S tyle Paris: Silver, Gold Boxes and Fans offers a wide panorama of objets d’art dating from the early 17th to the 21st century.
19th century enthusiasts will discover a set of silver plates and serving dishes bearing the Rothschild coat of arms and a pair of large torcheres decorated with standing male figures made by Christofle circa 1890 for Count Philippe Vitali, Prince of St Eusebio, as well as a soup tureen dating from around 1820 with the Danish royal coat of arms.
The 20th and early 21st centuries will take pride of place with work by major European silversmiths such Buccellati, Puiforcat, Mellerio and Wolfers.
Among the objets d’art, in addition to fans, there is a fine selection of gold presentation boxes, often with royal provenance, dating mainly from the first half of the 19th century.
Among the most recent works to be discovered in the Style Orfèvrerie et Objets de Vitrine sale are those of the jewellery house of Mellerio dits Meller. Founded in 1613, it is the oldest family-run jewellery house still in existence today.
Over generations, Mellerio has demonstrated innovative savoir-faire, staying in fashion and continuing to be celebrated for the quality of its creations. Made between the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st, the pieces offered in the Style sale are exceptional, both for the variety of precious gems and the great precision with which they were executed.
Three notable pieces in the sale come from Mellerio’s Musicians series, each depicting a woman playing an instrument on a rock crystal plate. Animal themes are represented in the sale by a magnificent birdcage as well as by pieces from the series Chevaux de Légende.
A fine selection of gold presentation boxes, most dating from the first half of the 19th century, can be found with the other objets d’art in the sale. The majority of these works were made in Paris, by goldsmiths such as Morel or Héguin, and most are of royal origin. They are notably adorned with diamond-set monograms of Louis-Philippe, Victor-Emmanuel II, King of Piedmont-Sardinia and then first King of Italy, and Nicolas I, Emperor of Russia between 1825 and 1855. Some have important provenance, such as the one given by King Louis-Philippe to the painter Horace Vernet in Versailles on 16 July 1837.
The Style sale features numerous works by 20th century Milanese goldsmith Mario Buccellati. Best known for his sophisticated creations in jewellery, Buccellati also distinguished himself with his original approach to working in silver and gold, which led to his being called the "Prince of Goldsmiths".
The house of Buccellati continues to perpetuate the unique and highly recognizable style of the pieces created by its founder. Thus silver is sometimes mixed with materials such as ivory, seen on our walrus-shaped decanter, or shells, as in the case of our swan. The sale mainly comprises Buccellati animal pieces, as shown by the exceptional pair of large seahorses on a lapis lazuli base and the centrepiece formed by a large shell bowl. There are also more classical pieces, such as a beautiful pair of agate vases mounted in silver.
A portion of the sale is devoted to 19th century Chinese silver, represented by objects as various as a censer, a casket to dry tea or a veilleuse in the shape of a kneeling Chinese figure. Most of the silver pieces are engraved with motifs in vermeil, such as winged horses or phoenixes.
Some of them bear inscriptions taken from 9th century texts such as the mortar accompanied by its pestle in the very unusual form of a wheel. Among these Chinese pieces, there is a beautiful 20th century serving spoon with a handle modelled as a fisherman carved in pink coral and attached by a cord.