pair of Famille-Rose 'Peach' bowls, Marks and period of Yongzheng (1)

An extremely rare and superbly enamelled pair of Famille-Rose 'Peach' bowls, Marks and period of Yongzheng (2)

An extremely rare and superbly enamelled pair of Famille-Rose 'Peach' bowls, Marks and period of Yongzheng (4)

An extremely rare and superbly enamelled pair of Famille-Rose 'Peach' bowls, Marks and period of Yongzheng (6)

An extremely rare and superbly enamelled pair of Famille-Rose 'Peach' bowls, Marks and period of Yongzheng (3)

An extremely rare and superbly enamelled pair of Famille-Rose 'Peach' bowls, Marks and period of Yongzheng (5)

An extremely rare and superbly enamelled pair of Famille-Rose 'Peach' bowls, Marks and period of Yongzheng (detail)

An extremely rare and superbly enamelled pair of Famille-Rose 'Peach' bowls, Marks and period of YongzhengEstimate 40,000,000 — 60,000,000 HKD (4,560,634 - 6,840,951 EUR). Photo Sotheby's

each exquisitely potted with deep rounded sides resting on a short foot, superbly enamelled in vivid tones of rose pink, shades of green, yellow, iron-red, brown and black with two varieties of flowering and fruiting peach branches issuing from the foot and extending across the exterior and over the rim onto the interior, one branch with a brownish-black bark and bearing white double blossoms, the other with a brown bark and issuing five-petalled rose-pink blossoms, both with large ripe fruit delicately coloured in shaded tones of yellowish-green to subtle raspberry-pink, depicted in iron-red with two bats on the exterior and three on the interior forming the wufu, the base inscribed in underglaze blue with a six-character reign mark within a double-circle - 14.3 cm., 5 5/8  in.

ProvenanceAn old Hong Kong collection, prior to 1982, separated in 1988.
One bowl:
Sotheby's Hong Kong, 14th November 1989, lot 315.
Collection of the Tsui Museum of Art, Hong Kong.
Christie's Hong Kong, 26th April 1999, lot 539. 
Sotheby's London, 16th May 2007, lot 104.

ExhibitedOne bowl:
The Tsui Museum of Art, Hong Kong, 1991, pl. 119 (left).
The Tsui Museum of Art. Chinese Ceramics IV: Qing Dynasty, Hong Kong, 1995, cat. no. 155 (left).

Note:

Making the Yongzheng Emperor Immortal
Li Baoping

Painted with auspicious symbols rooted in China’s antiquity and coveted by the Yongzheng Emperor (r. 1723-35), created by the imperial kilns to celebrate an imperial birthday, in a palette inspired by Jesuit technology, this extremely rare and immensely elegant pair of peach bowls is deeply anchored in Chinese history and represents a zenith of aesthetic and technological achievement of court art in China.

The Yongzheng Emperor was a firm believer in portents of good fortune. Having ascended the throne under somewhat nebulous circumstances, the legality of his succession was persistently questioned, which made him more receptive than any other Qing (1644-1911) emperor for auspicious symbolism. Many aspects of the design on these exquisite bowls are very auspicious and suggest that they may have been intended to celebrate an imperial birthday. 

Peaches are perhaps China's most auspicious fruit, having a long tradition as omens of longevity and harbingers of happiness. Six is a propitious number, and flowering peach branches are believed to ward off evil. The poet Tao Qian (365-427) tells of a fisherman who, when following the source of a stream in a peach orchard – 'Peach Blossom Spring' – through a crevice in a rock, discovered a paradisiacal world. A peach orchard is also the setting for the oath of brotherhood sworn by the three main protagonists of the novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, including the Han dynasty (206 BC – AD 220) general Guan Yu who was deified and worshipped as Emperor Guan or God of War for near two millennia. The ‘peaches of immortality’, which are said to grow in the garden of Xi Wang Mu, the Queen Mother of the West, flower only once every three thousand years and to take three thousand years to bear fruit and another three thousand years to ripen, and are then offered in a banquet to the immortals. Dongfang Shuo, a witty and clever Han dynasty scholar, who became the hero of many legends, is reported to have stolen peaches of immortality and thus to have become immortal. And the same feat is told of the cunning Monkey King Sun Wukong, hero of the novel Journey to the West, who subsequently was recruited by Guanyin (Bodhisattva of Compassion) to accompany the Tang dynasty (618-907) monk Xuanzang on his trip to India to obtain Buddhist sutras. 

