Size was certainly a feature of Christie’s South Kensington (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) mammoth gathering of furniture and works of art held on June 12, but so was variety.
The 631 lots incorporated a mix of English and Continental furniture and included sections devoted to Anglo-Indian and colonial furnishings, light fittings, Grand Tour objects and a wide mix of sculpture and decorative objets that featured anything from tea caddies and white marble statuary to a Black Forest canine hall stand.
The event topped the million mark at £1,237,720, with selling rates of 68 per cent by lot, and for the auctioneers, a more encouraging 81 per cent by value.
The biggest single contribution to the total came from a French ormolu-mounted cartonnier bonheur du jour in kingwood parquetry and rosewood. Inspired by an 18th century model of Louis XVI’s reign, but very obviously a 19th century interpretation, the piece evidently had quality and was a good commercial size at 3ft (1.17m) wide.
Although the estimate was modestly couched at £3000-5000, it left that far behind when the table sold for no less than £24,500.
There was some speculation that the piece was by a known 19th century ébéniste. Christie’s Philip Duckworth said last week he had looked and had not been able to find a stamp on it but that it was certainly “of the quality that could be”.
Antiques Trade Gazette is the weekly bible of the fine art and antiques industry. Read articles like this every week in the Antiques Trade Gazette or ATG app. Click here to subscribe today.
Back to top