A Love Affair with France: The Elizabeth Stafford Collection, Christie’s New York 1st November 2018

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Mimi Stafford in the Dining Room of her New York apartment. © Christie’s Images Limited 2018

I have known of this remarkable collection for nearly two decades and have caught fleeting glimpses of it from time to time in exhibition catalogues and elsewhere, I just wish I could have had the opportunity to meet Mrs Stafford. However, now we have the chance to encounter her and her discerning eye in this sale and some of the more important pictures will appear in specialist sales either just before the 1st November or later in that month.

Claude Lorrain

CLAUDE GELLÉE, CALLED LORRAIN (CHAMPAGNE 1600-1682 ROME landscape with Apollo guarding the herds of Admetus and Mercury stealing them oil on canvas 20 x 27.1/8 in. (50.8 x 68.8 cm.) $700,000 – $1,000,000 Old Masters, October 30 2018 © Christie’s Images Limited 2018

Elizabeth (Mimi) and her husband Frederick collected across a wide spectrum as the 1966-67 exhibition of their collection – “Odyssey of an art collector: unity in diversity -5,000 years of art” – at the Isaac Delgado Museum in New Orleans showed. Indeed in May this year Christie’s sold Brancusi’s La Jeune fille sophistiquée (Nancy Cunard) for US$ 71 million. It had been bought by them from the artist in 1955.

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Mimi Stafford’s Paris apartment. © Christie’s Images Limited 2018

Mimi’s abiding passion was the arts of 18th century France and it was this that formed the background to her daily life, first of all in a Maison Jansen designed apartment in Paris’s Avenue Foch and then later in a New York apartment that had been created for Mr and Mrs Robert R Young by Maison Jansen’s legendary Stéphane Boudin. Both apartments were the perfect backdrop for the paintings, porcelain, furniture and drawings she acquired with an unfailing eye. As her daughter E. Alexandra Stafford says in an interview with Christie’s that “the first questions new friends asked when they entered the apartment was how could she live in such a museum? As they hesitated before sitting down on the silk brocade-covered 18th-century gilded chaise à la Reine, she would answer: ‘No problem!’”

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Mimi Stafford’s Paris apartment. © Christie’s Images Limited 2018

That, of course, is how it should be as such things were made to be used and I am sure that Mimi Stafford would be excited and delighted that things she loved and cherished will be going on to new owners and enriching their lives.

stafford-d

The niche in the Stéphane Boudin-designed New York apartment’s salon, or living room, displayed a selection of the Sèvres bleu céleste that forms the core of the porcelain collection — including an oval bottle cooler from the first service made for Louis XV. © Christie’s Images Limited 2018

 

Étienne Aubry

ÉTIENNE AUBRY (VERSAILLES 1745-1781 PARIS) ‘La Turque’, presumed portrait of Mademoiselle Duthé Oil on canvas 25 3/8 x 32 in. (64.3 x 81.3 cm.) $300,000 – 500,000 Old Masters, October 30 2018 © Christie’s Images Limited 2018

 

LOT 1229

Lot 1229 A LOUIS XV ENAMELLED GOLD CARNET DE BAL MARKED PARIS, 1773, WITH CHARGE MARK OF JULIEN ALATERRE, 1768-1775, AND DECHARGE MARK OF JEAN-BAPTISTE FOUACHE, 1775-1781 Rectangular with beaded borders, decorated with cornfower blue stripes, one side mounted with a miniature of a lady in white gown with gold embroidery, the other side with a locket of woven hair under a gold script monogram, the hinged cover mounted with gold words SOUVENIR D’AMITIE, interior ftted with gold pencil case 3 æ in. (95 mm.) high $4,000–6,000 © Christie’s Images Limited 2018

 

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Mimi Stafford’s Paris apartment © Christie’s Images Limited 2018

 

LOT 1212

1212 JEAN-AUGUSTE-DOMINIQUE INGRES (MONTAUBAN 1780-1867 PARIS) Portrait of Mrs. Jean-Pierre Granger, née Marie-Jeanne-Catherine Delaigle signed and dated in graphite ‘Ingres/ à Rome 1811’ (lower right) graphite 10 x 7æ in. (25.4 x 19 cm.) $200,000–300,000 © Christie’s Images Limited 2018

 

LOT 1963

Lot 1063 A PAIR OF FRENCH ORMOLU-MOUNTED CHINESE PORCELAIN TWO-LIGHT CANDELABRA THE PORCELAIN QIANLONG, THE MOUNTS PROBABLY BY ESCALIER DE CRYSTAL, 19TH CENTURY Each with a blue-glazed Chinese porcelain parrot on a rock work base fanked by coral-form ormolu branches. 9æ in. ( 25 cm.) high (2) $7,000–10,000 © Christie’s Images Limited 2018

