The autumn edition of the biannual Christie’s Collector sale, showcasing art and furniture in London on November 13 and 14, promises be a visually engaging experience, as the house has collaborated with collector Mark-Francis Vandelli on three interior sets, which will showcase key pieces at its King Street galleries from November 9 to 12. “They are a series of film sets that play on both the transient, ever-changing nature of these objects’ lives and the diversity of their owners,” says Vandelli.
Guests will discover an evocation of a Parisian hôtel particulier adorned with gilt-edged treasures focused around an early Georgian bureau cabinet (estimate £80,000-£120,000), which will be auctioned in the English Furniture, Clocks & Works of Art sale, and an ornate pair of George III mirrors in “a deliberately untraditional marriage of styles”. “The red and gilt-japanned bureau cabinet from c1730 is of particular note as an example of the extraordinary skill and craftsmanship possessed by early Georgian cabinetmakers in their imitation of oriental lacquers,” says Vandelli. “By the late 1600s, lacquered objects had become seen as status symbols and, owing to their scarcity, were imitated by local cabinetmakers and painters.” These are accompanied by smaller 19th-century decorative objects, such as marble putti (£15,000-£25,000 at the Silver & 19th-Century Furniture, Sculpture & Works of Art sale) and a pair of Sèvres-style porcelain jardinieres (£1,500-£2,500 at the European Furniture, Works of Art & Ceramics sale).
Moving on to the Manhattan penthouse scene, moiré midnight silk and Louis XVI oil-gilt marquises (£30,000-£50,000 at the European Furniture, Works of Art & Ceramics sale) meet a Regency rosewood centre table (£4,000-£6,000 at the English Furniture, Clocks & Works of Art sale). “It celebrates the Americans’ ability to decorate with bold panache, freely adopting styles and reinterpreting fashions,” Vandelli says. “The Riesener console desserte from the Dudley collection (£50,000-£80,000 from the European Furniture, Works of Art & Ceramics sale), with its rich mahogany panels and finely chased ormolu mounts, resonates with me for its striking resemblance to a pair left to me by my late grandfather. One of France’s most celebrated ébénistes of the late 18th century, Riesener delivered three commodes and two encoignures related to the present piece for Marie Antoinette at the Salon des Nobles at Versailles in 1786.”
Finally, a Roman palazzo salone is furnished with giltwood German rococo console tables (£12,000-£18,000 at the European Furniture, Works of Art & Ceramics sale), French appliqués, a “decidedly English” oval mirror and two George III parcel-gilt armchairs (£25,000-£50,000 at the English Furniture, Clocks & Works of Art sale). More 18th- and 19th-century silver works, candlesticks (£3,000-£5,000 at the Silver & 19th-Century Furniture, Sculpture & Works of Art sale) and a Chinese celadon porcelain ewer (£6,000-£8,000) are playfully presented on a lapis lazuli and onyx-decorated Italian marble table (£40,000-£60,000, both from the European Furniture, Works of Art & Ceramics sale).