Sotheby’s Paris started 2015 with the auction of the collections of the Dukes of Mortemart from the château du Réveillon in Burgundy. Achieving €2.72 million, the sale was a testament to the exceptional provenance of the collection and the refinement of objects within it. This result builds on Sotheby’s previous successes in the sales of other private collections related to the history of France: the Duke of La Roche-Guyon, the Dukes of Maillé from Châteauneuf-sur-Cher and the Dukes of Luynes from château de Dampierre. The highest bids were recorded for works from the Louis XVI period. An outstanding set of painted metal furniture, attributed to Claude-Charles Saunier, consisting of a chest of drawers and a writing desk, sold to a European collector for €588,000. Of exceptional freshness, this suite of furniture had been kept in the family of the Dukes of Mortemart for generations and perfectly illustrates the taste of the 18th century.
Important Notice: This sale is subject to the new buyer's premium rates that came into effect 1 February 2015. To view the updated rates please CLICK HERE
Sotheby’s has the pleasure of organising the sale of the Collections of the Dukes of Mortemart, which will take place in Paris on 11 February. This extraordinary collection of 240 lots is composed of the contents of a private residence, the Château du Réveillon. The auction symbolises the refined French taste of one France’s oldest aristocratic families, which included several famous members, from the marquise de Montespan, née Athénaïs de Rochechouart-Mortemart, to the Duchess of Uzès, a feminist pioneer in France in the late 19th century, to name but a few. The collection combines furniture and decorative objects of exquisite quality with exceptional china and a large number of objects sure to delight buyers.
Typical of the Mortemart family’s taste, the auction features a magnificent Louis XVI tole furniture suite. Attributed to Claude-Charles Saunier, it is composed of a shelved chest of drawers and a sycamore writing desk decorated with lime green and white painted panels depicting arabesques, allegories and imitations of Sèvres china. This exceptionally fresh-looking furniture was preserved by the family of the dukes of Rochechouart de Mortemart and perfectly illustrates the predilection for colour in the 18th century. The contrast between sycamore wood, or ‘tobacco wood’ as it was called, the gilt-bronze and the painted panels make this suite unique in French 18th century cabinet making.