The five red bats painted on the bowls are among the most popular themes in Chinese decorative arts. Red bats provide a rebus or visual pun for vast good fortune, and five bats provide a rebus for wu fu, the Five Blessings of longevity, health, wealth, love of virtue and a good end to life. Those bats painted upside down provide a further rebus, since the word for ‘upside down’, dao, is pronounced similarly to the word for ‘arriving’, and thus an upside-down bat signifies 'happiness is arriving'. 

The Yongzheng Emperor was clearly attached to these stories, as he had himself painted as the recipient of such good luck in an album leaf that shows him in possession of a peach of immortality, with a monkey hanging from a nearby tree (fig. 1), while in another leaf from the same album he is depicted gazing at a water fall with a bat flying overhead. 

Anonymous, A Life Portrait of the Yongzheng Emperor, colour on silk, album of 13 leaves, Qing dynasty, Yongzheng period, Palace Museum, Beijing

Anonymous, A Life Portrait of the Yongzheng Emperor, colour on silk, album of 13 leaves, Qing dynasty, Yongzheng period, Palace Museum, Beijing. After: The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum:Paintings by the Court Artists of the Qing Court, Hong Kong, 1996, pl. 18.

While he had peaches and bats represented in all possible media, the peach design was perhaps best suited to the newly developed fencai (famille-rose) palette for porcelain with its pastel shades of pink, yellow and green. It began to be used, however, in the imperial palace workshops in the Forbidden City, on enamelled metal vessels. A fruiting and flowering peach tree had already been used once in the Kangxi period (1662-1722) to decorate a copper-bodied vase (fig. 2).

Falangcai ‘peach-and-bat’ copper vase, Qing dynasty, Kangxi period, Palace Museum, Beijing

Falangcai ‘peach-and-bat’ copper vase, Qing dynasty, Kangxi period, Palace Museum, Beijing. After: China. The Three Emperors 1662-1795, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2005-6, cat. no. 295.

In the Yongzheng period a copper cup and saucer were enamelled in the imperial Enamelling Workshops with peach-and-bat designs related to those on the present bowls (fig. 3), and an enamelled copper water pot was formed as a peach branch with two fruit and painted with bats included in China. The Three Emperors 1662-1795, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2005-6, cat. no. 295.

Gilt copper cup and saucer with painted enamel rendering of the happiness and longevity motif, Qing dynasty, Yongzheng mark and period, National Palace Museum, Taipei © The Collection of National Palace Museum

Gilt copper cup and saucer with painted enamel rendering of the happiness and longevity motif, Qing dynasty, Yongzheng mark and period, National Palace Museum, Taipei © The Collection of National Palace Museum

The transfer of the motif onto porcelain probably took place under the auspices of Tang Ying (AD 1682-1756), the Yongzheng Emperor's trusted official and the greatest porcelain superintendent in Chinese history. The soft colouration of fruiting and flowering peach branches made this design ideal to show off the new famille-rose palette. It was inspired by enamels introduced to China by Jesuit missionaries who arrived at the imperial court during the late Kangxi period and adapted at Jingdezhen in the years preceding the Yongzheng reign. The wide range of pastel shades of famille-rose from a fresh green over an opaque white to a pale rosé tone and eventually a deep pink was never otherwise displayed more impressively. It was only in the Yongzheng period that the porcelain painters could begin painting nature scenes in naturalistic – if idealized – colours, as perfectly demonstrated by the present pair of bowls. 

The peach-and-bat design was also used for enamelling porcelains at the imperial workshops in the Forbidden City in Beijing. Compare a pair of Yongzheng falangcai porcelain bowls in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, also painted with peach trees and five bats, but in a less pronounced design (fig. 4). 

Falangcai ‘peach-and-bat’ bowl, Qing dynasty, Yongzheng period © The Collection of National Palace Museum

Falangcai ‘peach-and-bat’ bowl, Qing dynasty, Yongzheng period © The Collection of National Palace Museum

A feature of these bowls favoured by the Yongzheng Emperor and new to his reign period, but unique to the imperial porcelain workshops at Jingdezhen, was the difficult and sophisticated technique of painting branches that flow over the rim, an artistic device referred to as changzhi (long branch), a homophone of the phrase “Eternal Governance”. A particular request by the Yongzheng Emperor preserved in the records of the Zaobanchu, the workshops of the Imperial Household Department, reflects his interest in the ‘long branch’ design: “19th day, 4th month, Yongzheng 9th year (1731)…His Majesty ordered to take glazed and unglazed porcelain and paint on it the enamelled designs of Everlasting Tranquillity and Eternal Governance…” (Feng Xianming, Annotated Collection of Historical Documents on Ancient Chinese Ceramics, Taipei, 2000, p. 222). 

