PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION, NORWAY
When Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna wed the future King of Württemberg, Crown Prince Charles, on 13 July 1846, her dowry included a wall-mounted version of this model, today at the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart (see Im Glanz der Zaren: Die Romanows, Württemberg und Europa, Landesmuseum Württemberg, 2014, ex. cat., pp. 240-241). A further wall-mounted example was ordered by the Empress and given to her sister-in-law, Grand Duchess Anna Pavlovna, Queen of the Netherlands. This cabinet, like the present lot, incorporates a plaque painted by Nesterov, this one dated 1845. It is in the collection at Het Loo Palace, Apeldoom (illustrated, Une Passion Royale pour l’Art: Guillaume II des Pays-Bas et Anna Pavlovna, Villa Vauban, Luxembourg, 2014, ex. cat. no. 212).
The painting reproduced by Frolov on this cabinet, Two Girls in National Dress, by the Emperor’s favourite artist Carl Timoleon von Neff, was in Empress Alexandra Feodorovna’s private collection at Anichkov Palace, further supporting an Imperial provenance for the present lot. The painting of the young lady and her maid reproduced on the plaque at the back of the cabinet is at present unidentified, the original possibly lost. It was reproduced at least one other time by the Imperial Porcelain Manufactory, on a plaque painted by Nikolai Semenov in 1843 (sold, Gelos Moscow, 26 November 2010, lot 115). Sotheby's is grateful to Antoine Chenevière, Andreas Dobler and Galina Korneva for their assistance in cataloguing this lot.
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