Art Market Italy: sale of the Bartolozzi collection

 Image courtesy Cambi Genoa.

Image courtesy Cambi Genoa.

GENOA, Italy – On March 12, part of the collection of the famous antique dealers Bartolozzi, active in Florence for four generations, will go up for auction at Cambi in Genoa. More than 150 lots will be offered with estimates ranging from €200-250 for a golden mirror from the 19th century, up to €150,000-180,000 for two round oil paintings by Baroque artist Giovanni Battista Gaulli called Baciccio. Another part of the collection was dispersed at Christie’s in London in October. The total result was £825,875 with sold rates of 51 percent by lot and 54 percent by value.

The gallery dates to 1877, when Guido Bartolozzi opened his antiques shop in an era in which Florence was the capital of the antiquities market. In addition to the historic location at 18 Via Maggio, which was already known for its prestigious antique dealers, Bartolozzi bought the Renaissance Palazzo Michelozzi in 1920, since then home of the family.

Over the decades the gallery’s offer has been among the highest at the national and international level, ranging between various kinds of objects, artworks, furniture and paintings from the 15th to the 19th century. While following the evolution of taste, the gallery has always focused on quality and originality. The gallery has participated in the most important exhibitions of the field, including the Gotha in Parma and the Biennale of Antiquaries of Florence, where Bartolozzi has always participated since the foundation of the fair in 1959. The grandson of the founder of the gallery, also called Guido Bartolozzi, was also vice-president and general secretary of the fair from 1985 to 2001.

Now, after considering the changes of taste and of the art market, the gallery’s heir and current owner, Massimo Bartolozzi, has decided to close the shop on Via Maggio to continue his activity in the prestigious premises of Palazzo Michelozzi, by appointment only. Massimo Bartolozzi intends to cater to collectors who seek objects that are not just for decoration but are exceptional, and he will focus on the high end of the market.

For Cambi it is an honor to offer this sale, also in consideration of the professional and personal relationship that the auction house founders have with Bartolozzi.

“It has been almost 20 years since the day I found myself with Massimo to run an auction,” Matteo Cambi recalls. “At the time I took care of maritime art catalogs for the auction house Rubinacci and he was the auctioneer. I vividly remember how the room was full of participants, the hands that rose simultaneously, the deals that were running fast, and he always managed to lead the sales toward rewarding results. For me he was a teacher, the room could not resist … It is also because of those days spent together that after some time we decided to open Cambi Auction House.”

The sale catalog includes a great variety of objects, from sculpture to cabinetry, to furniture refined with semiprecious stones, to carved and gilded consoles.

Among the most important pieces, in addition to the already mentioned paintings by Baciccio (lot 56), there will be a couple of Louis XVI Maggiolini-style drawers (lot 80, estimate €40,000-50,000), a pair of lacquered and gilt 18th-century Moors (lot 115, estimate €30,000-40,000), a game table set with semiprecious stones scenes (lot 76, estimate €15,000-18,000), a small Empire desk ascribed to Giovanni Socci (lot 62, estimate €15,000-18,000); three wonderful scrolls (lot 116, €4,000-4,500), a Venetian majolica bowl from the 17th century (lot 108, estimate €1,000-1,500), six lacquered and gilt armchairs of Sicilian manufacture from 1830-1840 (lot 60, estimate €15,000-20,000), a French commode by Mathieu Criaerd (1698-1776) lacquered with chinoiseries and with gilt bronzes (lot 90, estimate €30,000-40,000), and two rare swivel stools from the 18th century (lot 100, €2,000-2,500).

Which is Massimo Bartolozzi’s favorite lot? A pair of legs of an ancient refectory table from the 16th century (lot 3, estimate €500-600). “They are original, I have had them for years, and I almost regret selling them.”


ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE


 Image courtesy Cambi Genoa.

Image courtesy Cambi Genoa.

 Image courtesy Cambi Genoa.

Image courtesy Cambi Genoa.

 Image courtesy Cambi Genoa.

Image courtesy Cambi Genoa.

 Image courtesy Cambi Genoa.

Image courtesy Cambi Genoa.

 Image courtesy Cambi Genoa.

Image courtesy Cambi Genoa.