Sotheby’s Offers Furniture, Silver & Old Master Paintings Formerly from the Collection of Madame Antenor Patiño at Auction

Sotheby’s Paris will offer Furniture, Silver and Old Master Paintings formerly from the collection of Madame Antenor Patiño, on 22 September 2010.

The collection – divided between La Quinta, her principal residence in Portugal, and her Paris flat – affords Sotheby’s the opportunity to once again pay tribute to the renowned Patiño taste and style, in particular to that of Beatriz Patiño (Madame Antenor Patiño), the guardian of this legacy until her death in 2009.

Lounge at La Quinta, Madame Patiño’s principal residence in Portugal. Photo: Sotheby’s

The story begins with the mythical figure of Simon Iturri Patiño (1860-1947), the mining pioneer known as the Rey del Estaño (King of Tin), who discovered the most important tin mine in Bolivia. The family art collection was expanded by his son, Antenor Patiño (1894-1982), a collector and connoisseur of the French Grand Siècle and major donor to Versailles. He had a penchant for the Louis XV period and the Oriental influence on the decorative arts, and Sotheby’s sale in September will include a number of works collected by him. Madame Patiño lent a feminine touch to his taste for majesty, imbuing it with a unique charm and refinement that is instantly recognizable in her collection and the decoration of her homes.

Such taste and style were found in all of her residences, starting with La Quinta, her sumptuous home in Estoril (Portugal) completed in 1990, where every detail contributed to the subtle harmony between the Baroque and more intimate decor. Madame Patiño lavished similar care on decorating her Paris flat and New York apartment – a portion of whose contents were offered by Sotheby’s in 1997, when she moved to a new home in New York.

The collection’s furniture and objets d’art effortlessly blend English comfort, Italian exuberance and French 18th century classicism with superb works of art. A Rare Pair of Flat-Backed Painted Beechwood Chairs, with gold highlights, reflect the late 18th century decorative fashion, directly inspired by a renewed interest in the antique that paved the way for the Empire style.

France (Strasbourg) takes pride of place among the collection’s predominantly European silver, with Germany, Russia and England also represented. Many pieces have a prestigious provenance, with former owners including Tsarinas Elizabeth I and Catherine II of Russia, the Duchess of Rutland, and Elisabeth Auguste, Electress Palatine & Electress of Bavaria, not to mention the famous service made for Simon Patiño by Chaumet. The outstanding taste that underscores the harmonious unity of works from these different countries can also be seen in more contemporary or exotic pieces, including some from South America.

The Old Master Paintings in the sale comprise a fine selection from the French, Spanish and Northern Schools. A spectacular pair of hunting scenes by Jacques-Charles Oudry typifies the spirit of the French 18th century. Portrait of a Young Woman in Blue Dress in front of a Guéridon, attributed to Jean-François Garneray, is a subtly poetic composition, marvellously evocative of the refinement of late 18th century France. There are two Spanish portraits strongly influenced by Goya – an enchanting Portrait of a Woman with a Fan, and a Portrait of a Lady in Muslin Dress – and an array of 17th century Dutch ‘monochrome’ still lifes, comprising works in the tradition of the greatest masters of the genre, such as Jan Jansz Treck and Pieter Claesz, along with a work signed by the rarely-seen artist Maerten de Boelema de Stomme.

The sale of this collection at Sotheby’s Paris, staged in collaboration with the experts Millerand & Saint-Seine, perpetuates a tradition dating back to the Antenor Patiño estate auction in New York in 1986. Sotheby’s have since had the great honour of selling collections of books and manuscripts, furniture, silver and Old Masters from various branches of the Patiño family