51
51

PROPERTY OF BARON VON SELD TOGETHER WITH LOT 52

A Russian karelian birch and malachite guéridon table
circa 1815
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51

PROPERTY OF BARON VON SELD TOGETHER WITH LOT 52

A Russian karelian birch and malachite guéridon table
circa 1815
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Important Furniture, Silver and Ceramics

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A Russian karelian birch and malachite guéridon table
circa 1815
the circular top above a plain frieze on three sabre legs joined by concave stretchers and surmounted by gilt-bronze flowerheads on hoof feet, the underside inscribed with a black ink inventory mark "D.50." and a fragment of a paper label "König Wilhelm"
75cm. high, 81cm. diameter; 2ft. 5½in., 2ft 7¾in.
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Provenance

Probably part of the dowry of Grand Duchess Catherine Pavlovna of Russia (1788-1819), later Queen of Württemberg, who married, in 1816, Crown Prince William of Württemberg, later King William I of Württemberg (1781-1864);
Otherwise possibly presented by Emperor Nicholas I to his daughter Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna (1822-1892), later Queen of Württemberg, who married, in 1846, Crown Prince Charles Frederick, later King Charles I of Württemberg (1823-1891);
King Wilhelm II of Württemberg (1848 - 1921)
Reputedly purchased by the Dukes of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg from the above
Thence purchased by Baron von Seld from the above in the third quarter of the 20th century

Catalogue Note

Comparative Literature:
Antoine Chenevière, Russian Furniture, The Golden Age 1780-1840, London, 1988, page 135, plate 124,  for a centre table of similar design in the Pavlovsk Palace Museum and page 221, plate 234 for a related table with an inset malachite top.

This remarkable guéridon together with lot 52, was probably part of the dowry of Grand Duchess Catherine Pavlovna of Russia (fig.1.)  who married, in 1816, Crown Prince William of Württemberg, later King William I of Württemberg (1781-1864). It is also possible that it was presented by Nicholas I to his daughter Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna (fig.2.) on the occasion of her marriage in 1846 to Crown Prince Charles Frederick of Württemberg (1823-1891).
Weddings between between members of the Russian Imperial family and members of the Royal family of Württemberg had a longstanding tradition and were of significant political importance for the kingdom of Württemberg especially after the re-organisation of Europe after the Congress of Vienna. When William I's second wife Grand Duchess Catherine Pavlovna died in1819, the family ties to Russia were strengthened again by the marriage between Crown Prince Charles Frederick and Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna. All Russian Grand Duchesses were married in great splendour and with extensive dowries. It is known that furniture was also an essential part of dowries of Grand Duchesses.
After King Charles I and Queen Olga died childless, Charles' s agnatic cousin, his sister's son, succeeded as King William II of Württemberg (1848-1921) (fig.3.). The present centre table and the candle holders (lot 52) then passed to the latter.

The label on the underside of the guéridon (fig.4.) is that of King William II and identical labels can still be found on furniture in the Württemberg Royal collections.  In 1918, after the end of the First World War, King William II was deposed from the throne along with the other German rulers. With the abolition of the monarchy, furniture and artworks which were no longer required were sold. The German royal family of the Dukes of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg reputedly then bought the present table and candle holders from the Württemberg family. Known as the house of Glücksburg for brevity, the family is a branch of the House of Oldenburg that is descended from King Christian III of Denmark. The house of Glücksburg sold the items to the present owner Baron von Seld in the third quarter of the 20th century.

The Russian vogue for stone-cutting led to the creation of some of the most beautiful works of art and furniture, the most highly prized were in malachite. Malachite is a stalagmitic form of copper carbonate and the technique used in the manufacture of objects and furniture in this stone is known as Russian mosaic. The malachite was sawn into very thin slices and then applied to a stone or metal ground, the veins being laid to form elaborate patterns. The whole piece was then highly polished with the joins barely visible.

Peterhof is the oldest stone-cutting factory, just a few miles from St. Petersburg, however the huge distances from the mines and quarries meant that it was soon joined by the new Imperial Factory at Ekaterinburg, in the heart of the Ural Mountains. The third most famous factory was Kolyvan, in Western Siberia, which specialised in colossal pieces made from the stones extracted from the Altai Mountains.

A karelian birch circular table of similar design although without malachite inset top was sold in these Rooms,15th December 1995, lot 754.
 

 

Important Furniture, Silver and Ceramics

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