Pietra Dure cabinet
The 17th century Italian pietra dure cabinet bought by the J Paul Getty Musem for €2.1m (£1.87m) at Sotheby’s in Paris on September 20.

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Making a big splash with their early season opener, the saleroom chalked up a total of €13.3m (including buyer’s premium) for their 133-lot evening sale of the Robert Balkany collection on September 20.

Robert Zellinger de Balkany, a Hungarian-born entrepreneur and polo-player who died last year, accumulated some spectacular works at his Paris home, the Hôtel de Feuquières in the rue de Varenne.

Topping the bill in terms of grandeur and price was the early 17th century Italian ebony and pietre dure cabinet which was made in Rome around 1620. It fetched the top price of the evening when it was hammered down at €2.1m (£1.87m), or €2.5m (£2.23m) including premium.

The three-tier cabinet measures 5ft 10in (1.8m) high on a 2ft 9in (84cm) stand, and is known as the Borghese-Windsor cabinet after two previous owners: Pope Paul V Borghese (1605-21) and George IV, who acquired it in 1827 to display in Windsor Castle. Robert de Balkany’s father Aladar purchased it in 1959 on the advice of his son.

Three further sessions of the Balkany collection will be offered in the same rooms on September 28- 29.