With such a wealth of symbolic meaning dear to the Emperor, these bowls with the peach and bat combination were probably produced for an imperial birthday. This view is supported by two Yongzheng court paintings: a landscape by Chen Mei (1694?-1745) with a large number of bats in the sky, inscribed Ten Thousand Blessings (bats) to the Emperor and presented to the Yongzheng Emperor on his birthday in the 4th year of his reign (1726) (China. The Three Emperors 1662-1795op.cit., cat. no. 270); and another, by court artist Jin Jie (fl. 18th century), depicting three elderly men in a landscape with red bats, titledFlying Bats Filling the Sky (i.e. Infinite Blessings) (fig. 5). 

Jin Jie, Flying Bats Filling the Sky, colour on silk, album, Qing dynasty, Yongzheng period © The Collection of National Palace Museum

Jin Jie, Flying Bats Filling the Sky, colour on silk, album, Qing dynasty, Yongzheng period © The Collection of National Palace Museum

 Porcelain vessels produced for the occasion of celebrating imperial birthdays were made in very small numbers. Although the peach-and-bat design on the present bowls represents one of the best-known Yongzheng porcelain patterns, this is due more to its endearing character than a profusion of extant examples. Comparable bowls of the Yongzheng reign, although frequently illustrated, are surprisingly rare. Altogether only about five pairs of peach bowls of Yongzheng mark and period painted with this ‘long branch’ or ‘Eternal Governance’ design, appear to be recorded. 

A pair formerly in the Eisei Bunko, Tokyo, an art collection with its origins in the Nanboku-cho period (1336-92) formed by the Hosokawa family, one of the top daimyo clans in Japan, is now separated: one bowl entered the Meiyintang collection and was sold in these rooms on 5th October 2011, lot 16, the other, still in the Eisei Bunko today, is illustrated in Sekai toji zenshu/Ceramic art of the world, vol. 12:, Tokyo, 1956, col. pl. 11. Another pair in the Baur collection, Geneva, is illustrated in John Ayers, The Baur Collection Geneva: Chinese Ceramics, Geneva, 1968-74, vol. 4, nos. A 594 and 595. A pair from the collections of Chen Rentao, Paul and Helen Bernat and T. Endo was sold in these rooms 15th November 1988, lot 44, and 29th April 1997, lot 401, and at Christie's Hong Kong, 29th May 2007, lot 1374, and is illustrated in Sotheby's. Thirty Years in Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 2003, pl. 326. This pair is now also separated and one was included in the Fiftieth Anniversary Exhibition: Twelve Chinese Masterworks, Eskenazi, London, 2010, cat. no. 11, while the other is in a private collection in Taiwan. Another pair was sold at Yamanaka & Co., London, 1938, and was included in their catalogue Chinese Ceramic Art, Bronze, Jade etc., no. 116, pl. 12 (illustrating one of the pair). Also known is one bowl from the Avery Brundage collection, in the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, published in Terese Tse Bartholomew, Hidden Meanings in Chinese Art, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, 2006, page 204, number 7.44.1. 

One other related pair of different proportions, from the Allen J. Mercher and John M. Crawford, Jr. collections, was sold at Parke-Bernet, New York, 10th October 1957, lot 261, and in these rooms, 24th May 1978, lot 252. The design continued to be produced for the Qianlong Emperor, and a bowl of Qianlong mark and period is published in Soame Jenyns, Later Chinese Porcelain: The Ch'ing Dynasty (1644-1912), London, 1951, pl. LVI, fig. 2. 

Famille-rose enamelled ‘peach’ vase, Qing dynasty, Yongzheng mark and period

Famille-rose enamelled ‘Peach’ vase, Qing dynasty, Yongzheng mark and period. The Collections of Dr. Alice Cheng and Hon. Ogden R. Reid. Sotheby’s Hong Kong, 7th May 2002, lot 532. The Collection of Shanghai Museum.

