Carnelian, enamel and gold parure, circa 1805, some glyptics possibly ancient
200,000 - 300,000 GBP
Property from a private British Collection - Lots 1 – 15
From an Important Private Collection
Carnelian, enamel and gold parure
circa 1805, some glyptics possibly ancient
Comprising: a diadem, designed as a row of interlinked circle motifs decorated with blue champlevé enamel, entwined by an openwork ribbon decorated with scroll and foliate motifs and set with twenty-five carnelian intaglios, predominantly of male and female classical heads including philosophers, Roman Princes, Cupid driving a quadriga, goats, a lion devouring prey, an eagle, Jupiter Serapis and scenes of sacrifice, each within a border of enamel, inner circumference approximately 410mm; a pair of pendent earrings, each set with a single intaglio and similarly decorated, later screw fittings; a hair comb, and a belt ornament, the centre set with a carnelian cameo of Ariadne, original fitted case.
Diadem - slightly distorted as only one end sits flat on the ground. Band very flexible. Evidence of previous solder/metal repair visible on the reverse, to the bottom of right hand central ribbon and on central circular band. Some solder on a previous break coming loose. Some oxidisation to gold. Cameos in good condition, held in place securely. Height of diadem approximately 70mm. Some shallow losses to enamel - including around one of the intaglios
Belt ornament - shallow loss to enamel. Damage to nose and hairline fracture to cheek and on reverse. Width approximately 55mm.
Comb - some oxidisation. Third intaglio from right possibly a paste replacement. Reverse showing some solder repair to previous breaks, including between two central intaglios and where the ribbon attaches to the comb. Height approximately 107mm, width approximately 124mm. Eight tines deficient.
Earrings - missing enamel on dot decoration and some shallow losses elsewhere. Reverse with evidence of solder repair, more prevalent on one earring. Intaglio of caped figure with small chip, mostly visible from rear however obscured by setting when looking at it from the front. Earring length approximately 42mm. Screw fittings, and possibly the shell surmounts, a later addition.
Gross weight approximately 237 grams. Overall condition good.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The online condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance purposes only. The images of the lot also form part of the online condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Any reference to condition in the online condition report does not amount to a full description of condition. The online condition report may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the online condition report of the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The online condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the online condition report is a statement of subjective, qualified opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's (for example, information regarding colour, clarity and weight of gemstones are statements of opinion only and not statements of fact by Sotheby's). Please also note that we do not guarantee, and are not responsible for, any certificate from a gemological laboratory that may accompany the lot. In addition, certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot (for example, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades). For these reasons, the online condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. Prospective buyers should also refer to the relevant section the Buying at Auction guide which includes important notices concerning the type of property in this sale. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.
By tradition Joséphine Bonaparte, Empress of France (1763- 1814);
Possibly acquired from the Empress Joséphine (or her estate) by Lord Edward Lascelles, “ Beau Lascelles” (1764-1814);
Thence by descent to his grand-niece Catherine, Mrs Granville Edwin Lloyd-Baker (1841-1890);
Thence by family descent to the present owner
For further research and illustrations of this lot please see:
Claire Phillip, Jewels and Jewellery, England, 2019, pg. 72-74
Shirley Bury, Jewellery 1789-1910, Volume I 1789-1861, England, 1991, pg. 166
Geoffrey Munn, Tiaras A History of Splendour, England, 2001, pg. 36-37
Mémoires de Mlle. Avrillion, première femme de chambre de l’Imperatrice, ed. Maurice Dernelle, (1986)
De Pompeii à Malmaison: Les Antiques de l’Impératrice Joséphine Exhibition catalogue, Malmaison 2009
France in Russia: Joséphine’s Malmaison Collection Exhibition Catalogue, Courtauld Institute, London 2007
An Englishman in Paris, 1803, Journal of Bertie Greatheed, eds. J. Bury & J, Barry (1953)
London, Victoria and Albert Museum, on long term loan. (ref: LOAN:MET ANON.97&A-1968)