Fine furniture and paintings from three important private collections make up Bonhams next European Collections Sale on Wednesday 14th December at Bonhams Knightsbridge. The Fine Art and Antique collection of Hotel De La Ville in Rome; the selected contents of Chelford Manor in Cheshire, and the contents of a Monegasque apartments all offer an opportunity to acquire a slice of the high life.
Hotel De La Ville in Rome
The late fifties and early sixties in Rome are still seen as a golden time of post-war frivolity and Italian glamour. At the centre of it all was the Hotel de la Ville, where director Federico Fellini, whose 1960 film, La Dolce Vita, gave its name to those gilded years, whiled away afternoons in the bar along with Marlon Brando, Roberto Rossellini, and Francis Ford Coppola. When the Hotel de la Ville closed its doors for the last time in April 2016, it marked the end of an era.
The hotel's famous fine art collection, which now comes to auction at the European Collections sale, includes a Florentine ebony, pietra dura and specimen marble cabinet on a stand (£15,000-25,000); a fine Italian mid-19th carved marble figure of Narcissus by Adamo Tadolini (£10,000-15,000), and a pair of magnificent chandeliers (£15,000-20,000). There are also Roman and Venetian console tables, Tuscan cupboards and a large selection of Italian Old Master paintings, Most intriguing is a mid-20th century trunk containing clothes left by a guest with the head concierge in the 1960s. The owner never returned and the case remained unopened until earlier this year.
The contents of Chelford Manor combine 17th and 18th century Spanish and English oak and walnut furniture with 20th century modern British art. They are being sold by socialite and Hollyoaks actress Davina Taylor whose late mother lived at the Manor for many years. Among the highlights are an etching by Lucian Freud Head of a Naked Girl (£15,000-20,000), Love Rat by Banksy (£2,500-3,500) and an impressive wrought iron sculpture by Geoffrey Clarke, Fred (£12,000-18,000). Also offered in the sale are several items which came to the collection from Davina's former London home, SuperNova Heights in St John's Wood, which at one time was also owned by Oasis lead singer Noel Gallagher.
Arcangelo Belli's Monaco apartment
Signor Arcangelo Belli is a celebrated Roman industrialist who has worked in Africa, Europe and North and South America. He is the recipient of the Knight of the Order of Labour Merit of the Italian Republic for his work in industry. Items from his Monegasque apartment collected on his travels include an important Louis XV mahogany and gilt bronze cabinet made by Leonard Boudin, one of the leading marchand-merciers in Paris in the 1770s, (£4,000-6,000); a stunning pair of 18th century North Italian carved giltwood console tables (also £4,000-6,000), and a selection of paintings including Small Boats on a Quayside by Felice Casorati (£4,000-6,000) and a Still Life: Basket of Flowers by an artist from the circle of the French 17th century painter, Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer (£3,000-5,000). There is also a collection of Louis Vuitton luggage, French furniture, Italian novecento paintings as well as works of art and silver.
The sale is being curated by Bonhams Head of Private Collections, Charlie Thomas, who said, "Our European Collection sales are strong favourites with collectors because they provide so much variety and so many unexpected treasures. Each of these three collections is special in its own way and together they offer the chance to acquire something with history and glamour."
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. Today, the auction house offers more sales than any of its rivals. The main salerooms are in London, New York and Hong Kong. Sales are also held in the UK in Knightsbridge and Edinburgh; in the US, in San Francisco and Los Angeles; in Europe, in Paris and Stuttgart and in Sydney, Australia. Bonhams also has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of forthcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments, please visit bonhams.com