The peach design is also seen on other porcelain vessels of the Yongzheng period, in very small numbers as well. Examples include the famous vase from the collection of the Hon. Ogden R. Reid, sold in these rooms, 7th May 2002, lot 532 and donated in 2004 to the Shanghai Museum by Dr. Alice Cheng (fig. 6); a covered box formerly in the Van Slyke and Meiyintang collections, sold in these rooms 8th April 2013, lot 3036; large dishes including one from the collection of J. Pierpont Morgan, sold in these rooms, 29th April 1997, lot 400, and one in the Palace Museum, Beijing, see China: The Three Emperors, op.cit., cat. no. 181. A group of smaller dishes is discussed in An Exhibition of Important Chinese Ceramics from the Robert Chang Collection, London, 1993, cat. no. 92; see also an example in the British Museum, London, illustrated in Oriental Ceramics, The World's Great Collections, vol. 5, New York, 1981, col. pl. 67; and another dish illustrated in Denise Patry Leidy, Treasures of Asian Art. The Asia Society’s Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection, New York, 1994, pl. 198. Also known are peach vases in tianqiuping globular form, such as a piece in the Palace Museum, Beijing, in Porcelains from the Qing Dynasty Imperial Kilns in the Palace Museum Collection, Beijing, 2005, vol. 1, part 2, pl. 76; and another exhibited in The Barbara Hutton Collection of Chinese Porcelain, Honolulu Academy of Arts, Honolulu, 1956-7, cat. pl. XV, and sold in our London rooms, 6th July 1971, lot 259, and later in these rooms, 30th April 1996, lot 498. 

Sotheby's. Yongzheng – The Age of Harmony and Integrity, Hong Kong, 07 avr. 2015

A fine pair of Famille-Rose 'Peony' saucers, Marks and period of Yongzheng

A fine pair of Famille-Rose 'Peony' saucers, Marks and period of Yongzheng

A fine pair of Famille-Rose 'Peony' saucers, Marks and period of Yongzheng (1)

A fine pair of Famille-Rose 'Peony' saucers, Marks and period of Yongzheng (2)

A fine pair of Famille-Rose 'Peony' saucers, Marks and period of Yongzheng. Estimate 500,000 — 700,000 HKD (56,972 - 79,760 EUR). Photo Sotheby's

each finely potted with everted sides resting on a short tapering foot, the interior with floral buds and blooms exquisitely enamelled in shaded tones of pink and white, issuing from green and turquoise leafy stems, the base inscribed in underglaze-blue with a six-character reign mark in three columns within a double-circle, wood stands - 8.9 cm., 3 1/2  in.

NoteThis pair of dishes is elegantly painted in the ‘boneless style’, a technique known for its virtually skeleton and outline-free design, whereby the only lines incorporated into the composition are the black lines used to define the veins on the leaves. Although this technique was known in painting from the Ming period, it was not widely used on porcelain decoration, most likely because it was too complicated to use on a mass-production scale. It represented a great challenge to the artists as lesser-skilled painters would require outlines to complete their sections of decoration, and if not handled correctly it would give the impression that the piece was unfinished.

A pair of closely related dishes, from the Edward T. Chow collection, was sold in these rooms, 25th November 1980, lot 160. Compare also a small Yongzheng mark and period dish painted in this style with peony, in the Brian S. McElney collection, included in the exhibition Porcelain of the High Qing, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria, 1983, cat. no. 87.

Sotheby's. Imperial Porcelain and Works of Art from a Hong Kong Private Collection, Hong Kong, 07 avr. 2015

Christie's South Kensington announces a sale of European Noble & Private Collections

LONDON.- On 30 April Christie’s South Kensington presents a sale of European Noble & Private Collections, which brings together an impressive selection of works of art all linked by noble and private provenance. The sale celebrates the collecting traditions of aristocratic dynasties across Europe, exploring the development of styles and tastes, ranging from Old Masters and 19th century paintings to furniture, European and Chinese works of art and porcelain to books, tapestries and silver. Leading the sale is a remarkable town coach made by Royal coachbuilder Carl Heinrich Gläser (1831-1903), commissioned by the Royal House of Saxony and proudly bearing the family’s coat-of-arms (estimate: £20,000-40,000). The auction also features a collection offered by the descendants of His Royal Highness Prince Ferdinand of Bavaria, Infante of Spain (1884-1958), which includes Royal portraits, porcelain, furniture and bronzes. Further highlights include a striking full-length Portrait of a lady by Benois-Charles Mitoire (estimate: £25,000-35,000) which is offered by descendants of Don Mariano Maldonado y Dávalos, 7th Count of Villagonzalo (1851-1901), two portraits from the collection of HRH Prince Henry, the Duke of Gloucester (1900-1974) and a large collection of arms and armour from Blair Castle in Scotland, presented for sale by The Blair Charitable Trust. With estimates ranging from £500 to £40,000, the sale provides an opportunity to acquire remarkable pieces with exceptional provenance, and the chance to start or to continue a new collecting legacy. 

