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ZURICH.- The Koller auctions from 15 to 20 September 2014 culminated with the sale of a writing desk by André-Charles Boulle for the record price of CHF 3 million and brought about several other surprising sales. The Book auction concluded with three sales in the six-digit range. The “Astronomicum Caesareum” by Peter Apian sold for CHF 660 000.


The sensational result of 3 million Swiss francs obtained for the writing desk by the French cabinetmaker André-Charles Boulle was the highlight of the furniture auction (Lot 1078). This is the highest price ever paid for a piece of furniture at an auction in Switzerland and one of the highest prices ever paid for a piece of furniture world-wide. A private collector from London outbid three telephone bidders and an interested party in the auction hall.

Koller Auctions - Furniture & Decoration

Important bureau-plat of the marquis de Nicolay « Aux têtes de satire », Régence, by AC BOULLE (André Charles Boulle, 1643-1732), Paris, approx 1720. Sold for CHF 3 million. Photo Koller Auctions 

Ebony and red / brown tortoise shell, exceptionally finely inlaid with engraved brass fillets in « première partie-« ; flowers, cartouches and leaves. Rectangular top etched in bronze and lined with gold-stamped leather. Front with broad central Retracted drawer, flanked by 1 drawer on each side, and the same but sham arrangement verso, with the exception of the central mascaron of the bust of Democritus. Exceptionally sumptuous matte and polished brass mounts applies. Old restorations, so-called « restaurations d’usage ». 195x98x80 cm.

Provenance: – Commissioned by Charles Henry Malon de Bercy (1678-1742) for the Parisian palace.
– Family Malon de Bercy or family de Nicolay in the 18th century.
– Léon, Marquis de Nicolay (1801-1873 ).
-. Due to inheritance in the same family ownership and today in western Switzerland Castle property .