 

Pissarro - Neige, soleil couchant, Eragny

CAMILLE PISSARRO (1830-1903) Neige, soleil couchant, Eragny signed and dated ‘C. Pissarro 94’ (lower left) oil on canvas 24 x 32 1/2 in. Painted in 1894 $2,000,000-3,000,000 Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale, November 2018 © Christie’s Images Limited 2018

 

Stafford Paris Apartment

Mimi Stafford’s Paris apartment © Christie’s Images Limited 2018

 

LOT 1041

Lot 1041 JEAN-BAPTISTE CHARPENTIER (PARIS 1728-1806) Portrait of a man, traditionally said to be M. Larchey, son-in-law of the painter Jean-Baptiste Greuze, bust-length oil on panel, oval 7æ x 6Ω in. (19.7 x 16.5 cm.) $8,000–12,000 © Christie’s Images Limited 2018

 

Boudin Panel from New York apartment c1959

A panel from a set of boiserie installed by Stephane Boudin, circa 1959, 900 Fifth Avenue, New York City. © Christie’s Images Limited 2018

 

christies.com

Recalling the 18th Century!

© Alix de Montaigu-Sèvres-Cité de la Céramique

J. Paul Getty’s statement “For technical skill & perfection and for delicacy & taste Sèvres is unsurpassed” is in my view definitely true whether talking about 18th and 19th century pieces or something contemporary such as the items shown by the Sèvres Factory at the recent PAD show in Berkeley Square.

© Alix de Montaigu-Sèvres-Cité de la Céramique

I think that Getty would have been intrigued by the fact that as well as making striking modern designs they were also able, using the traditional methods, to recreate major pieces from the 18th century such as the boat-shaped Vaisseau à Mât.  Only twelve of these were created in the 18th century, of which ten are known to survive today, including one in the Royal Collection. It is therefore a remarkable achievement that the factory has produced this soft paste ‘copy’ of the Buckingham Palace example which was originally owned by the great supporter and patron of the Sèvres Factory Madame de Pompadour.

© Alix de Montaigu-Sèvres-Cité de la Céramique

 

© Alix de Montaigu-Sèvres-Cité de la Céramique

The images reflect both the production and resultant vase – a veritable tour de force!

© Alix de Montaigu-Sèvres-Cité de la Céramique

It can be seen at Thomas Goode in South Audley Street check for details 020 7499 2823; INFO@THOMASGOODE.COM)

 

sevresciteceramique.fr

 

thomasgoode.com

BOOK REVIEW: Gilded Interiors: Parisian Luxury and the Antique

Gilded Interiors: Parisian Luxury and the Antique

Helen Jacobsen

Imprint: Philip Wilson Publishers Ltd
Publisher: Philip Wilson Publishers Ltd

£19.95

ISBN: 9781781300589

 

This book is far more than just a souvenir of the recent seriously good exhibition at The Wallace Collection which focused on their gilt-bronze as it includes even more of the wonderful bronzes d’ameublement that are an important part of The Wallace’s justly famous collections of French eighteenth-century art.

Dr Jacobsen introduces us to the late 18th century Parisian interiors and the taste for the Antique setting the stage for these superbly designed and executed objects.  You will find clocks, firedogs, candelabra, mounted porcelain and even tables – which are then individually discussed in detail. It is beautifully illustrated with a combination of new photography and copies of original designs and proposals for both objects and interiors.  The book is a great celebration of 18th century connoisseurship and taste revealing the world of figures such as Marie Antoinette and the comte d’Artois and their circles. It is an absolute must for all interested in the interiors and the ‘douceur de vivre’ of the Ancien Régime.

 

www.ibtauris.com

Masterpiece London 2017 – E & H Manners

E & H Manners at Masterpiece 2017, until 5th July 2017

 

A Netherlandish Maiolica Jug, Utrecht
Dated 1558
Height to pewter thumbpiece: 21.8 cm
Height to top of rim: 19.0cm

This family-run Kensington Church Street firm will be well known to many collectors from the International Ceramic Fair and subsequently Art Antiques London. I am delighted to be able to tell you that they are now making their first appearance at Masterpiece.

A Large Meissen Octagonal Charger from the Christie-Miller Service
1740-44
34cm wide; 36 from point to point
Crossed swords mark with two dots in the pommels in under-glazed blue and Impressed numeral 22

They have built up a strong reputation for finding European ceramics of great rarity and quality and justifiably many of these pieces now adorn important public and private collections around the world.

