Nine very important Scagliola panels07.11.2019
Don Enrico Hugford (Livorno 1695 – 1771 Florence) was born in Italy as the son of a Catholic English watchmaker. In 1711 he entered the Benedictine section of Vallombrosa, about 30 km southeast of Florence. There, surrounded by knowledgeable workshops that had been practising the scagliola technique since the 16th century, he devoted himself to his own specialisation and perfection. He found an individual, unmistakable style that was specially tailored to the English buyer public interested in architecture who visited Florence and Vallombrosa during the Grand Tour.
Founded in 1038, the monastery was modernised around the middle of the 15th century. Galileo Galilei is said to have lived there as a novice around 1578. From 1654 – 67, weather observations were carried out here on behalf of the Medici family, probably the first weather station in Europe. Virgilio Falugi (1626 – 1707) and Bruno Tozzi (1656 – 1743) studied and published regional botany here. The abbey was therefore a focal point of scientific research in Tuscany for several centuries.
Three large collections determine the offer at the Decorative Arts auction on 15 November in Cologne. The first is the Monheim Collection, Aachen, for which Lempertz had already produced a catalogue in the year 2000. Now the focus is on early Persian ceramics, architectural spolia and furniture (including an Aachen cupboard, lot 583, € 5/7,000).
From the second collection, and declared as property of a Rhenish industrial family, are two lots of sculptures by Adam Ferdinand Tietz: an elegant couple dancing (lot 579, € 15/20,000) and a set of four putti as figures of the four seasons (lot 580, € 15/20,000).
A spectacular Bavarian Regency writing desk decorated with fine marquetry in the style of Charles André Boulle, published many times, is from southern German private ownership (lot 538, € 20/30,000). A third large, Hessian collection features Meissen porcelain, including three Augustus Rex vases, with estimates between € 3,000 and € 8,000, and a boxed service decorated with Watteau scenes (lot 733, € 10/15,000). Pewterware from the collection of Dr Hanns-Ulrich Haedecke, early Baroque glasses and Kunstkammer objects (including a shrine from Trapani, lot 531, € 8/10,000), round up the offer.
Important porcelains from two private collections are presented in a separate porcelain catalogue. Sabine Schulte herself explains the character of the collection of Sabine and Dr Dieter-Bernd Schulte in her forward “How and why does one begin to systematically collect porcelain”. The focus lay on finely painted classicist pieces of high quality from German manufactories and the Sorgenthal period of the Imperial Manufactory in Vienna, as well as a few very beautiful biscuit porcelain medallions and busts from KPM. The collector couple had a special love of the subjects after Angelika Kauffmann. One highlight are twelve colour sample plates and seven design drafts in their original case, signed by Joseph Leithner und Leopold Parmann (lot 846). The couple Schulte also offer remarkable objects for collectors of Thuringian porcelain (lot 818) and Sèvres (lot 809).
The second, anonymous, Austrian collection consists of Viennese figures of the Imperial Manufactory from between 1750 and 1770 and offers a probably unique porcelain, namely the highly significant porcelain crib made up of four pieces. It has an estimate of € 60/100,000 (lot 869).
Presented, as usual, in a separate catalogue, the range of jewellery and a few gold boxes comprises 262 lots and is listed in the traditional chronological order. Works with antique stone carvings open the catalogue, followed by historical jewellery. Beautiful representatives of the Belle Epoque and Art Deco include an entourage ring with a captivating brilliant blue, untreated Ceylon sapphire (lot 50, € 12/15,000), as well as a pair of lovely clip earrings with calibrated rubies and diamonds in an “invisible setting”, presented in a leather-covered etui by Hancocks (lot 75, € 15/20,000).
Special focus is placed this time on artist jewellery, with individual works and unique pieces from renowned German goldsmiths such as Friedrich Becker, Jörn Haut, Reiner Hoerkens, Falko Marx, E.R. Nele, Max Pollinger and Johann Michael Wilm. The jewellery pieces by Jörn Haut are particularly interesting, using the “electroforming” technique that he helped to develop, and used in the folded emerald bracelet adorning the inside cover of the catalogue (lot 115, € 3,5/4,500). “Art to wear” by international artists such as Giampaolo Babetto, César, Claude Lalanne and Arnaldo Pomodoro offers a fine collection of former Swiss private property. Included are a golden necklace and bracelet with a sculptural lupine motif, designed in the 1970s by the recently deceased Claude Lalanne and executed by Zolotas (lots 139/140, € 10/12,000, € 5/7,000). The chapter of modern jewellery offers numerous high carats, including a garland necklace completely set with 54 carats of baguette and brilliant-cut diamonds (lot 199, € 40/60,000), a diamond brooch with a flawless Columbian emerald of 8 ct (lot 174, € 40/60,000), and the highlight, a solitaire ring featuring a 10.24 ct diamond (lot 198, € 30/40,000).
The silver selection, of consistent quality, features some museum-worthy objects from the 16th to 20th centuries, not least a large grape goblet with a “büttenmann” motif, Nuremburg, Hans Weber, 1609 – 1629, with an estimate of € 40/60,000. The Bremen Renaissance lidded tankard from the Master Tönnies Snacke around 1620 is particularly rare (€ 20/25,000), whilst a Hamburg tankard from the Master Peter Ohr I, made in 1654 – 1662 has an estimate of € 18/20,000. Lovers of modern silver can expect a rare comprehensive Magnolia service by Georg Jensen with early marks from 1919 – 1932, encompasing ten pieces with a large tray (€ 20/25,000).