THE PROPERTY OF THE ROYAL HOUSE OF SAXONY, HOUSE OF WETTIN A. L. (ALBERTINE LINE) 

The Property of the Royal House of Wettin includes striking 18th and 19th century furniture, exquisite monogrammed table linen and, leading the section, an impressive town coach embellished with the coats-of-arms of the House of Wettin (estimate: £20,000-40,000). The carriage was almost certainly commissioned by King Johann of Saxony (1801-1873) in 1870 for use at one of the Dresden Royal residences, supplied by the Dresden-based coachbuilder Carl Heinrich Gläser, the same year he received his Royal appointment. Records state that the Gläser Company supplied the Royal house with one hundred and twenty-five carriages and seven sleighs, and records in the Dresden State Archives (Hauptstaatsarchiv, Dresden) list that two ‘Berline’ carriages were supplied in 1870, one of which is offered in this sale. 

A Royal Saxon Brass-Mounted Parcel-Gilt and Black-Painted Town Coach

A Royal Saxon Brass-Mounted Parcel-Gilt and Black-Painted Town Coach. Estimate: £20,000-40,000. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2015.

From the mid-18th century the Royal carriages were kept at the Stallgebäude, or Royal stables, close to Residenzschloss in the centre of Dresden, until they were put on public display in 1876 in the newly created Historisches Museum, despite still being used by the Royal family. After the dissolution of the German monarchy in 1918 fifteen of the carriages, including this one, became the property of the Dresden State Art Collection (Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden). In spite of the concentrated Allied bombing campaign inflicted on Dresden during the Second World War, miraculously, very little of the collection was damaged. In 1949 with the creation of the German Democratic Republic the collection was seized and transferred into the State collection where this coach has remained ever since. The works offered for sale from this collection, including the carriage, were restituted to the Royal House of Wettin A.L. from the Free State of Saxony in 2014, and present a unique opportunity to purchase works of art commissioned by this distinguished noble family for the first time.

PROPERTY FROM THE DESCENDANTS OF HRH PRINCE FERDINAND OF BAVARIA, INFANTE OF SPAIN (1884-1958)

When the engagement of the Wittelsbach Prince Ferdinand of Bavaria to his first cousin, Infanta Doña María Teresa, was announced the Prince declared his loyalty to Spain over Saxony and was granted the title Infante of Spain. The collection of miniatures, porcelain, 19th century furniture and works of art offered by the descendants of Infante Ferdinand evokes the history and grandeur of this European dynasty and the palaces in which he and his wife lived, both in Germany and Spain. Highlights include the veil worn by Infanta María Teresa at her wedding (estimate: £3,000-5,000),

A Belgian needle and bobbin lace tear-shaped wedding veil, Brussels, circa 1860

A Belgian needle and bobbin lace tear-shaped wedding veil, Brussels, circa 1860 (detail)

Infanta María de la Paz of Spain on her wedding to Prince Ludwig Ferdinand of Bavaria

A Belgian needle and bobbin lace tear-shaped wedding veil, Brussels, circa 1860, worn by Infanta María de la Paz of Spain on her wedding to Prince Ludwig Ferdinand of Bavaria, which took place in the chapel of the Royal Palace of Madrid on 2 April, 1883. Estimate £3,000 – £5,000 ($4,446 - $7,410)Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2015.

Philip Alexius de László (1869-1937), Portrait of Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain (1887-1969)

and Philip Alexius de László’s preparatory oil sketch of Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain (estimate: £10,000-15,000). The sketch presents the Queen in traditional formal dress, worn for official ceremonies and religious events. De László spent seven weeks in the spring of 1927 staying at the Royal Palace in Madrid, where he completed thirteen portraits of King Alfonso XIII, his consort Queen Victoria Eugenia, and their children. The artist often formed close friendships with his sitters and recalled his time in Madrid fondly: “The Queen spent hours and hours in my studio and discussed art with the competence of an aesthete. Life in the Palace is infinitely pleasant and harmonious.” 

