Christie’s, King Street, London – 25 November 2014

The John Shearer Collection of Important Meissen, Vincennes and Sèvres, Christie’s, King Street, London SW1, Tuesday, 25 November 2014, 10:30am

John Shearer CHRISTIE'S IMAGES LTD. 2014

John Shearer
CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2014

John Shearer (1924–2010) began collecting in the late 1960s and was helped by one of the most well-respected dealers of the time ‘Bob’ Williams (1923-2014). As this sale shows it must have been a very exciting journey with the emphasis on quality, condition and provenance.

Lot 37 A MEISSEN SLOP-BOWL CIRCA 1723-24 Painted on one side with merchants and their wares in a palace interior overlooking the sea with a ship on the water beyond, the other with a procession of Turkish figures, soldiers, horses and a caparisoned elephant on the shore and a dressed barge beyond with blackamoors aboard, within oval gilt scroll-edged cartouches with Böttger-lustre panels issuing shadowed iron-red scrolls, the interior painted possibly by J.E. Stadler with an Oriental holding a fan within a similar cartouche below a gilt band border (minor chip to footrim) 6 5/8 in. (16.8 cm.) diam. Estimate 15,000 - 20,000 British pounds  CHRISTIE'S IMAGES LTD. 2014

Lot 37
A MEISSEN SLOP-BOWL
CIRCA 1723-24
Painted on one side with merchants and their wares in a palace interior overlooking the sea with a ship on the water beyond, the other with a procession of Turkish figures, soldiers, horses and a caparisoned elephant on the shore and a dressed barge beyond with blackamoors aboard, within oval gilt scroll-edged cartouches with Böttger-lustre panels issuing shadowed iron-red scrolls, the interior painted possibly by J.E. Stadler with an Oriental holding a fan within a similar cartouche below a gilt band border (minor chip to footrim)
6 5/8 in. (16.8 cm.) diam.
Estimate 15,000 – 20,000 British pounds
CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2014

Many of the pieces in the collection reflect Shearer’s other interests and passions such as his love of seafaring which is seen in the decoration of some of his Meissen. Similarly various Sèvres pieces show he was also interested in ornithology.

Lot 3 A VINCENNES BALUSTER POT AND A COVER (POT 'A BOUILLON' OR 'MARMITE') CIRCA 1746-49, THE CONTEMPORARY COVER POSSIBLY MATCHED Painted in the Meissen style, one side with boats on a river beside a tower, the other with Turkish and European figures in conversation beside a river, supported on three paw feet (very minor wear to enamels) 12.7 cm. (5 in.) high Estimate 50,000 - 80,000 British pounds  CHRISTIE'S IMAGES LTD. 2014

Lot 3
A VINCENNES BALUSTER POT AND A COVER (POT ‘A BOUILLON’ OR ‘MARMITE’)
CIRCA 1746-49, THE CONTEMPORARY COVER POSSIBLY MATCHED
Painted in the Meissen style, one side with boats on a river beside a tower, the other with Turkish and European figures in conversation beside a river, supported on three paw feet (very minor wear to enamels)
12.7 cm. (5 in.) high
Estimate 50,000 – 80,000 British pounds
CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2014

The decoration of very early pieces of Vincennes reflected the style used in Meissen as can be seen in the rare Vincennes pot ‘a bouillon’ circa 1746-49. The Vincennes factory, later Sèvres, very quickly developed its own style which is well represented in the sale and will be familiar to many.

Lot 31  A SEVRES BLEU CELESTE-GROUND SOUP-PLATE FROM THE CATHERINE THE GREAT SERVICE 1778, BLUE INTERLACED L MARK ENCLOSING DATE LETTERS AA, IRON-RED GILDER'S MARK 2000 FOR HENRY-FRANCOIS VINCENT, THE REVERSE APPLIED WITH VARIOUS PRINTED AND SCRIPT COLLECTION AND EXHIBITION LABELS The centre with a crowned floral and gilt 'EII' cypher for Catherine II, Empress of Russia, enclosed by ribbon-tied branches of laurel and myrtle within a circular gilt-framed medallion, the bleu céleste-ground border enriched in gilding with scrolling foliage and reserved with brown-ground oval panels printed and painted en grisaille with mythological vignettes alternating with cameo heads within floral borders with gilt husks, within a gilt lined rim (small restored regilt flat rim chip to front at 7.30 o'clock and reverse at 12 o'clock) 26.6 cm. (10½ in.) diam. Estimate 70,000 - 100,000 British pounds  CHRISTIE'S IMAGES LTD. 2014

