Collectors turned out in force to acquire important furniture, clocks, ceramics, silver, tapestries and objects of vertu from Sotheby's recent Arts of Europe sale.
Surpassing pre-sale expectations, the auction's top lot, a 19th-century French gilt-bronze and champlevé enamel clock garniture by Ferdinand Barbedienne, achieved £104,500.
This May’s Arts of Europe sale includes an excellent selection of furniture, silver, European ceramics, tapestries, clocks and objects of vertu. The sale is led by The Hanley Teapot Collection, comprising a comprehensive collection of mainly 18th-century English porcelain, including examples from all the major factories, as well as the earliest examples of Limehouse and Vauxhall teapots. In the Continental furniture section there are three stunningly chinoiserie-decorated Florentine pieces by Luigi Zampini including a bureau, display cabinet and set of chairs en suite. The clock section contains a collection of very fine 18th-century French clocks, as well as an orrery clock by Raingo and English clocks by celebrated makers such as Joseph Knibb, Henry Jones, Daniel Delander, Vulliamy and others.
The English furniture is represented in the major part by a private collection from a Knightsbridge residence, the highlight being a George III serpentine satinwood commode in the manner of John Cobb, and a private British collection of wonderful early walnut and mahogany furniture. Most periods are well represented with very attractive examples including a pair of blue john cassolettes attributed to Matthew Boulton and a Regency drum shaped library bookcase incorporating panels of Chinese lacquer. The tapestry offering includes a striking Flemish Old Testament Biblical tapestry representing ‘Prudence of Abigail’made in Bruges, circa 1650.
Highlights of the objects of vertu section include an impressive selection of 19th-century ivories and a gold and enamel cagework snuff box by A.J.M. Vachette, Paris, 1786. Famous makers such as Paul Storr, Thomas Heming and William Bateman are represented in silver.