A Collection of Royal and Noble Descent

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The Of Royal and Noble Descent sale in London on 19 January includes lots from distinguished and aristocratic European and British collections, many of which have never been seen before on the market. The sale is led by property from the collections at Colstoun House, East Lothian, the home of the Marquess of Dalhouise, Governor General of India, and the Historic Property of the Hill-Trevor Family. Other important property includes works from the Marchese Francesco Taccone di Sitizano collections, Counts von Schönburg-Glauchau Family Trust and from the imposing Castello di Montalto Pavese. Click ahead to see a selection of the highlights.

Of Royal and Noble Descent
19 January 2017 | London

A Collection of Royal and Noble Descent

  • A rare Indian silver-mounted stag antler chair, 19th century, probably Kashmir or Punjab. Estimate £5,000–7,000.
    This chair owes its stylistic inspiration to Tipu, Sultan of Mysore (1750–1799), who adopted the tiger as a symbol of his power during his violent struggles against the East India Company. Due to its diminutive scale, it was possibly given to Lord Dalhousie by the young Maharaja Duleep Singh (1838–1893) with whom he had developed a close and personal bond.



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  • Oratory with Crucifixion. Indo-Portuguese, Goa, 17th century.
    Estimate £70,000–100,000.
    Oratories of this type were used in domestic interiors as private praying altars, although it is possible that they could have been used in individual monastic cells. The present example is exceptional not only for its scale but also for being the only known oratory combining the traditional Goanese inlaid work of ebony and ivory on teak with a carved interior.



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  • A large Guadalajara earthenware two-handled amphora vase, probably late 17th century. Estimate £20,000–30,000.
    These impressive vessels , known variously as tinajas, tibores or archibúcaros were originally used to store water. Mexican objects were considered a significant component of the European Kunstkammer. These large pitchers were exported to Europe, where they were especially popular amongst the aristocracy. Known in Spain as búcaros de Indias (fragrant earthenware from Latin America), similar vessels are well-recorded in Spanish still-lifes of the period.



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  • Pomona as the personification of Autumn, a Flemish metamorphoses allegorical tapestry, from the Story of Vertumnus and Pomona, Brussels, circa 1535-1540. Estimate £15,000–25,000.
    This tapestry is a panel from a rare surviving series depicting scenes from the story of Vertumnus and Pomona, taken from the particularly evocative mythological story described by Ovid in his Metamorphoses. The other four tapestries in the set are in the Chicago Institute of Art and the Milwaukee Public Museum. It is possible that the tapestries were commissioned by King Francis I as a gift, and later the collection of the 8th Duke of Berwick and 15th Duke of Alba de Tormes, in Madrid, Spain.



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  • An impressive and large pair of Chinese famille-rose soldier vases and covers, Qing Dynasty, Late 18th Century. Estimate £60,000–80,000.
    A high level of craftsmanship was vital to produce such large vases, not only in the potting itself but also in managing the firing of the wood-fuelled kiln. These vases are notable for their finely composed and detailed designs that successfully occupy and enhance the elegant form.



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  • Jupiter and Juno. Southern German, probably Augsburg, 17th century.
    Estimate £30,000–50,000.
    The subject of Jupiter and Juno was very popular in Baroque sculpture. Indeed, Alessandro Algardi used the figures as fire and air atop a suite of fire dogs delivered to the French court in 1654. The present pair, with its anatomical details and stationary conception, differs slightly from those of French artists and bronziers, indicating that it might be a rare surviving example from Augsburg, the centre of Baroque goldsmithing in Germany.



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  • A Russian gilt-bronze and porcelain mounted tulipwood parquetry jewellery casket, Gambs Workshop and Imperial Porcelain Workshop, St Petersburg, circa 1846. Estimate £4,000–6,000.
    Flamboyant and extravagantly costly, but also intimate and intended for everyday use, furniture of the so-called Second Rococo style blossomed in St Petersburg in the 1840s. Distinguished by the inset porcelain plaques and elaborate metal mounts, the casket epitomises this style. Given to Grand Duchess Olga on the occasion of her marriage, it reflects her predilection for opulent interiors that was mirrored in the decoration of her boudoir at Villa Berg, Stuttgart, which she and her husband, the then Crown Prince Charles of Württemberg, chose as their favourite residence.



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  • Attributed to Simon Troger, Austrian or Southern German, first half 18th century Corpus Christi. Estimate £30,000–50,000.
    The facial features, musculature and framed flowing carved hair of this lot all point to the work and skill of Simon Troger. The Austrian sculptor, widely regarded as one of the finest 18th century ivory carvers, trained in the workshop of Schmiedecker in Merano before settling in Munich via Innsbruck. Characterised by using a mix of ivory, wood and glass, Troger worked for patrons including Maximillian III and Joseph, Prince Elector of Bavaria.



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  • Allegorical Group with Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI and Prince Eugene of Savoy. Southern Italian, Sicily, circa 1720.
    Estimate £18,000–25,000.
    This magnificent group depicts the Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI standing atop an eagle with one foot on a globe, handing Prince Eugene of Savoy a baton, a symbol of military power. The group commemorates Prince Eugene as the leader of the Austrian forces during the War of the Quadruple Alliances waged by the Holy Roman Empire against the Kingdom of Spain (1718–1729).



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  • A George III satinwood, tulipwood and mahogany commode, circa 1770, attributed to Pierre Langlois. Estimate £30,000–50,000.
    Pierre Langlois was one of the most prominent émigré cabinet-makers of the late 18th century. Working from premises in Tottenham Court Road, he made fine furniture notable for its marquetry inlays and interesting choice of timbers. This commode is reputed to have been in the collection of the Earls of Carnarvon at Highclere Castle, famous for its connection to the discovery of Tutankhamun, its extraordinary collection of art and fine furniture and, more recently, for depicting Downton Abbey in the eponymous television programme.



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