A French mid-19th century ormolu, silvered metal, aventurine glass and blue coloured glass mounted ebony and ebonised breakfront meuble d'appui probably made for the Ottoman or Russian market

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Lot 93* TP
A French mid-19th century ormolu, silvered metal, aventurine glass and blue coloured glass mounted ebony and ebonised breakfront meuble d'appui
probably made for the Ottoman or Russian market

Sold for £ 37,750 (US$ 45,831) inc. premium
A French mid-19th century ormolu, silvered metal, aventurine glass and blue coloured glass mounted ebony and ebonised breakfront meuble d'appui
probably made for the Ottoman or Russian market
With an onyx top and gadroon mounted edge moulding above a frieze mounted with a trailing branch issuing C- and S-scrolls, foliage and flowers, over a central panelled door mounted with flowers, berried foliage, two cockerels and scrolled acanthus centred by a Flora mask, enclosing one long shelf, flanked by two smaller panelled doors each with a central arched panel inset with scrolled foliage, floral, shell and lion mask mount hung with a ribbon-tied martial trophy pendant comprising fasces di combattimento, weapons, banners, trumpets, drums and a suit of armour, with a floral bouquet and scrolled foliate mount below, interspersed by flowerhead and entrelac chute angles, flanked by projecting canted angles each with concave panelling mounted with pendant C-scrolls, rosettes and rocaille centred by an entwined floral wreath mount, above a shell, scrolled acanthus and floral cast apron mount, on foliate capped spiral reeded toupie sabots, with tortoiseshell veneered rear pilaster angles, some losses and some composition replaced segments to the blue coloured glass, restorations, 165cm wide x 56cm deep x 99cm high, (64 1/2in wide x 22in deep x 38 1/2in high)

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Sir Warwick and Lady Fairfax Collection, Sydney.

    Within the vendor's family both the offered and following cabinets, lots 94 and 95, were believed to have originally belonged to the celebrated Rothschild Collection, and were possibly even purchased as such during the mid 20th century. And an excerpt from an old valuation with this alleged provenance appears applied to the reverse of the door. However unfortunately we have not come across any records proving that the present cabinet had any connection to the Rothschilds.

    The collection of Sir Warwick and Lady Fairfax represents a significant chapter in Australian twentieth century history, the Fairfaxes being as they were one of the country's most prominent families. Fairwater, their 19th century harbour-side home that housed their vast art collection, became the most valuable property ever sold in Australia when it came to the market following Lady Fairfax's death in 2017.

    Until that time Fairwater had become a symbol of Sydney's social scene, a society destination where parties were held amongst artworks by Rodin, Chagall, Degas and Epstein. One party, for instance, was held to celebrate the opening of the Sydney Opera House in 1973 where the 800-strong guest list included names like Liberace, Rudolf Nureyev and Rex Harrison. With Sir Warwick Fairfax at the centre of the dynasty's seat, Fairwater truly became the focal point of the family's story.

    The young Warwick took over the family publishing business following the death of his father Sir James in 1930, who had become one of Australia's most prominent figures after leading and growing a business that encompassed The Sydney Morning Herald, The Sun Herald, The Age and The Australian Financial Review – many of the country's top news publications. The family's influence was inestimable.

    During Warwick's tenure as head of the family business he took over the influential architecture, design and interiors review called: The Home. It was at this time that he really started to engage with collecting and decorating the family home at Fairwater. The founder of The Home, Ure Smith, became a close advisor and he introduced Warwick to a number of important figures in the art world who would go on to shape Warwick's collection. The combination of this new milieu and Warwick's marriage to his second wife Hanne, a Danish ballerina who loved the arts, galvanised the businessman's interest in collecting.

    Regular trips to Europe during the 1940s resulted in acquisitions from renowned galleries such as The Leicester Galleries, London, where Warwick purchased works by Marie Laurencin, Edgar Degas and Maurice Utrillo.
Contacts
A French mid-19th century ormolu, silvered metal, aventurine glass and blue coloured glass mounted ebony and ebonised breakfront meuble d'appui probably made for the Ottoman or Russian market
A French mid-19th century ormolu, silvered metal, aventurine glass and blue coloured glass mounted ebony and ebonised breakfront meuble d'appui probably made for the Ottoman or Russian market
A French mid-19th century ormolu, silvered metal, aventurine glass and blue coloured glass mounted ebony and ebonised breakfront meuble d'appui probably made for the Ottoman or Russian market
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26% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £20,000 up to and including £700,000;
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TP Off site storage location

Lot will be moved to an offsite storage location (Cadogan Tate, Auction House Services, 241 Acton Lane, London NW10 7NP, UK) and will only be available for collection from this location at the date stated in the catalogue. Please note transfer and storage charges will apply to any lots not collected after 14 calendar days from the auction date.

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