Published: May 22, 2007
Sotheby’s April 19, 2007, sale of A Private Collection Volume II: Important French Furniture and Decorations Inspired by Eighteenth Century Models brought a total of $11,530,500, double the high estimate of $5.7 million. A new record for Nineteenth Century furniture at auction was established when the Hertford Jewel Cabinet by John Webb sold for $3,176,000, more than five times the high estimate of $600,000.
Elaine Whitmire, senior vice president and expert in charge of the sale, commented, “We are absolutely thrilled with the results of this sale which doubled the high estimate of $5.7 million and established a record for Nineteenth Century furniture at auction. These results follow the outstanding success of the October 2006 offering of A Private Collection Volume I: Important French Furniture and Decorations, which totaled $11.3 million and established a new record for François Linke.”
Webb’s cabinet, commissioned by John Rutter in Paris for the 4th Marquess of Hertford, after the model made by Jean-Henri Riesener for the Comte and Comtesse De Provence, circa 1787, was made in London, 1855‱857, with the gilt-bronze metalwork possibly cast by Hatfield’s of London.
The impetus for making this cabinet appears to have come from the exhibition conducted in 1853 at Gore House, South Kensington, titled “Specimens of Cabinet Work.” It was the first retrospective exhibition of French furniture to take place in England in the Nineteenth Century. The loans, recorded in an unillustrated catalog of 112 items, were sourced from eminent collections, such as those of the Elector of Bavaria and the Dukes of Buccleuch, Northumberland and Hamilton, as well as Queen Victoria.
Although Lord Hertford did not travel to London to see the exhibition, he was clearly aware of some of the exhibits, possibly aided by photographs taken by the Victoria & Albert Museum’s photographer, Charles Thurston.
Other top highlights of the sale, which was 98.9 percent sold by both lot and value, included an important and unique pair of Bahut à Deux Corps by François Linke, $964,000; François Linke, Regulateur de Parquet, $420,000; Alfred-Emmanuel-Louis Beurdeley, Bahut à Quatre Faces, circa 1870, $408,000; a pair of Meubles D’Entre Deux, French, circa 1860, $300,000; a bureau plat attributed to the Durand Dynasty, French, circa 1870, $216,000; Henry Dasson, a pair of lustres, Paris, circa 1860, $168,000; Henry Dasson, Regulateur de Parquet, Paris, 1888, $156,000; Grohé Frères, Meuble à Hauteur d’Appui à Ressaut, Paris, circa 1870, $150,000 and Alfred-Emmanuel-Louis Beurdeley, a pair of tables de salon, Paris, circa 1870, $144,000.
Prices reported include the buyer’s premium. For information, 212-606-7000 or www.sothebys.com .
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