'Marly Rouge' dessert service
Napoleon Bonaparte's ‘Marly Rouge’ dessert service has sold at an auction at Christie's New York for a record sum.

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The price achieved, at six times the estimated $150,000 and $250,000, sets a new auction record for 19th century porcelain. 

The service, one of 67 dinner and dessert services from the Rockefeller collection, was commissioned by Napoleon in 1809 and taken by the emperor when he went into exile on the Italian island of Elba.

It was later bought by Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, the wife of John D Rockefeller Jr, and subsequently passed to her son Laurance after her death. When he died in 2004, his brother David bought the set from his estate.

The service was sold during part one of the Decorative Arts sale of the David and Peggy Rockefeller collection. The white-glove day sale made a premium-inclusive total of $12.4m.

Peggy and David Rockefeller

Peggy and David Rockefeller. Their collection is being offered at Christie's in New York across seven separate sales (including an online-only event of 650 lots).

The sale of the Rockefeller collection - 1550 lots across seven separate sales (including an online-only event of 650 lots) - is the highest-value single-owner sale, with a running total now at $765.3m. 

It has surpassed both the $443m made by the Yves Saint Laurent sale at Christie's Paris in 2009 and the total of around $480m from the A Alfred Taubman collection that rivals Sotheby’s offered across two selling series in November 2015 and January 2016.

Proceeds from the Rockefeller sales are going to a number of charities chosen by the family.