Philip Alexius de László (1869-1937), Portrait of Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain (1887-1969), half-length, wearing a plain sleeveless black gown, the Order of Queen María Luisa on a purple and white ribbon pinned to her dress, holding a fan in her right hand. Estimate £10,000 – £15,000 ($14,820 - $22,230)Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2015.

Signed, inscribed and dated 'Study of the Queen of Spain/ Madrid 1927/ de László' (lower right) and further inscribed and dated 'First/ study/ with Queen of Spain/ Madrid/ 1927' (on the reverse), oil on canvas, 35 ½ x 25 in. (90.2 x 63.5 cm.). 

Studio Inventory, p. 11 (61): Painted in Madrid, the first study for a large portrait.

Notes: De László spent seven weeks in the spring of 1927 staying at the Royal Palace in Madrid, where he completed thirteen portraits of King Alfonso XIII, his consort Queen Victoria Eugenia, and their children. In this preparatory oil sketch the Queen is depicted in traditional formal dress, worn for official ceremonies and religious events. It references Francisco Goya’s portrait of Doña Isabel de Porcel, which de László would have seen, having been acquired by the National Gallery, London, in 1896. The finished portrait, the artist’s fifth of the sitter, is now in the collection of the Prado Museum, Madrid.

De László often formed close friendships with his sitters and recalled his time in Madrid fondly: “The Queen spent hours and hours in my studio and discussed art with the competence of an aesthete. Life in the Palace is infinitely pleasant and harmonious. I worked for five to six hours a day, and, before I left, at the request of the Royal Family, I organised an exhibition of the twenty-three paintings I made during the trip, an exhibition at the Palacio de Biblioteca y Museos. The Queen and Queen Mother came personally to open the private view.”

Princess Victoria Eugenia (1887-1969) - ‘Ena’ - was the youngest granddaughter of Queen Victoria, the only daughter of Prince Henry of Battenberg and his wife, Princess Beatrice. She married King Alfonso XIII in 1906. Their great-grandson is King Felipe VI of Spain.

Further highlights from this collection include a set of twelve French armorial dishes, with the coat-of-arms for the House of Bavaria (estimate: £1,000-1,500). 

THE PROPERTY OF THE LORD BADEN-POWELL 

Lord Baden-Powell (1857-1941) is best remembered today as the founder of the Scouting movement, however, he first became famous for leading a group of eight army officers and raising a force of six hundred untrained irregulars, fifteen hundred Africans and eight hundred civilians to defend the town of Mafeking in South Africa in the first phase of the Second Anglo-Boer War. After war was declared on 4 October 1899, Mafeking was surrounded by seven thousand Boers. Baden-Powell and his small force successfully held Mafeking, and its relief on 16 May 1900 passed into folklore. The six swords offered in the sale were presented to Major-General Baden-Powell in recognition of his heroic efforts to defend Mafeking (estimates range from £1,000 to £10,000). 

THE BLAIR CHARITABLE TRUST, REMOVED FROM BLAIR CASTLE, BLAIR ATHOLL, SCOTLAND 

Blair Castle, Blair Atholl is the seat of the earls and dukes of Atholl, a Scottish family whose noble title dates back to the mid-15th century. Over nineteen generations the Stewarts and Murrays of Atholl have been adventurers and politicians, Jacobites and Royalists, entrepreneurs and agriculturists, soldiers and scholars. Offered for sale by the Blair Charitable Trust is a group of artworks that show the wealth of collecting tastes running through successive generations of earls and dukes, presenting the opportunity to purchase a selection of rare books from the impressive library wing built by the 2nd Duke of Atholl that explore a breadth of themes, from architecture to exploration and mathematics. These are offered alongside Old Master paintings, European and Asian works of art, and a collection of arms dating from the 16th to the 19th centuries, including a very rare pair of ‘Flintlock’ air pistols circa 1770 (estimate: £15,000-25,000).

A very rare pair of ‘Flintlock’ air pistols circa 1770

very rare pair of ‘Flintlock’ air pistols by Edward Battles, circa 1770Estimate £10,000 – £15,000 ($14,820 - $22,230)Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2015.

PROPERTY FROM DESCENDANTS OF DON MARIANO MALDONADO Y DÁVALOS, 7TH COUNT OF VILLAGONZALO (1851-1901)

Don Mariano Maldonado y Dávalos, 7th Count of Villagonzalo, served as Spanish ambassador to Tsar Nicholas II (1893-97). During his time in office in St Petersburg he established a close relationship with the Tsar and is mentioned in the Tsar’s diaries. He was awarded the Imperial Order of St Alexander Nevsky in 1899. 

