Sevres porcelain, French bronzes stir passions at London auction
LONDON – Roseberys’ auction Sept. 9 produced vigorous bidding in the saleroom, on the telephones and via the Internet. LiveAuctioneers.com provided absentee and Internet live bidding.
The decorative arts and modern design section of the auction was met with broad interest. In particular three French bronzes received fierce bidding. A bronze model of a man and woman titled Carthage by celebrated French sculptor Theodore Riviere attracted interest from British and international collectors. Riviere took inspiration from French romantic literature, often depicting lovers embracing, an example on which (below left) sold to a British collector for £1,968.
French sculptor Albert Carrier-Belleuse proved that the popularity in the market for such classic decorative sculpture was not a one-off as a gilt bronze and ivory figure titled Liseuse (above right) of a woman wearing elaborate dress and reading from an open book also prompted much interest. The bronze sold for £1,599.
Continuing the trend, a further French bronze sculpture by Eugene Delaplanche titled La Musique (below) depicting a semi-nude maiden playing a violin with drapery at her waist completed the hat trick by the French sculptors in the decorative arts section. La Musique sold to a European collector on the Internet for £1,660.
Proving that fine quality is always desirable the works of art section saw success with a stunning pair of 19th century Sèvres ormolu mounted porcelain vases with matching oval comport. Painted with scenes of ladies and swains in pastoral settings, and landscapes to the verso, within raised paste gilded cartouches, the vases are stunning examples of the Sèvres ormolu style. After much interest the vases sold to an Internet bidder for £8,856.
Ormolu design proved popular among furniture buyers also, with an early 20th century French ormolu mounted kidney-shape writing table in the Louis XVI-style captivating bidders. The superstructure was mounted with an oval portrait plaque flanked by trophies of war and laurel leaves. With two bidders competing on the Internet, the buyer was a European collector, securing the table for £5,166.
A further highlight from the antique furniture section turned out to be a pair of Howard & Sons armchairs. Howard and Sons of Berners Street in London was the foremost upholstery maker in the 19th century. Howard and Sons’ expert design has seen their furniture hold their ground and increase in popularity of late despite the difficult current climate in the furniture market. After determined bidding from the Internet, in the room and on the telephone the chairs were sold to a European antiques firm for £6,765.
Roseberys opened the auction with approximately 100 lots of antiquities, the firm’s first offering in this category. One highlight was a Roman life-size carved marble lower leg modeled in the round with realistically rendered musculature, which exceeded its £1,000-£1,500 estimate. The marble limb sold to a European gallery £3,075.
Click here to view the fully illustrated catalog for this sale, complete with prices realized.