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From Roentgen to Fabergé: A European private collection to be offered at Christie's London
This collection was formed over more than three decades and showcases the sophisticated focused taste of a true collector. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2015.

LONDON.- Christie’s will offer From Roentgen to Fabergé: A European Private Collection in London on 20 May 2015. The property of a connoisseur and aesthete, this collection was formed over more than three decades and showcases the sophisticated focused taste of a true collector. Highlights include furniture by the acclaimed Roentgen dynasty and treasures by Fabergé, jewelers to the Russian Imperial Court. Another important component at the core of the collection is silver, ranging from important 17th century figures from Augsburg to a French silver-gilt table service and a suite of Russian silver table cutlery also by Fabergé. Comprising 200 lots in total, each item was acquired specifically for its history, quality or craftsmanship, evoking a golden age of regal and aristocratic patronage and artistic achievement. The broad array of works of art, decorative objects and furnishings featured will appeal to both collectors and decorators alike, with estimates ranging from £500 to £100,000.

Abraham and David Roentgen, the celebrated German cabinet-makers from Neuwied, were amongst the craftsmen that this collector admired the most. David Roentgen’s elegant neoclassical furniture was renowned throughout Europe for its beautiful mahogany veneers, pure lines and technical innovation; attracting clientele including Louis XVI, Marie-Antoinette and Catherine the Great. The sale presents several superb pieces created by Roentgen, including examples executed in his ‘à la Mosaïque’ or illusionistic marquetry, such as the exceptionally rare table inlaid with a portrait medallion of Landgraf Friedrich II von Hessen-Kassel (estimate: £40,000-60,000). Other neoclassical items were executed by Roentgen in beautiful acajou moucheté and embellished with gilt-bronze mounts, including a superb mantel clock, circa 1785, with movement by Peter Kinzing, which was formerly in the collection of the celebrated fashion designer, Karl Lagerfeld (estimate: £30,000-50,000) and a rare chaise, circa 1785, richly carved with entwined serpents (estimate: £20,000 - 30,000).

Another favoured area of collecting was the precious, jewel-like works of art created in Russia during the final decades of the Romanov monarchy. The collector was especially drawn to the objects created by the famed St. Petersburg gold and silver-smith Carl Fabergé, who worked for most of the Imperial and Royal Courts of Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The sale presents a broad array of treasures, including a delicate ribboned photo-frame, circa 1890, stamped by Michael Perchin, one of Fabergé’s foremost artists (estimate: £8,000-12, 000), a large rock crystal model of an elephant, circa 1900 (estimate: £12,000-18,000), a luxurious silver and silver-gilt table service (estimate:£40,000-60,000).

Superb items of German silver and porcelain, largely dating from the 18th century, were used to great effect for the splendid and generous dinners hosted by the collector. Fine Augsburg silver tureens, figures, candlesticks and boxes were displayed on tables and commodes and their audacious forms and intricate chasing were greatly admired by visitors and connoisseurs alike. A pair of figures by Philipp Küsel, Augsburg, circa 1690, stand out for their three-dimensional, sculptural qualities (estimate: £70,000-100,000). Further highlights include two striking neoclassical tureens, from Catherine the Great’s famed Perm service, marks of Johann Wilhelm Dammann and Sebald Heinrich Blau, Augsburg, 1779-81 (estimates: £20,000-30,000 each).

The quality of the works in this collection is further highlighted by a magnificent pair of Berlin gilt-bronze wall-lights designed by Johann August Nahl (Director of Ornament to the Prussian Court), circa 1745 for the Goldene Gallerie at Schloss Charlottenburg, which are rare examples of the most adventurous and extreme designs to emerge from the German Rokoko (estimate: £50,000-80,000). Another highlight is a Chinese armorial oval serving dish circa 175056, from the Frederick the Great service (£6,000 – 10,000). This service is thought to have been commissioned by the Prussian East India Company as a gift for King Frederick II, who founded the Company in 1750.

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