A West Country Harvest Jug
Barnstaple or Fremington, Somerset
Dated 1771
32.3 cm. high
26.6 cm. wide

www.europeanporcelain.com

www.masterpiecefair.com

Masterpiece London 2017 – Introduction

Masterpiece London 2017, South Grounds, The Royal Hospital, Chelsea, London SW3, 29th June – 5th July 2017

MASTERPIECE PRESENTS
Iván Navarro
Impenetrable Room
2017
Courtesy Paul Kasmin Gallery

Since its inception this fair has grown into one of the most must-visit events of the art and antiques year. Some thirty-seven thousand visitors last year! It attracts museum directors and private collectors from all over the world to see the artworks shown by a hundred and fifty international dealers. The artworks range from antiquity to the present time. The Royal Bank of Canada is once again the principal sponsor

This year the new MASTERPIECE PRESENTS will reveal a large-scale dedicated exhibition space at the entrance which has been transformed by a special artwork – Impenetrable Room, 2017. Created by the Chilean artist Iván Navarro it has been commissioned by the New York-based Paul Kasmin Gallery who are new exhibitors.

Over the coming days I look forward to sharing blogs on some of the leading dealers taking part.

www.masterpiecefair.com

A Collectors’ Paradise

‘A Collectors’ Paradise’, Brian Haughton Gallery, 15 Duke Street, St James’s, London SW1, 30th June – Friday 7th July 2017

A Meissen porcelain dish by I Preissler, c 1725-1730 from CHRISTOPHE PERLES

This is a new feature for this busy period of the year when the Art World converges on London for the diverse exhibitions and auctions that make it such an exciting and desirable place to be in June. Taking part are London’s specialist dealers Brian Haughton and Robyn Robb and from Paris Christophe Perles and they will be offering fine examples of English and continental porcelain, pottery and faience.

A fine 18th century Worcester cup exquisitely painted with a Chinese figure holding a fringed parasol, c1752-53 from ROBYN ROBB

haughtongallery.co.uk

http://www.cperles.co

http://www.bada.org/art-and-antiques-dealers/d/robyn-robb/299

A very rare Chelsea asparagus box and cover, c 1755, length 18cm, Red anchor mark and numeral 13 to the interior of the cover from BRIAN HAUGHTON GALLERY

Moments of Pleasure

Juno Antiques – Moments of Pleasure, E & H Manners, 66C Kensington Church Street, W8, 27th June – 1st July 2017

Bristol or Liverpool tin-glazed charger, painted in a Ming Transitional style with a stag and surrounding figures, c.1750-60

Kensington – The Heart of Ceramics features four specialist dealers showing ceramics in Kensington Church Street

One of those taking part is Juno Antiques (Haydn Hansell, Paul McKay and Miles Thompson) who specialise in both 18th century British ceramics and pottery. This year their rather special exhibition celebrates their tenth anniversary. They also stock a good selection of 18th century European pieces as well as glass and enamels. They are certainly to be congratulated on this milestone. 

Rare large pair of hexagonal reticulated Chinese vases and covers, decorated in the London studio of James Giles, c.1750-60

http://www.junoantiques.com/

http://theheartofceramics.com/

Rare Meissen moulded sugar box and cover, painted with chinoiserie scenes reserved on a a ground of blue scales, c.1740

Auction Alert: Rare Pair of Royal Sèvres Vases, Bonhams London, 14th June 2017

This pair is part of a group of thirteen vases which were made in 1778-1779 of either soft or hard paste. They are believed to have been a gift from Louis XVI to his sister-in-law the comtesse d’Artois. Both are decorated with Chinoiserie sea battles and on each vase a ship is depicted bearing a shield with the French Royal arms.

 They appear in Bonhams New Bond Street sale of Fine European Ceramics on June 14th:

 

A pair of Sèvres hard-paste vases, circa 1778
© Bonhams

217

A PAIR OF SÈVRES HARD-PASTE VASES, CIRCA 1778

Vases bouc du Barry, painted by Jean-Jacques Dieu with polychrome chinoiserie sea battles and flying insects, outlined in gilding, applied with gilt goat’s head handles, draped and tied goatskins below the scene and gilt flower garlands suspended from the necks, gilt collars around the necks and gilt borders to the moulded rims, 30cm high, crowned interlaced LL marks in red enclosing date letter AA (one smudged), painter’s mark for Dieu and gilder’s mark for Jean Chauvaux (le jeune) (one with a goat’s head horn replaced and two chips to foot) (2)

 

£70,000-90,000

 