Lot 31
A SEVRES BLEU CELESTE-GROUND SOUP-PLATE FROM THE CATHERINE THE GREAT SERVICE
1778, BLUE INTERLACED L MARK ENCLOSING DATE LETTERS AA, IRON-RED GILDER’S MARK 2000 FOR HENRY-FRANCOIS VINCENT, THE REVERSE APPLIED WITH VARIOUS PRINTED AND SCRIPT COLLECTION AND EXHIBITION LABELS
The centre with a crowned floral and gilt ‘EII’ cypher for Catherine II, Empress of Russia, enclosed by ribbon-tied branches of laurel and myrtle within a circular gilt-framed medallion, the bleu céleste-ground border enriched in gilding with scrolling foliage and reserved with brown-ground oval panels printed and painted en grisaille with mythological vignettes alternating with cameo heads within floral borders with gilt husks, within a gilt lined rim (small restored regilt flat rim chip to front at 7.30 o’clock and reverse at 12 o’clock)
26.6 cm. (10½ in.) diam.
Estimate 70,000 – 100,000 British pounds
CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2014

 

PUBLIC VIEWING:

Friday 21 November: 12pm – 5pm

Saturday 22 November: 12pm – 5pm

Sunday 23 November: 12pm – 5pm

Monday 24 November: 9am – 4.30pm

Tuesday 25 November: 9am – 10:30am

Lot 40 A MEISSEN CHINOISERIE SCENT-FLASK AND COVER CIRCA 1730, GREY ENAMEL CLSS MARK AND INDISTINCT LOWER CASE SCRIPT MARK Of flattened axe-head form, each side painted possibly by C.F. Herold with Oriental figures at various pursuits within axe-head shaped gilt cartouches flanked by single figures on Böttger-lustre and gilt scroll supports, the sides with iron-red figural oval medallions enclosed by iron-red and purple foliage with swag and husk ornament, the oval cover with a carnation finial and gilt scroll border (slight wear to gilding, small chips to leaves of finial) 6¼ in. (15.9 cm.) high Estimate 40,000 - 60,000 British pounds  CHRISTIE'S IMAGES LTD. 2014

Lot 40
A MEISSEN CHINOISERIE SCENT-FLASK AND COVER
CIRCA 1730, GREY ENAMEL CLSS MARK AND INDISTINCT LOWER CASE SCRIPT MARK
Of flattened axe-head form, each side painted possibly by C.F. Herold with Oriental figures at various pursuits within axe-head shaped gilt cartouches flanked by single figures on Böttger-lustre and gilt scroll supports, the sides with iron-red figural oval medallions enclosed by iron-red and purple foliage with swag and husk ornament, the oval cover with a carnation finial and gilt scroll border (slight wear to gilding, small chips to leaves of finial)
6¼ in. (15.9 cm.) high
Estimate 40,000 – 60,000 British pounds
CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2014

http://www.christies.com

A GENTLE REMINDER – In Pursuit of the Exquisite: Royal Sèvres from Versailles to Harewood

A GENTLE REMINDER – In Pursuit of the Exquisite: Royal Sèvres from Versailles to Harewood, Harewood House, until November 2nd, 2014

Sevres Exhibition 2014, Cinnamon Drawing Room  credit: Jonathan Turner and Harewood House Trust

Sevres Exhibition 2014, Cinnamon Drawing Room
credit: Jonathan Turner and Harewood House Trust

It would be very wrong of me not to remind you that there is just a month to go to see this fabulous exhibition of the collection of Sèvres that was acquired by the first Earl of Harwood’s eldest son Edward, Viscount Lascelles (“Beau” Lascelles) in the period after the French Revolution.

Garniture of three Flower Pots credit: Harewood House Trust

Garniture of three Flower Pots
credit: Harewood House Trust

The Sèvres factory, which was first started at Vincennes, was a royal factory and some of the pieces on view have royal provenances. It really is worth going along to Harewood House to see both the exhibition and the glorious interiors of the house and as I said I would in my original blog I am going back again within the next month.

Sevres mark and painter's mark credit: Harewood House Trust

Sevres mark and painter’s mark
credit: Harewood House Trust

Please see my original blog published on 16th June 2014

 

Sevres Exhibition 2014, Cinnamon Drawing Room  credit: Jonathan Turner and Harewood House Trust

Sevres Exhibition 2014, Cinnamon Drawing Room
credit: Jonathan Turner and Harewood House Trust

harewood.org

Sèvres at Harewood House

In Pursuit of the Exquisite: Royal Sèvres from Versailles to Harewood, Harewood House, until November 2nd, 2014

Spring - Harewood House © Simon Warner and Harewood House Trust

Spring – Harewood House
© Simon Warner and Harewood House Trust

To mark the Grand Départ of the Tour de France coming to Yorkshire this year and the ceremonial start being at Harewood House, the House reveals its stunning Sèvres porcelain in a special exhibition that forms part of the Yorkshire Festival 2014. The first time an arts festival has ever preceded a Tour de France.

