Behind the Screen - Channelling Coco Chanel!
As part of a high profile and prestigious private Melbourne collection, a Chinese coramandel screen will take centre stage at the forthcoming Philips Auctions sales event in July. This majestic eight leaf double-sided screen from the Qing Dynasty portrays red crested cranes, phoenix, and water fowl within a lotus and bamboo water garden. This wonderful example of an iconic late 19th century art form is illustrated with muted colours on gold leaf, with the reverse decorated on black carved lacquer ground with a cracked ice border.
Director, Tony Philips notes that this piece is impressive and unusual due to its larger proportions. ‘You don’t often get an eight panel screen of this height. It’s a joyous and uplifting piece’, he said. Fashion icon Coco Chanel adored these exotic screens so much that she reportedly had 32 examples in her collection.
Lovingly restored with buttermilk gold silk jacquard French fabric, an elegant pair of fauteuils will be of great interest to the discerning buyer. The quality of the upholstering is evident with great attention to detail and continuity of design across the individual components of the chairs. Resting on cabriole legs with whorl feet, the carved showframes, shell crests and foliate forms will provide a grand air of opulence to any setting.
A fine baroque gilt bronze Boulle bracket clock and pedestal housed in a pagoda top case will be offered in July. Of exceptional detail and stature, this working eight day timepiece is in very good condition, and represents a rare opportunity to secure a sought after European treasure. Tony Philips says this offering represents very good buying, adding that the vendor paid over $50,000 for this piece in the 90’s, and now in Europe if a clock like this came to market it would be in excess of $80,000 - $100,000. With première-partie brass marquetry on brown tortoiseshell veneer, this clock presents enamel cartouches and Roman numerals on a gilt dial bearing the 'Sun King' emblem. Highly decorated with finely cast allegorical figures, dolphin and merman espagnolettes, this timepiece sits proudly on a substantial pedestal with similar rich Baroque adornments, and displays the maker's mark of De Lorme, Paris on it's backplate.
An elegant French writing desk with a fine central floral bouquet upon a woven parquetry design provides a striking example of this genre. The high quality of inlay and the use of multiple timbers demonstrates great skill and craftsmanship, including the precise alignment and fitting of the gilt bronze mounts and sabot feet. A tribute to many trades, the table presents a proud serpentine profile with cross banding, stringing and floral whorls to the corners, and a single bird's eye maple lined drawer.
Fine and Decorative Arts - Sunday 31st July 2016
Modern and Antique Jewellery - Monday 1st August 2016