Benois-Charles Mitoire, 1817

Amongst the works offered by the descendants of Count Villagonzalo is a striking full-length portrait of a lady by Benois-Charles Mitoire, an early example of his oeuvre (estimate: £25,000-35,000). The richly embroidered shawl worn by the sitter suggests Russian origins, yet the landscape is not Russian. Mitoire was French by birth, but became a Russian citizen in 1806 and in 1813 he became a member of the Imperial Academy of Art, St Petersburg, specialising in portraits and genre scenes.

Benois-Charles Mitoire, 1817. Portrait of a lady, full-length, in a blue velvet dress and a cream embroidered shawl, wearing a pearl tiara and necklace, a book in her left hand, in a wooded river landscape; signed and dated 'C. Mitoire 1817' (lower left), oil on canvas, 85 x 59 5/8 in. (216 x 151.5 cm.)Estimate £25,000 – £35,000 ($37,050 - $51,870)Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2015.

Notes: Although French by birth, Mitoire became a Russian citizen in 1806. In 1813, he became a member of the Imperial Academy of Art in St Petersburg, specializing in portraits and genre scenes. There are speculations that Mitoire planned to leave Russia in 1818 and sold all his painting at auction. However, portraits in the State Hermitage and Pavlovsk Museum, Saint Petersburg, circa 1825, imply that the artist remained in Russia until then, or at most left for a short break in 1818 (see The State Russian Museum, Painting, Catalogue, St. Petersburg, 1998, p. 76).
The half-length Portrait of Countess Yulia Samoilova held in the State Hermitage, circa 1825, shows the sitter in a similar posture and costume as the present lot. Both sitters wear a long, high-waisted dress with puffed sleeves and lace around their shoulders, short strings of pearls around their necks, with their hair loosely tied. The richly embroidered shawl worn here suggests Russian origins for the present sitter. 
The State Hermitage holds four half-length portraits by Mitoire. Other portraits by Mitoire are in the State Museum of Fine Art, Moscow, and the Rumyanstev Museum, Moscow. The present lot is a striking full-length, early example of his oeuvre.

FROM THE COLLECTION OF HRH PRINCE HENRY, THE DUKE OF GLOUCESTER (1900-1974) 

Presented for sale from the collection of HRH Prince Henry, the Duke of Gloucester is a pair of impressive full-length portraits depicting King George III and Queen Charlotte, both dressed in robes of state, by a follower of Sir Joshua Reynolds (estimate: £15,000-25,000). 

HRH The Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester was the fourth child and third son born to TRH The Duke and Duchess of York (later to become George V and Queen Mary) and thus was styled HRH Prince Henry of York from birth. His father George V created him HRH Duke of Gloucester, Earl of Ulster and Baron Culloden on 31 March 1928. He was devoted to the army, attending Royal Military College, Sandhurst and serving with the 10th Royal Hussars. He married Lady Alice Christabel Montagu Douglas Scott, sister of one of his best friends, on 6 November 1935 and had two sons: Prince William (1941-1972) and Prince Richard of Gloucester, the present Duke of Gloucester (1944-). Between 1944-1947 the Duke served as Governor-General of Australia. On their return to Britain the Duke and Duchess resided at 18th century manor house Barnwell Manor, Northamptonshire, whilst also retaining an apartment at Kensington Palace. The Duke was the last surviving child of King George V and Queen Mary. He died on 10 June 1974. Christie’s King Street was proud to offer an impressive collection from the Estate of HRH The Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, KG, KT, KP, 26 and 27 January 2006.

Portrait of King George III (1738-1820), full-length, in robes of state, in an interior; and portrait of Queen Charlotte (1744-1818), full-length, in coronation robes, in an interior

Follower of Sir Joshua Reynolds, Portrait of King George III (1738-1820), full-length, in robes of state, in an interior; and portrait of Queen Charlotte (1744-1818), full-length, in coronation robes, in an interior. Oil on canvas, 94½ x 58¼ in. (240 x 148 cm.). (2)a pairEstimate £15,000 – £25,000 ($22,230 - $37,050)Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2015.

