A Louis XV Ormolu clock mounted with a Meissen Commedia dell'arte family, estimated at £15,000-25,000 at Christie’s.

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Rossi, a noted connoisseur who had a reputation for handling many highly prestigious items, was born in Turin to a family of cabinet makers at the outbreak of the First World War.

He became a dealer and collector, working with his sister Maria Luisa Rossi (1919-2017) from 1944. Together they leased the Palazzo of the Marchese Carrassi del Villar on Piazza San Carlo in Turin to run the business.

Over the years they sold works to leading museums and collectors, and worked with other dealers such as Mallet, Bernheimer and Pietro Accorsi. They also compiled a substantial personal collection.

Giuseppe Rossi

Giuseppe Rossi, a famous Italian dealer who died in 1989. Works from his collection are now being offered at Christie’s.

The collection at Christie’s features Italian and French furniture, ormolu-mounted Chinese and European porcelain, Old Master paintings and drawings, silver, clocks, and French, German, Italian and Chinese ceramics.

It has come to auction following Maria Luisa’s death three years ago at the age of 98. 

Maria Luisa Rossi

Maria Luisa Rossi worked with her brother Giuseppe from 1944 onwards. Items from the Rossi collection have come to Christie’s following her death in 2017.

A total of 148 lots will be offered in an online-only sale that runs until October 15. Estimates range from £500 to £30,000 and the sale is expected to realise in the region of £500,000.

Christie’s have billed the collection as “charting the evolution of European style, taste and design during the 18th century from the Baroque to neoclassicism”.

The sale comes a decade after Sotheby’s dispersed 1300 lots from the Rossi collection in a three-day sale in London in 1999 that included items formerly owned by Italy's exiled king, Umberto II.

The event was not without controversy after an Italian prosecutor launched a review into the export licences of some of the items although this did not appear to dampen demand, however, with the auction raising a total of £21.1m including premium.

A Christie’s spokesperson said: “Italian export licenses were obtained for all relevant lots included in this sale prior to shipping. The licenses were obtained from a single Belle Arti office and were under consideration for more than a year from the date of application with all the pieces issued with an export license being physically inspected by officials before licenses were granted.”

Proceeds from the Christie’s auction will go to support the work of the Scuola per Artigiani Restauratori, Turin, a school specialising in conservation and restoration which Miss Rossi co-founded in 1994.