A Day of Decorative Treasures at Christie’s in April

LONDON – Christie’s are proud to provide a day of inspirational decorative delights with a dynamic twist on Thursday, 24 April 2008. Coinciding with The Victoria and Albert Museum’s new exhibition on Thomas Hope, supported by Christie’s, the morning session of the sale presents the various stylistic facets of Thomas Hope (1769-1831), showcasing the range of styles associated with the Regency period for which he is renowned. Estimates range from £2,000 through to £100,000 for exemplary pieces such a Regency mahogany ‘Curule’ desk-bergere, attributed to Marsh and Tatham, early 19th century (estimate: £60,000-100,000). The afternoon session of The Collector of Collections, The Property of a Gentleman features an array of treasures acquired by a discerning eye from innumerable classic house sales at Christie’s over the past 30 years. With estimates starting at just £500, highlights such as a George III satinwood amaranth and marquetry demi-lune commode, attributed to Mayhew and Ince, circa 1770 is expected to fetch £50,000 to £80,000, illustrated top centre. The sale as a whole, which presents more than 400 pieces of furniture, sculpture and carpets, is expected to realise in excess of £2.5million.

Thomas Hope (1769-1831), the wealthy scion of the Dutch banking family, is recognized as a decorative luminary, whose vision for interiors was driven by passion and intended as educational. “This auction examines Hope’s houses and interiors and his ideas and concepts suggested therein as the starting point for the objects grouped together in the sale. His wide-ranging achievements in the Decorative and Fine Arts emerge as providing the framework for the pieces which follow,” explains Rufus Bird, Associate Director of Christie’s Furniture, London.

In addition to the richly carved, neo-classical Regency mahogany ‘Curule’ desk-bergere, attributed to Marsh and Tatham, early 19th century (estimate: £60,000-100,000), further highlights include the powerful Italian bronze bust of Dionysos (estimate: £20,000- 30,000), a striking pair of Regency bronze and ormolu three-light torcheres, early 19th century (estimate: £30,000-50,000) and a pair of handsome Regency ormolu-mounted rosewood pedestal desks (estimate: £40,000-60,000). Smaller, charming works range from a Regency ormolu and black serpentine porphyry figure of a vestal (estimate: £3,000-5,000), a Berlin apricot-ground micro-mosaic etrurische cabaret, circa 1815 (estimate: £2,000-3,000) and an Empire ormolu, patinated bronze and mahogany ink stand, early 19th century (estimate: £4,000- 6,000).

The Collector of Collections reflects the passionate connoisseurship of another man, 200 years after Thomas Hope. Highlights include furniture, paintings and objects from many of the great collections sold at Christie’s over the past 30 years. Leading these works is the exciting rediscovered George II giltwood stool, circa 1740 from Wanstead, one of the great collections of the 18th century (estimate: £15,000-25,000). Other central works include George III satinwood amaranth and marquetry demi-lune commode, attributed to Mayhew and Ince, circa 1770 (estimate: £50,000-£80,000), a pair of mid-18th century giltwood consoles, from Ecton Hall, Northamptonshire (estimate: £20,000-30,000) and a pair of George III ormolu two-light branch wall lights, circa 1770 (estimate: £15,000-25,000).

Amongst the smaller attractive pieces from this private collection, are an entertaining pair of Chinese cloisonné enamel vases modelled as camels, late 19th/early 20th century (estimate: £1,200-1,800), a William IV silver gilt wine cooler, by Edward Barnard and Sons (estimate: £3,000-5,000), a pair of George III simulated bamboo armchairs, late 18th century, from West Dean (estimate: £3,000-5,000), a pair of Chinese style gilt-metal-mounted porcelain lamps, 20th century (estimate: £800-1,200) and an attractive Tabriz carpet, North West Persia, circa 1930 (estimate: £2,000-3,000).

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