The Collection of Djahanguir Riahi achieved a total of €8.4 million, including the imperial Chinese jades sold on 22 June in Paris. With some truly fierce bidding, collectors acclaimed works that were particularly dear to Mrs Djahanguir Riahi: Fine furniture, works of art, silver and paintings, not to mention Chinese imperial jades. The results obtained this evening paid tribute to a selection of works chosen and acquired with discernment.
The highest price of the sale went to an important Roman giallo tigrato marble seated female leopard, c. 1783, whose material renders the feline's coat naturally and with elegance. Collectors fought up to a million euros to carry off this extremely rare work (lot 52, €991,500), which had an estimate of €200,000-300,000.
A large parcel-gilt and lacquered silver figure of a dancing blackamoor, possibly made in Bamberg between 1680 and 1720, largely exceeded its high estimate at €607,500 (lot 40, estimate: €200,000-400,000). The silversmith's mark, NR or MR, cannot be attributed with certainty. One theory suggests Moritz Rachel, a silversmith who worked at the court of Dresden. The Russian import mark HM stands for Nikifor Moshchalkin, a master assayer active in St Petersburg between 1772 and 1800. The "Africans" theme was the speciality of Dresden silversmiths from the Dinglinger family: a corpus the statuette here seems to resemble. These pieces are universally recognised, and are mainly found in the Grünes Gewolbe in Dresden.
The name Riahi is synonymous with some of the greatest collectors of decorative arts of the 18th century, in particular furniture collectors.
Many iconic masterpieces that have belonged to the prestigious collection of Mr. and Mrs. Djahanguir Riahi are now prized possessions of amateurs and scholars alike.
Sotheby's is honoured to be offering a very beautiful set of Asian jades, as well as furniture and works of art, together with goldsmiths' pieces and paintings, works that Madame Djahanguir Riahi particularly loved.
From various origins and epochs, these works illustrate different civilizations and cultures. With the characteristic elegance of rare objects, they invite us to contemplate indefinitely and allow us to dream, meditate and discover their secrets and stories. It is for instance the case with the parcel-gilt and lacquered silver blackamoor dancer and his crescent moon plateau, in which a timeless grace is expressed.
The characters populating the Islamic gouaches interact with those of the Chinese lacquer, whilst the Sèvres porcelain pieces, with their fresh and immutable colours echo the brilliance of the gilt-bronzes and the marvellous silver animals.
All of them evoke a particular moment or place for Madame Djahanguir Riahi. The Chinese jades are auctioned on June 22 in Paris in THE SALE OF ARTS D’ASIE, followed a few days later, on July 6, by the sale of the collection.