The highlight of the auction is the outstanding life-size marble group ‘Samson with a Philistine’ by Pietro Bernini and his son Gian Lorenzo Bernini, dated to the first quarter of the 17th century. This is the first time the group has been offered at auction. The important sculpture depicts the biblical figure of Samson who, as told in the Book of Judges (15,15), killed one thousand Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey. The composition takes after an earlier group by Giambologna, probably executed for Francesco de’Medici around 1562, and intended as a fountain figure. Pietro and Gianlorenzo Bernini elevated the drama of the fatal blow through expressive mimicry which clearly differs from Giambologna’s classicism. The group has an estimate of € 200,000-300,000 (lot 310).
As well as further sculptures from the 17th to 19th centuries, several important pieces of furniture will be offered in the auction, such as a marketing table by David Roentgen (lot 404, € 45/60,000). The delicate furniture piece features many functions including its use as a writing desk. It would be placed in an exposed position in order to optimally present the costly circumferential design.
Three collections of porcelain present a further high point for the autumn season. Going under the hammer will be a Westphalian Meissen Collection with the finest Hoeroldt chinoiseries, a South German Collection of tabatière, the Eustergerling Collection, and porcelain gallantry wares which were sold at markets and by peddlers in the 18th century and which mostly served as gifts of affection. The finely designed boxes, etuis and cane handles were coveted collector’s items and not necessarily functional objects. The porcelain highlight is a yellow-ground Augustus Rex vase with contour chinoiseries, attributed to Adam Friedrich von Löwenfinck (lot 1061, € 60/70,000).
The particularly rich and interesting selection of silver on offer includes several private collections assembled over decades, some of them with North German provenances that have become rare on the market.
The star lots include a pair of luminaries from the Saxon court silver of Christian Heinrich Ingermann, Dresden, around 1745 (lot 523, € 40/60,000), an important and published lavabo garniture by the Augsburg Master Michael I Heckel (around 1705-1709, lot 517, € 50/60,000), as well as a wonderful Nuremberg Renaissance goblet by the Master Hans Zeyher (1592-1594, lot 502, € 38/40,000). A great rarity takes the form of a set of four Bielefeld Baroque candlesticks (Master Heinrich Grotendiek, created in around 1700, (lot 516, € 15/18,000).
The extensive, chronologically listed catalogue offers a broad selection of jewellery and high value wristwatches.
The chapter of Historical Jewellery is particularly fine and of high value, including a courtly Rococo garniture with Columbian emeralds from the Spanish Córdoba (lots 2, 415, 419, € 7/9,000). Of exceptional rarity, and expressive of the increased scientific collecting activity at the end of the 18th century, is a complete Classicist ringstone cabinet with a handwritten German-language catalogue of the individual minerals, attributed to Johann Christian Neuber. It comprises a gold ring and 40 interchangeable agate cabochons, housed in the original book-form etui, ‘AMUSANT LITHOLOGIQUE’ (lot 4, € 50/70,000).
Representative of the rich jewellery of the Belle Epoque and Art Déco are five high-caliber pieces: a pair of stud earrings with large old-cut diamond solitaires by the Netherlands court jeweller J:M: van Kempen & Söhne (lot 56, € 30/40,000); a platinum ring with a transition-cut 6.54 ct diamond solitaire (lot 61, € 60/80,000); a rivière necklace with 37 old-cut diamonds at a total of 18 ct (lot 39, € 18/20,000); a collier de chien of freshwater pearls and diamond buckle (lot 37, € 10/15,000), and a platinum and diamond bracelet (lot 53, € 15/17,000).
Two rare works from the 1930s/40s are from Cartier, both acquired at the Parisian Maison: A platinum chain ring with a ‘colour changing’ Ceylon sapphire (lot 60, € 10/15,000) and an early pair of the popular ‘Coccinelle’ earrings (lot 57, € 8/10,000). The pearl collar ‘Lion Barquerolles’ with a diamond-set lion-head clasp is by Van Cleef & Arpels (lot 127, € 10/15,000), whilst a Milanese gold enamel garniture with a panther head from the ‘Bestiario Feroce’ Collection is by Pierino Frascarolo (lot 126, € 7/9,000).
Cocktail jewellery compliments the offer and features a classical necklace with 48 ct of diamonds and 22 ct Columbian emeralds (lot 153, €30/40,000) as well as two Hermès Vintage Kelly Bags made of alligator and ostrich leather (lot 192, €6/8,000 and lot 193, € 10/15,000).
Following the first successful Watch Auction, we are very pleased to present a high-carat selection of pocket and wristwatches. The catalogue includes many ladies’ and gentlemen’s models by exclusive manufacturers such as Patek Philippe, Rolex, Longines, Vacheron & Constantin, A. Lange & Söhne, Frederique Constant, IWC, Omega, Bulgari, and many more. Highlights of the autumn auction include a rare Chronograph by Patek Philippe Ref. 3971 (lot 206, € 80/100,000), a diamond-set ladies’ watch also by Patek Philippe, Re. 4820/1 (lot 196, € 6,5/8,000), as well as a tonneau-shaped Cartier Dual Time with two apertures (lot 204, € 5/7,000). A broad offer of classical pocket watches covering three centuries rounds off the offer.