An Exquisite Marble Sculpture by Antonio Canova and Other Treasures

Antonio Canova, The Infant St John the Baptist, presumed to have been conceived as a portrait of Napoleon II, Roi de Rome
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Displaying a wonderful mix of furniture and decorative art, augmented by Royal and historic provenance, Sotheby's annual Treasures sale will demonstrate extraordinary craftmanship alongside a rich diversity in style and age, constituting the very pinnacle of each collecting category. Click above to discover highlights of the sale, including an exquisite marble sculpture of the Infant St John the baptist by Antonio Canova, thought to be a lost portrait of Napoleon's only son, the Roi de Rome.

An Exquisite Marble Sculpture by Antonio Canova and Other Treasures

  • Jehan Cremsdorff, Paris
    A Highly Important and Magnificent Gold, Enamel and Diamond-Set Verge Watch, circa 1650.
    Estimate £700,000–1,000,000
    Likely commissioned by a Royal or Aristocratic patron, this exceedingly high-quality watch is amongst the most important examples known, with no other from the 17th century of this caliber appearing on the public market in 60 years. It showcases a masterful combination of watchmaker, goldsmith, jeweller, and enameller.
  • Christopher Schissler
    A gilt-brass astronomical compendium, German, dated 1556.
    Estimate £120,000–180,000
    Christopher Schissler was the outstanding Renaissance instrument maker whose clients included Emperor Rudolph II, Augustus Elector of Saxony and the Dukes of Bavaria. Today Schissler's instruments can be found in major collections and museums including the Museo Galileo in Florence; Science Museum, London; Victoria & Albert Museum, London and the Museum of the History of Science, Oxford.
  • Antonio Canova (1757-1822), Italian, Rome, 1821-1822
    The Infant St John the Baptist, presumed to have been conceived as a portrait of Napoleon II, Roi de Rome
    Estimate £600,000–800,000
    The Infant St John is one of the last works by Antonio Canova and was made for one of the greatest British patrons of the age, Alexander Baring, 1st Baron Ashburton. The tantalising possibility that it could represent a lost portrait of Napoleon's only son, the Roi de Rome, adds to the mythology of the work, whilst its official title places it within a corpus of major religious groups executed by the sculptor towards the end of his life.
  • A Flemish ebony cabinet (Kunstkast) with painted panels after Veronese and Fetti, Antwerp circa 1650
    Estimate £200,000–300,000
    This cabinet is a unique and precious record of three historical collections, that of D'Aarschoft, the Gonzaga and George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham. One of the most important examples of a Flemish painted cabinet ever recorded, it is not only practical for storing jewels and other luxurious personal effects in a collector’s studiolo, but also as a work of art in its own right, serving as a personal memento and a piece of furniture with a ‘miniature’ collection of important paintings.
  • A Louis XV gilt-bronze, bronze and vernis martin musical rhinoceros table clock
    Estimate £200,000–400,000
    Ever since Albrecht Dürer published a woodcut depicting a rhinoceros, there was a growing interest in exoticism and in particular, the figure of the rhinoceros. It was a curiosity heightened with the arrival in Paris in 1749 of a real rhinoceros named Clara, who for 17 years toured many central European cities, visited Louis XV at the Royal Menagerie at Versailles and provided scientists with an accurate model of the species.
  • Attributed to Cosimo Castrucci (active 1576-1602), Bohemian, Prague, 1590-1619
    Pietre Dure Panel with a Mountainside Town with a Harbour
    Estimate £150,000–200,000
    The Castrucci was a family of Florentine goldsmiths and pietre dure artists active mostly at the court of the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph II in Prague between the late 16th and the first half of the 17th centuries. These panels are an extraordinary example of the most distinctive traits of the Castrucci: the goldsmith-like skill in the combination of the different pietre dure and the unique creativity of the composition and of the use of colours.
  • A set of six Italian giltwood and polychrome painted armchairs, Genoa circa 1750
    Estimate £50,000–80,000
    Formerly in the Milan interior of the home of the Fossati-Bellani family, which was one of the first projects by the acclaimed Genoese born architect, interior designer and production designer, Renzo Mongiardino, these beautifully carved chairs are distinctive examples of the Ligurian settecento production, with a design indebted to the Louis XV style in vogue in neighbouring France, with their structure based on the French fauteuils à la reine.
  • A pair of Kakiemon models of Karako (Chinese Boys) seated on Go Boards with french gilt-bronze mounts the porcelain, Edo period (late 17th century), the gilt-bronze mounts, first half 18th century.
    Estimate £250,000–350,000
    These extraordinary Japanese porcelain figures, exotically mounted with French bronze, are a rich testament to the cross-cultural global encounters of the early 18th century and underline the fascination with which objects from the Far East were received in Europe. Accordingly, their known previous owners – the Linskys and Sakamoto Gorō – epitomise the finest taste and collecting eye, from both a Western and Asian perspective.
  • An Italian gilt-bronze mounted carved malachite model of the Vendôme Column circa 1830, attributed to Francesco Sibilio, Rome.
    Estimate £100,000–150,000
    This extraordinary column, a model to 1/40 scale of the Colonne de la Grande Armée erected in the Place Vendôme, replicates its evocative bronze reliefs with minute carving in malachite, an exceptionally difficult material to work. Malachite’s intrinsic association to Russia and the Demidoff family, together with Anatole Demidoff’s fascination with Napoléon, gives us a fascinating context that positions this column at the crossroads of an international political and collecting elite.
  • A unique set of four Arts & Crafts silver and enamel graduated tazzas, Charles Robert Ashbee of The Guild of Handicraft Ltd., London, 1900.
    Estimate £80,000–120,000
    Ashbee alongside Charles Voysey, William Morris, Walter Crane and Arthur Mackmurdo, was a key figure and influencer of the Arts and Crafts movement. In 1900 Ashbee and Voysey both exhibited at the Arts & Crafts Exhibition at the Leeds City Art Gallery and it is probable that it was around this time that Ashbee first encountered Arthur and Helen Briggs who then began commissioning his work. Objects of this scale bearing Ashbee's mark are extremely rare.
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