London presents its inaugural Collections auction on Thursday, 27th September 2012. Sourced from distinguished and aristocratic private collections, the sale will offer clients the opportunity to acquire a wealth of fine and decorative arts dating from the sixteenth to the twentieth Century. Assembled from a diverse array of locations ranging from the grand state rooms of a Roman Palazzo, to a Lutyens-designed manor house in England previously owned by the flamboyant American businessman Tom Perkins, the auction will offer an exciting combination of decorative and important objects, including English and Continental furniture, clocks, tapestries, rugs, silver, Chinese export porcelain, sculpture and Old Master Paintings. The sale has been carefully curated, focussing on exciting privately-owned items which are fresh to the market and in the case of specially commissioned works appearing for the very first time. The 306 lots which have a combined estimate in excess of £1.7 million, range in value from £500-100,000.
Mario Tavella, Deputy Chairman, Sothebys Europe and Henry House, Senior Director and Head of Department, English Furniture, commented: We are delighted to present the first of our Collections auctions, which have been designed to offer our decorative arts and furniture clients a completely new perspective. Here, carefully curated in one auction, we have, in effect, discrete single owner sales, each offering historic, fresh to the market works, which should delight the decorator, connoisseur and collector alike.
The auction provides a glimpse of collections within collections and also the collectors who built them from Frederick McCarthys 14 exquisitely painted eighteenth century Chinese teapots (est. £4,000-6,000), offered as one lot to the modern, with Tom Perkins model of a Bugatti (£4,000-6,000), a much-loved desk ornament and reminder of his legendary collection of super-charged vintage sports cars.
From the Collection of Mr and Mrs Frederick McCartney, the sale features a suite of exquisite and very rare Chinese export wallpaper panels dating from the 18th Century, estimated at £15,000-25,000. By the mid-18th century Chinese painted export wallpapers were a highly sought after commodity. Imported directly by the East India Company, similar sets to this appeared in great rooms throughout England.
An elegant pair of George III carved giltwood elbow chairs by Englands greatest cabinet maker, Thomas Chippendale, are estimated to realise £20,000-£30,000. The chairs, which relate closely to a large group in the Royal Collection, may have been part of an impressive commission by HRH Prince William Henry, 1st Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh, King George IIIs younger brother. On the princes death it was divided between his two children and at some point in the early 19th century entered the Royal Collection.
From an Aristocratic Italian Collection comes a wonderful group of early works of art, including a spectacular Renaissance allegorical tapestry, from the series depicting the planets after woodcuts by the German artist Georg Pencz. Flemish, dating from the mid-sixteenth century, the tapestry depicts the sun (Leo) ascending to the heavens in a chariot, and is estimated at £50,000-60,000.
Also featured is a nineteenth century oil on canvas by Rosa Bonheur, an artist renowned for her animal studies. The atmospheric Les Muletiers, depicts a pair of mule drivers urging on their small flock of sheep and cattle as dusk falls, and is estimated at £30,000-50,000. The painting was executed in 1854, a year before Bonheurs most celebrated work, the monumental Horse Fair, which led to her international fame and recognition.
From Plumpton Place, the Lutyens manor house formerly owned by Tom Perkins, comes an eclectic offering reflecting the collecting passions of the legendary venture capitalist. Neptun, a solid silver, fully rigged model ship almost a metre high, dating from the early years of the twentieth century, is estimated to realise £15,000-20,000. Richly embossed and chased with mythological scenes and allegories of the Continents and Commerce, the ship was positioned before the leaded staircase window at Plumpton. The owner of many beautiful and historic yachts, Tom Perkins is most celebrated for his commission of his 289- foot super-yacht, The Maltese Falcon. This nef is a reflection of his continuing love of the sea.