Master Silversmiths Shine in Paris

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The springtime auction of Important Silver, Gold Boxes and Objects of Vertu in Paris on 26 April boasts numerous treasures. The sale puts a spotlight on the undisputed masters of silver, from a number of countries and periods, tracing the history of the craft over the centuries. Click ahead to discover a contemporary interpretation of some of the objects in the sale showing how silver can enhance the modern home.

Importante Orfèvrerie Européenne, Boîtes en Or et Objets de vitrine
26 April 2017 | Paris

Master Silversmiths Shine in Paris

  • A remarkable silver clock by Alexis Falize, circa 1860. Estimate €150,000–200,000.
    Trained by the celebrated jeweller Mellerio, Alexis Falize is known for his refined style and complex work with metal. This rare silver clock features a muscular Atlas supporting a celestial globe decorated with constellations and signs of the zodiac. Mounted on a red marble base, the clock contains a mechanical movement that chimes every hour and half-hour.

  • A large silver peacock, probably German, 20th century, Estimate €3,000-4,000; and Mario Buccellati, a large silver cock, circa 1970, Estimate €7,000–10,000.
    Mario Buccellati, a Milanese craftsman well known for his sophisticated creations, was nicknamed the "Prince of Silversmiths" by the writer Gabriele d'Annunzio, a loyal customer. Many of his opulent, Renaissance-inspired pieces achieve the status of art works. These two majestic birds, a silver peacock and a large silver cock, are sure to astonish viewers with the subtlety of their details. A stream of molten silver seems to have captured their trembling feathers and the curve of their bodies in movement.

  • Large coffee pot by Luigi Valadier with the arms of the Princes Chingi, 1777–1778. Estimate €35,000–50,000.
    An Italian silversmith popular with the Papacy, Luigi Valadier is considered one of the greatest Italian silversmiths. This coffee pot rises up from a round foot with chased acanthus leaves. Its body is extremely refined with a plain band engraved with coats of arms running around it. The sinuous spout, attached to the body by the head of a woman, ends in a chimera's head.

  • One of six contemporary pieces by Goudji included in the sale.
    Treading the line between traditional Byzantine and contemporary art, Paris-based Georgian-born artist Goudji creates unique pieces direct from his imagination. A silversmith first and foremost, he works with precious metals, ingeniously combining silver with hardstone. This sale includes six pieces by the artist, including this 1984 jardinière: a clean-lined, sophisticated piece in which the warmth of the inlaid stones sets off the stark reflections of the metal.

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