Sotheby's is delighted to announce the sale of furniture and works of art from an iconic Riviera villa which will take place in Paris on 25 June. The Monaco residence recalls the golden age of the Côte d'Azur where, during the final decades of the 19th century, European high society gathered in a cosmopolitan celebration of pleasure, art and music.
The villa's current residents followed the tradition of its previous owners and perpetuated its Belle Époque atmosphere. They scoured the world's leading salesrooms for the finest pieces by Linke, Beurdeley and Dasson as well as objects commissioned by the Russian imperial family. They created a décor and an ambiance in which the great European aristocracy would feel at home, filled with pieces distinguished by their prestigious provenance. Now they are preparing to enter a new chapter in their lives and are offering the fruits of their passion to other collectors in this sale.
A masterpiece by Alfred Beurdeley
This four-sidedcabinet in ebony, Japanese lacquer and gilt-bronze, Paris, circa 1870 (lot 38 - estimate:€150,000-€250,000) has a novel form typical of Alfred Beurdeley's innovative style.
At the time it was made, copies of significant furniture and objects, often royal, from the Ancien Régime were extremely popular among collectors, and Beurdeley was highly talented in this field. The use of exceptionally rich lacquer takes the late 17th and 18th century practice of displaying oriental lacquer to new heights.
This cabinet is a fine example of Beurdeley's innovative approach with this unusual piece, designed to stand alone in the centre of a room - a new form that delighted connoisseurs of the day.
22 works by François Linke
The collection includes no less than 22 works by François Linke, one of the most prestigious Paris cabinetmakers of the late 19th / early 20th centuries. One of the highlights of this selection is this gilt-bronze mounted kingwood, satiné, stained holly tableà ouvrage 'coquille', circa 1900 (lot 30 - estimate: €50,000-€80,000).Combining the traditional Louis XV style with modern Art Nouveau, this table has an innovative design and is an essential item of Belle Époque furniture. It played an important role in showcasing Linke's work on his stand at the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1900, where he was rewarded with a gold medal.
A porcelain vase by the St Petersburg Imperial Porcelain Manufactory (lot 6 - estimate: €80,000-€120,000) was presented to Philip Skou, director of the Royal Copenhagen Porcelain Manufactory, by Alexander III. The Russian emperor was a connoisseur and collector of works of art and showed a keen interest in the artistic activities of the Imperial Porcelain Manufactory. At the emperor's request, Skou trained Dmitry Nikolaevich Guryev, director of the Russian Manufactory, and sent the painter Karl Frederik Lissbert to Russia to train Russian masters in underglaze painting techniques. Skou was presented with this vase in 1893 as an expression of thanks.
The sale also features a fine selection of silverware and tableware. These include several pieces by Fabergé (lots 63 to 68), notably an Agate and Silver-Mounted Bowl,(lot 63 - estimate: €50,000-€70,000) from the Nobel family collection.