Sotheby's London sale A Connoisseur's Collection achieved a total of £7,021,976 with an extraordinary group of 18th-century British paintings, furniture and decorative arts. Highlights included the Warren Hastings Ivory suite comprising two pairs of Anglo-Indian carved and parcel-gilt ivory armchairs and sofa, Murshidabad, circa 1785, which achieved a combined total of £1,159,500, along with a Thomas Gainsborough, R.A., Study of a lady perhaps for The Richmond Water-Walk, which sold for £1,650,500 - more than four times its pre-sale low estimate.
In A Connoisseur’s Collection, wonderful 18th-century British paintings complement an impressive offering of furniture and decorative arts. The star of the show is a painting of a King Charles Spaniel by George Stubbs, which is accompanied by a group of drawings by Thomas Gainsborough, four of which were formerly in the collection of the Earls Spencer at Althorp. A painting by Sir Joshua Reynolds completes the selection of works from some of England’s greatest artists.
The furniture in the collection is no less spectacular. Featured in this section is a rare suite of solid-carved and gilded-ivory furniture, comprising four armchairs and a settee, whose origins can be traced back to mid-18th century India when it was purchased by Warren Hastings, Governor of India. Earlier still is an incredible George I gilt-gesso bureau-cabinet and a group of furniture that can be confidently attributed to England’s most celebrated cabinet-maker, Thomas Chippendale. Additional highlights include a commode from Mayhew and Ince, silver candlesticks made for Catherine the Great of Russia and sublime Chelsea porcelain.
With such a refined collection of the best in British art appearing on the market for the first time in many years, this sale provides a wonderful opportunity for today’s collectors to acquire some iconic pieces. The collection is being sold to benefit a charitable foundation.
This lot will remain in New Bond Street after the sale.
Please note this lot now consists of a single French 'decalcomania' vase and has a revised estimate of £1,000-1,500. This lot will remain in New Bond Street after the sale.
Please note that the attribution in the printed catalogue is incorrect. We are grateful to Michael Liversidge and Dr Nichola Figgis, University College Dublin, for suggesting an alternative attribution to James Forrester (Dublin 1730 - 1776 Rome), who settled in Rome in 1755 and spent the last twenty years of his life there. A 'View of the Ponte Sisto, Rome' by Forrester, of idential size to the present pair, was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1771.
Please note the maker of this tankard is Christoph Bantzer and not Georg Banzer II as stated in the catalogue. The date remains the same, but Sotheby's cannot confirm that the engraved decoration is contemporaneous.
Please note this lot contains 23 table forks and 24 table spoons, as well as a silver soup ladle and an additional serving spoon