Provenance:
William Stephen Poyntz (1770-1840), thence to his daughter;
Georgiana Elizabeth, Countess Spencer (nee Poyntz);
The Earls Spencer, Althorp, Northamptonshire;
London art market, from 1986 (according to Sassoon, see below Literature)

Literature:
R.J. Charleston, Sèvres and Other French Porcelain in Earl Spencer’s Collection at Althorp, in The Connoisseur 173 (February, 1970), pp. 77-86, fig. 11;
R. Savill, A Pair of Sèvres Vases: From the Collection of Sir Richard Wallace to the J. Paul Getty Museum, in The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal. vol. 14 (1986), p. 138;
S. Eriksen & G. de Bellaigue, Sèvres Porcelain – Vincennes and Sèvres 1740-1800 (1987), p. 331f, no. 142;
R. Savill, The Wallace Collection Catalogue of Sèvres Porcelain (1988), II, p. 625;
A. Sassoon, Vincennes and Sèvres Porcelain: Catalogue of the Collections, The J. Paul Getty Museum (1992), no. 23, n. 19

 

http://www.bonhams.com

White Ceramics Win!

An Exhibition and Sale: Inspired by Blanc de Chine – The Anthony Collection of White Porcelain, Stockspring Antiques, 114 Kensington Church St, London W8, 7th – 14th June 2017

Mennecy pot-pourri and cover, c. 1750-55

There is something alluring about white porcelain where the only decoration is moulded or applied giving the pieces a sculptural quality and one can quite understand why collectors such as Thelma Chrysler Foy and Mrs Charles Allen Jnr were drawn to it.

St Cloud cups and saucers, left c. 1720-40; right c. 1730-50

Now this exciting collection of more than one hundred and ten pieces of porcelain – Chinese, French, Italian, English and Meissen – dating from c1640 – c1795 gives collectors a great chance to acquire fine examples of this genre.

Meissen coffee pot and cover, c. 1725-30

Garnered over a period of around twenty years the Anthony Collection reveals the influence of Chinese blanc de Chine on European porcelain factories and how these factories then created shapes that were European in origin. It is a fascinating visual feast.

Bow sucriers, c. 1752-54

http://www.antique-porcelain.co.uk

Stunning objects!

Gilded Interiors: French Masterpieces of Gilt Bronze, The Wallace Collection, Hertford House, Manchester Square, London, W1, until 30th July 2017

F292: Perfume Burner,
Pierre Gouthière, 1774 – 1775, detail.
© The Wallace Collection

We probably all have a vision of what an 18th century French interior may look like – white and gold panelling, commodes, chairs, sumptuous fabrics, tapestries or paintings, and gilded objects such as clocks or candelabra. The latter are probably the items we pay least attention too but you most certainly won’t after visiting this SUPERB exhibition.

F269: Mantel clock,
Jean-Baptiste Lepaute, 1781, detail.
© The Wallace Collection

We are able to study these objects closely and see the great attention to detail and the exquisite chasing and gilding techniques used. Two of the items on show belonged to Marie Antoinette. The comte d’Artois, the duc d’Aumont and the Prince Regent are other important patrons and clients from the 18th century whom you will discover. Only one of the wondrous pieces does not come from the Wallace Collection and that is a pair of firedogs bought by the future George IV.  They are included because they are the same model as a pair owned by the 4th Marquess of Hertford in his Paris home*.

F131: Candelabrum,
Possibly François Rémond, France, 1783 – 1786
© The Wallace Collection

These gilded wonders, which were such an important and integral part of the homes of the great and wealthy 18th century patrons, are the creation of artists such as Pierre Gouthière, François Rémond and Claude Pition and are important examples of 18th century French taste and stunning works of art in their own right.

F164: Candlestick,
Claude-Jean Pitoin, 1781, detail.
© The Wallace Collection

The exhibition is curated by Dr Helen Jacobsen, Senior Curator and Curator of French Eighteenth-century Decorative Arts at the Wallace Collection who has also written a book on this aspect of the Collection which I shall return to later.  She has also borrowed 18th century drawings from the Bibliothèque Municipale in Besançon which are by the noted architect and designer of interiors Pierre-Adrien Pâris and they reveal how Ancient Rome was a source of inspiration while others show how that inspiration was enacted upon.

F317: Table,
attributed to François Rémond, 1785 – 1787, detail.
© The Wallace Collection

I have now visited the exhibition three times but will return again and again because each time you see new details and appreciate even more the perfection of 18th century French decorative arts.

F258: Mantel clock, The Avignon Clock,
Pierre Gouthière, France, 1771
© The Wallace Collection

 

* This was not part of Sir Richard Wallace’s bequest and they are now in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

 

http://www.wallacecollection.org