Invested with an exceptional calibre of craftsmanship and creativity, the twenty-one works of art in this sale would constitute a treasure trove to any collector. In addition, they display a distinguished provenance having been associated with, among others, names such as Queen Marie Antoinette, the Dukes of Devonshire, the Rothschild family, the Imperial family of Russia, the Princes Carafa of Roccella, the Duke of Urbino, the Medici family and the Earls of Macclesfield, Strafford and Dartmouth.
Ranging in date from the 16th to the 19th century, these works encompass the entire range of the decorative arts, from porcelain, silver, snuff boxes and furniture to carpets and objects of vertu. A survey of the pieces in the sale underlines their quality: an Italian engraved ivory inlaid rosewood centre table made around 1596 for the Duke of Urbino Francesco Maria II Della Rovere; the Great Silver Wine Cistern of Thomas Wentworth, 3rd Baron Raby, made in the workshops of Philip Rollos; an amber casket bearing the arms of Prince William IV of Orange dating from 1734; a set of three ivory painted and parcel-gilt Royal Pliants made for Queen Marie Antoinette's Salon des Jeux at the Châteaux of Compiègne and Fontainbleau, circa 1786-87; a pair of late George III carved giltwood mirrors, circa 1759-60, known as the Stowe State Bedchamber Mirrors.
Each masterpiece truly conforms to the idea of a treasure: superb in quality, rich in material, rare and with remarkable provenance redolent with the names of Europe's greatest families.