Pair of Flower pots © Jonathan Turner and Harewood House Trust

Pair of Flower pots
© Jonathan Turner and Harewood House Trust

It is certainly a great exhibition of Sèvres and what makes it especially so is the fact that it was collected by “Beau” Lascelles (Edward Viscount Lascelles) who was the first Earl of Harewood’s eldest son. The vogue for things French in England had been fueled by the French Revolution and the subsequent dispersal of Royal and other aristocratic collections by the revolutionary government. Lascelles’s contemporaries such as the Prince Regent and the Marquess of Hertford were also buying Sèvres and other French objects at this time.

It was the connection with the French kings and their families that made Sèvres so desirable. The factory had been established by 1740 and received the patronage of both Madame de Pompadour and King Louis XV, and in 1759 the latter took the factory over (it has been owned by the State ever since). Both Louis XV and Louis XVI were active patrons and each year held a sale of Sèvres in their private apartments to those courtiers privileged enough to be invited.

Sevres Exhibition 2014. Flower vases and porcelain flower heads (© John Kirkwood)

Sevres Exhibition 2014.
Flower vases and porcelain flower heads
(© John Kirkwood)

The link between Louis XV and Madame de Pompadour’s great interest in Sèvres is highlighted by a loan display of porcelain flower heads similar to ones that they purchased to adorn their residences to the tune of over a million pounds. It is reported that perfume was sprinkled on the porcelain flowers to evoke the natural smell of flowers in winter months.

Sevres Exhibition 2014, Yellow Drawing Room  ( © Jonathan Turner and Harewood House Trust)

Sevres Exhibition 2014, Yellow Drawing Room
( © Jonathan Turner and Harewood House Trust)

Talk of flowers makes the perfect place to start talking about the displays for in the Yellow Drawing Room there is a plethora of Sèvres flower vases of differing shapes and they are being delightfully used for the purpose intended which is to hold plants and flowers as these images show.

© Harewood House Trust

© Harewood House Trust

In the Cinnamon Drawing Room you find a group of useful wares which includes this two-handled covered cup and saucer (c1770) which was used for a variety of milk drinks.

© Harewood House Trust

© Harewood House Trust

The covered bowl and plateau was used to serve soup during the lengthy toilette that was part of the morning ritual and during which sustenance was needed.

Tea Service © Harewood House Trust

© Harewood House Trust

Interestingly this tea set, long thought to have been a gift to Marie Antoinette from the City of Paris, but in fact now, as the catalogue tells us, has been identified in a 1794 Revolutionary inventory of the Château de Saint-Cloud and was probably either in the king or queen’s rooms there.

Pair of vases  © Harewood House Trust

© Harewood House Trust

While there are two pieces from the sublime Louis XVI service, especially the lemon-juice pot, cover and stand I illustrate a pair of vases which are a model introduced in 1775 to mark Louis XVI’s coronation. They, with a central vase (also celebrating the coronation), were sold to the king’s aunt Madame Adelaide in 1777.

Opening of Sevres Exhibition 2014, Lord Harewood, Kristin Scott Thomas and Dame Rosalind Savill  © Sam Atkins and Harewood House Trust

Opening of Sevres Exhibition 2014, Lord Harewood, Kristin Scott Thomas and Dame Rosalind Savill
© Sam Atkins and Harewood House Trust

Progressing through the Gallery where there are Sevres ormolu-mounted vases and biscuit figures from the Great Men of France series you reach the Dining Room. Here the table is set with various pieces from a dessert service, together with some English Derby factory pieces in the Sèvres style. Running down the middle of the table is a group of biscuit figures which were first designed for the factory in 1773 and as originally intended are shown as a centerpiece for the table. This particular group was made by Sèvres in 1922 as a wedding gift from the French Government to the Princess Royal and the future 6th Earl of Harewood.

Sevres Exhibition 2014, Music Room  (© Jonathan Turner and Harewood House Trust )

Sevres Exhibition 2014, Music Room
(© Jonathan Turner and Harewood House Trust)

Finally in the Music Room are three vases which were originally part of the Harewood collection and were part of a group sold off to help pay estate duties in 1965 (they have been loaned back for this exhibition). Flanking them are two flower vases (the pair to each is in the Royal collection but somehow they were mixed up) which originally belonged to Madame du Barry. Don’t forget to take a close look at the remarkable Musical clock decorated with Sèvres plaques.

Musical Clock © Harewood House Trust

Musical Clock
© Harewood House Trust

I have long been an admirer of Sèvres porcelain and this collection is part of an important chapter in English collecting and a really most exciting celebration of a remarkable porcelain factory. Harewood is full of marvellous Chippendale furniture, great pictures by renowned artists and Adam decoration but I suggest to you that the Sèvres wins hands down because it will be the one thing that many of you will focus on and enjoy its exquisite beauty close up. Possibly I am prejudiced but that’s the way I see it and I am most certainly going back again before this memorable exhibition closes.

I wish to express my thanks to Anna Dewsnap, Alexis Guntrip and Pauline Chandler at Harewood for their kindness and help and of course especially Dame Rosalind Savill CBE for her help.

 

harewood.org