30 mars 2015

Diamond and conch pearl "Renaissance-revival" brooch, French, circa 1870

Diamond and conch pearl renaissance-revival brooch, French, circa 1870

Diamond and conch pearl "Renaissance-revival" brooch, French, circa 1870Estimate 15,000 — 20,000 USD. Lot sold 30,000 USD. Photo Sotheby's

The openwork cartouche decorated with 12 conch pearls in pastel hues of pink and peach, the center set with an old European-cut diamond of brownish color weighing approximately .95 carat, further decorated with approximately 25 old-mine diamonds in various hues including yellow, brown and pink, weighing approximately 4.00 carats, accented further with 3 seed pearls, mounted in silver and gold, assay mark. 

Sotheby's. Magnificent Jewels New York | 07 Dec 2004

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Marella Agnelli wearing Balenciaga

Marella Agnelli wearing Balenciaga

Marella Agnelli wearing Balenciaga. Photo: Philippe Halsman.

Posté par Alain Truong à 23:19 - - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]
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A small moulded white-glazed square dish, Liao Dynasty (907-1125)

A small moulded white-glazed square dish, Liao Dynasty (907-1125)

A small moulded white-glazed square dish, Liao Dynasty (907-1125)Estimate HK$30,000 – HK$50,000 ($3,886 - $6,477). Photo Christie's Image Ltd 2015

The interior is moulded with a central floral medallion below flower sprigs on the sides. The dish is covered with a clear glaze. 4 1/2 in. (11.5 cm.) diam., box 

Provenance: The Muwen Tang Collection, Hong Kong 

Christie's. THE PAVILION SALE - CHINESE CERAMICS AND WORKS OF ART, 6 April 2015, 22nd Floor

A sancai-glazed square dish, Liao Dynasty (907-1125)

A sancai-glazed square dish, Liao Dynasty (907-1125)

A sancai-glazed square dish, Liao Dynasty (907-1125)Estimate HK$15,000 – HK$24,000 ($1,943 - $3,109). Photo Christie's Image Ltd 2015

The interior is moulded with a central flowerhead, below the petal-moulded, flared sides decorated with a stylised flower pattern. The dish is glazed overall in green, amber and cream colours, falling in an irregular line on the unglazed underside. 5 1/8 in. (13 cm.) wide, box 

Provenance: The Muwen Tang Collection, Hong Kong 

Christie's. THE PAVILION SALE - CHINESE CERAMICS AND WORKS OF ART, 6 April 2015, 22nd Floor

Miroir octogonal, Italie, fin du XVIIe siècle

Miroir octogonal, Italie, fin du XVIIe siècle

Miroir octogonal, Italie, fin du XVIIe siècleEstimation 22 000 € / 25 000 €. Photo Kohn

Âme de bois, écaille et nacre - H. 58 cm, L. 58 cm 

KOHN. Art de la Renaissance, le 31 Mars 2015 à 18h. HÔTEL LE BRISTOL – SALON CASTELLANE, 112 RUE DU FAUBOURG SAINT HONORÉ – 75008 PARIS

Cabinet « Au vase fleuri», Florence, fin du XVIIe siècle

Cabinet « Au vase fleuri», Florence, fin du XVIIe siècle

Cabinet « Au vase fleuri», Florence, fin du XVIIe siècle (détail)

Cabinet « Au vase fleuri», Florence, fin du XVIIe siècleEstimation 90 000 € / 120 000 €. Photo Kohn

Placage d’ébène et de palissandre, pierres dures, bronzes dorés et marbre  H. 213 cm, L. 158 cm, P. 48 cm - Piètement ancien d’époque postérieure - Panneaux de marqueterie de pierres dures probablement d’époque postérieure 

Ce grand cabinet réalisé en placage d’ébène présente en façade seize tiroirs agrémentés chacun d’une marqueterie de pierres dures alternant volatiles et motifs floraux, caractéristiques des ateliers florentins du XVIIe siècle. 

Au centre, il ouvre par un vantail centré d’un vase fleuri encadré par quatre colonnes sommées d’un chapiteau de bronze doré. Ouvert, il démasque onze tiroirs au centre desquels apparaît un miroir. Une galerie de balustrade couronne l’ensemble. Le piètement est composé de six colonnes torses ; le fond rythmé par trois panneaux moulurés.

KOHN. Art de la Renaissance, le 31 Mars 2015 à 18h. HÔTEL LE BRISTOL – SALON CASTELLANE, 112 RUE DU FAUBOURG SAINT HONORÉ – 75008 PARIS



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