Doyle’s English & Continental Week sales had bidders buzzing

George III honey skep on stand by silversmith Paul Storr, $37,800

George III honey skep on stand by silversmith Paul Storr, $37,800

NEW YORK – English & Continental Week at Doyle topped $1.8 million as bidders from around the world competed during two days of sales on May 24 and 25.

Showcased in the two consecutive sales was a broad selection of elegant furniture and decorative arts, Old Master and 19th-century paintings and drawings and a dazzling selection of silver by prominent English and Continental silversmiths. More than 600 lots were auctioned representing prominent estates and distinguished collections from the New York area and other regions of the country.

 Pair of Italian micromosaic panels, $75,600


Pair of Italian micromosaic panels, $75,600

Highlighting the decorative arts offerings was a pair of Italian 19th-century micromosaic panels of Bacchus and a Bacchante, rendered in the manner of Giacomo Raffaelli, which more than tripled the estimate of $15,000-$25,000 to realize $75,600. The creation of images in micromosaic was long a tradition of Roman craftsmen whose work in ancient times adorned buildings across the Empire, and in the 16th century saw a revival with the decoration of St. Peter’s Basilica. Micromosaic panels such as these were often purchased by aristocrats enjoying the European Grand Tour.

Flemish School portrait of a soldier, $81,900

Flemish School portrait of a soldier, $81,900

Leading the Old Master Paintings was a 15th- or 16th-century Flemish school portrait of a soldier that soared above its $3,000-$5,000 estimate on the strength of international competition to achieve a stunning $81,900. The work was once thought to be a portrait of the Spanish General Gonzalo de Cordova, and it bore a plaque to that effect. The portrait has a distinguished provenance, having descended in the collection of the Earls of Amherst.

Highlighting the silver offerings was a George III honey skep on stand by London silversmith Paul Storr that doubled its $10,000-$20,000 estimate to earn an exceptional $37,800. Dated 1799 and measuring slightly more than four inches in height, the clever piece was designed as a traditional beehive, which, when lifted, revealed a glass bowl for honey.

 

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