Par Excellence: French Treasures of Distinction

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Launch Slideshow

The upcoming Excellence Française will showcase exceptional pieces that have been selected for their rarity, aesthetic qualities and provenance. Among the star lots, an impressive cartel clock by Charles Cressent kept in a private Parisian collection for over 60 years, and a Louis XVI gilt-bronze mounted mahogany secrétaire, one of the finest examples of its kind. Click through to see highlights from the sale. 

Excellence Française
28 November | Paris

Par Excellence: French Treasures of Distinction

  • Exceptional French silver-plated gueridon, François Levrat, Paris, circa 1820.
    Estimate: €30,000–50,000.
    Only another example of early 19th century French silver plate piece of furniture is recorded today. François Levrat was one of the first goldsmiths in France to produce metal items plated with silver, gold and platinum, which quality equalled that of Sheffield. This impressive gueridon is the unique piece of furniture known by Levrat.



     



    Excellence Française
    28 November | Paris

  • A rare set of four large Belgian silver toilet boxes, Bertholet Labeen de Lambermont, Liège, 1693.
    Estimate: €200,000–350,000.
    Never before seen on the market, this treasure of Belgian silver was exhibited in the 1905 Liège Universal Exhibition and again in 1930, during the celebrations for the Centenary of the Independence of Belgium. Such embossing with large foliage and flowers on a matted ground is a landmark of Liège silversmith during the reign of Prince-Bishop Jean-Louis d'Elderen (1688-1694), of which Berthelot Labeen of Lambermont is one of the most iconic goldsmiths. In the same Belgian family since at least 1905, this exceptional set of toilet boxes was commissioned by Charles Antoine de Salms, the son of Antoine de Salms, the tax receiver for the Cathedral and States of Liège.



     



    Excellence Française
    28 November | Paris

  • A German parcel-gilt silver model of a nef with enamelled figures, Matthaus Bai (Bayr), Augsburg, 1590-1595.
    Estimate: €30,000–40,000.
    The creative ability of the Renaissance German goldsmiths reached its peak in Nuremberg and Augsburg, during the second half of the 16th century. Drinking cups in the form of naves, with figures of sailors in action, are typical examples of such skilfully-made silver pieces commissioned by the European elite. The particularly well preserved shimmering of the sailors' clothing enamelled in polychrome is a rare feature that adds to the preciousness of this nef. 



     



    Excellence Française
    28 November | Paris

  • Circle of Germain Pilon (circa 1525-1590), French circa 1560, Seated Young Girl With a Dish and Pear, polychrome terracotta.
    Estimate: €60,000–80,000.
    Only a few rare examples of French 16th century busts of children in polychrome terracotta are known. Although no other comparable full length terracotta figures seem to have survived, the existence of such works is mentioned in contemporary documents such as the posthumous inventory of Pilon's studio drawn up in 1590.



     



    Excellence Française
    28 November | Paris

  • French, circa 1720, bronze, Leda and the Swan.
    Estimate: €60,000–100,000.
    This Leda and the Swan group is the only known casting of the model. Its composition is comparable to Etienne Delaune's engraving after Michaelangelo's lost painting of Leda and the Swan, once mentioned in France in François I's collections. The remarkable quality of the casting, superb chasing and the rarely depicted and eminently sensual subject make this bronze an exceptional rediscovery.



     



    Excellence Française
    28 November | Paris

  • René Frémin (1672–1744), Flora, white marble.
    Estimate: €100,000–150,000.
    Frémin's Flora, intended to decorate the Cascade Champêtre in the Royal Park at Marly, is considered his magnum opus (Louvre Museum, inv. no. RF 275). Our marble of the model is Frémin's signature work, showcasing the phenomenal quality of his sculpting: delicate folds of drapery cling to her curves, the finely detailed flowers in her crown and garland are meticulously rendered, and a serene smile lights up her face with youthful merriment.



     



    Excellence Française
    28 November | Paris

  • Highly important gilt-bronze mounted brown tortoiseshell, brass and ebony veneered cabinet, Régence, attributed to André-Charles Boulle and his sons.
    Estimate: €500,000–800,000.
    This impressive piece is one of the set of only four recorded in existence. Two have remained in the Palace of Versailles since the French Revolution, and the other is in a private American collection.



     



    Excellence Française
    28 November | Paris

  • Large Coupe de Pise called Vase Dulley, Sèvres porcelain.
    Circa 1853–1854.
    Estimate: €60,000–100,000.
    This very large porcelain cup that was previously housed at Dudley House in London, has been documented since its fabrication and purchase. The painted porcelain and gilded decoration is of exceptional quality. 



     



    Excellence Française
    28 November | Paris

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