Christie’s presents ‘At Home with Craftsmanship’ June 1

At Home with Craftsmanship

A pair of Louis XV giltwood fauteuils a la reine by Jean-Baptiste Gourdin, third quarter 18th century. Estimate: £40,000-£60,000. Christie’s image

LONDON – Christie’s has unveiled an auction titled The Collector: Online – At Home with Craftsmanship, presenting centuries of artisan craftsmanship. The sale encompasses European and English furniture, silver, ceramics, gold boxes and works of art ranging from the 17th to the 19th century. The online auction will conclude June 1. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers.  

The 264-lot sale, with estimates ranging from £200–£35,000, includes notable designers and makers John Linnell, Thomas Chippendale, Jean-Baptiste Gourdin, Alfred Beurdeley and William Pitts and Christofle.

Highlights from the European furniture and objects include a pair of Louis XV giltwood fauteuils a la reine (above) by Jean-Baptiste Gourdin, third quarter 18th century. The elegant and sinuous design of these superb fauteuils, consisting of a delicate interaction of scrolls, curves and lines, is characteristic of Jean- Baptiste Gourdin’s most accomplished work executed during the early years of his career, circa 1748-60 and a superb example of the very best seat furniture masterminded in France in the 18th century (est. £40.000-60,000).

Among the fine examples of English furniture is a George III mahogany serpentine dressing-commode (below). This piece relates closely to a design from the early 1760s by the cabinetmaker William Gomm (circa 1697-1780) of Clerkenwell (est. £30,000-50,000).

At Home with Craftsmanship

A George III mahogany serpentine dressing-commode attributed to William Gomm, circa 1765. Estimate: £30,000-£50,000. Christie’s image

A pair of George III stone-painted, walnut hall chairs, circa 1760. From the mind of an iconic designer, these distinctive hall chairs are after a famous design by Thomas Chippendale (1718-1779), considered by many to be Britain’s greatest cabinetmaker. His reputation spread far beyond the shores of his homeland, and his genius is reflected in the number of beautifully designed and executed pieces of furniture that survive today (est. £4,000-6,000).

A matched pair of patinated bronze figures of Roman gladiators offered in the auction are by Emile Coriolan Hippolyte Guillemin (French,1841-1907). The figures date to 1870 and were inspired by Jean-Léon Gérôme’s painting Ave Caesar. The bronzes art titled Morituri te salutant (Hail Caesar! We Who Are About to Die Salute You) depicts similarly posed gladiators saluting Emperor Vitellius (est. £12,000–£18,000).

At Home with Craftsmanship

Emile Coriolan Hippolyte Guillemin (French, 1841-1907), ‘Retiarius and Murmillo, Roman gladiators,’ bronze, dated 1883. Estimate: £12,000-£18,000. Christie’s image

Two enameled gold snuffboxes are offered in the sale. One is a Swiss enameled gold snuffbox made in Geneva, circa 1820. Although unmarked, this beautiful snuffbox is an exceptional example of the high quality of objects produced by the most eminent craftsmen working in Geneva at this time. Goldsmiths produced a variety of magnificent objects of vertu from small etuis to more elaborately decorated boxes such as this (est. £6,000-8,000).

At Home with Craftsmanship

A Swiss enameled gold snuffbox, Geneva, circa 1820, 3¾in wide. Estimate: £6,000-£8,000. Christie’s image

The second snuffbox is paste-set and enameled gold, made by goldsmith Carl Martin Weishaupt & Söhne of Hanau, Germany, circa 1880 (est. £6,000-8,000).

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