Notes: Includes a detailed report from JD Augarde, SCP Jean Ronfort, Paris, 25 July 2014 « annoncer of ouvrages de Boule, c’est les citer Meubles the plus belles formes & de la plus grande richesse, par les matières précieuses qui les composent, par la perfection of modèles de bronze et la beauté de la dorure; jusqu’à présent n’a rien ce genre de meubles REMPLACE, ce n’est & qu’en rapprochant que l’on s’en obtiendra les suffrages du temps & de la postérité. L’le caractere de magnificence on connait qu’il donne aux cabinets de curiosités où il toujours les premières occupe places.  » Jean-Baptiste-Pierre Lebrun, 1809th The above quote is valid until today. Furniture and works of AC Boulle belong to the « histoire universal », and all museums, from Russia to the United States of America, these masterpieces with the greatest pride. When the Prince of Lichtenstein opened his museum in Vienna, he noticed – despite stupendous collection – that essential « pearls » were missing; he acquired in the Wildenstein auction of 2005 half cabinet of AC Boulle and later a Bureau-Plat « aux têtes de femme » of the master from the collections of the Earl of Grey. Of all the furniture of AC Boulle the Bureau Plats are those which were subjected to the least change and destruction. The master’s works were collected very early – shortly after his death they were among the most sought-after « rarities » the great collectors. The works were often handed down from generation to generation as a valuable asset. Although the works were perceived as typical work in the aesthetics of Louis XIV, they were at the same time as timeless masterpieces and symbol of taste and wealth. . The Bureau Plats were unique in this respect, because they were always in use and are still Enumerating owners of Bureau Plats from the workshop of AC Boulle proves to be very fruitful exercise; first, the family members of King Louis XIV, King Philip V of Spain, the Prince de Condé, members of the Haute Noblesse of the French capital, Cardinal Prince de Rohan, the Count of Hoym, Minister of Augustus the Strong, the rich financiers S . Bernard, the « fermiers général » E. Perrinet, the minister of Louis XV, the Duc de Praslin, the abbot and « contrôleur Général des Finances » Terray, the Duc de la Vrillère, Secretary of the King. At the same time, numerous pictorial representations of the 18th century found with Bureau Plats of AC Boulle; as introduced already in 1702 H. Rigaud P. Bossuet alongside a writing furniture with « têtes de satyre ». Even in the 19th century there is a manufactured by F. Winterhalter Portrait of Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, the him with . represents such a panel (now part of the royal collections at Windsor) The Bureau-Plat, a work table, which can be placed in the middle of the room and rests on four legs, belongs in this form to the innovative inventions of AC Boulle; this form shaped the production of such furniture throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. You must be dated in the last decades of the 17th century, as the above-mentioned Portrait of Bossuet from 1702 occupied. , the furniture offered here was not only an innovation in its function, but also in its aesthetics. Note the distinctive and exceptionally strong curved legs – called by his contemporaries as « jambes de biches » – that give the furniture imposing a hitherto unheard « lightness ». For many years AC Boulle was the only one who made ​​this type desks that were already at that time the most expensive and most popular furniture. The source location allows no precise indication of the volume of production, but information can be found in some inventories purpose. In 1720, after a fire destroyed a large part of his workshop and the contents are in a « Mémoire » five processed in order Bureau Plats « de cinq à six pieds de long en marqueterie d’écaille de tortue … très Avances » mentioned and 12 more that were far different still manufactured without specific order. All this furniture was destroyed by fire said. These figures provide important information about the working method of AC Boulle and his workshop. Firstly, it is noticeable that he let run a model at the same time several times -. Proof of the immense success of his works AC Boulle led a thriving studio. It is therefore inconceivable that he, himself at the same time worked in 1720 with 78 years to 17 Bureau Plats. This reveals how Jean Nérée could prove Ronfort, the concept and operation of the master; he designed the innovative furniture, searching for new materials and had the greatest craftsmen and artists of his era for the implementation work on it. At the same time he had complete control over the production and guaranteed as a « unité de production ». The fact of simultaneous production of several, partly identical furniture is important in this respect, however, must be made ​​between the official contract work and such, it (yet) were. The preparation of such luxury furniture required a lot of time; There were striking delays – which sometimes led to the cancellation of certain orders. So there was great conflict with Hébert, the 1723 several dressers were in order, but this does not timely received, because AC:. Boulle worked at a highly significant chandeliers for Prince Eugene of Savoy, who was later acquired by the Comte de Hoym This situation led AC Boulle to « streamline » its production. The furniture, especially the Bureau Plats, were in an actual « raw state », or as it held the source of 1720 for the 12 writing furniture, « plus ou moins Avances ». This means that the furniture was present in its basic structure, but only partially market benefits and provided without the bronze fittings. So it was AC Boulle possible to match the customer requirements in each case in detail, to bring adaptations and finish the furniture in a relatively short time. In addition, this method allowed him to employ his workshop with durable work. This organization of the work is also found in other masters of the era. The dealer EF Gersaint was this act in regard to an even higher scale, « Le client pouvait entrer dans la boutique de Gersaint et composer lui-même son meuble, par exemple, pour une table, choisir les pieds – Sculptes ou non – un dessus de marbre, et éventuellement of sabots de bronze. pouvait Il ainsi le meuble avec ce qu’il accorder possédait déjà chez lui. Il faut souligner la variété et surtout l’numérique, importance of meubles volontairement inachevés, ce qui offrait à l’une grande liberté acheteur.  » . (Glorieux 2002) The classification of large Bureau Plats 4 legs of AC Boulle can be divided into three categories: those with « têtes de satyre », which he produced in several variations since 1690, those with rolled Eckbronzen as well as those with  » têtes de femme « , which in various, slightly different versions and » are known modelli « . The Bureau Plats with « têtes de satyre » represent the largest group here can, without going into details of the restorations and changes, list the following Bureau Plats:. That of the royal collections at Windsor, the Art Museum of Budapest, in Wallace Collection in London, the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, in the Frick Collection, and finally the Bureau-Plat of the Museum of Art in New York. They bear witness to the development of this type of trace chronologically. This contrasts with the two Bureau Plats from the collections of the Musée du Louvre in Paris (Stock No. OA 6166 and OA 6363), which likewise « têtes de satyre » exhibit, but these were later applied to replace the rolled Eckbronzen. The Bureau-Plat of Marquis de Nicolay The offered Bureau-Plat belongs to the last generation of the master and is characterized by the distinctive, powerful legs – in contrast to the simultaneously arising Bureau Plats « à têtes de femmes » from the collection of Prince de Condé (see Exhibition Catalogue Frankfurt, no. 20) or the counterpart in « contre-partie » from the collection of Machault d’Arnouville (see Exhibition Catalogue Frankfurt, no. 21). The identical clogs, as well as the striking grotesque mask, can be found at the Bureau « aux têtes de satyre » the Wallace Collection. The same grotesque mask can also be found at a Bureau-Plat « aux têtes de femme », which sold at Sotheby’s London on 24/06/1988 (catalog no. 74) was sold. The rosettes are found both on the desks of the Wallace Collection and the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. The marquetry of the middle drawer is identical to that of the panel of the Prince de Condé. The deposits of the lateral drawer are identical with those of the Bureau Plats of the J. Paul Getty Museum, the royal collections at Windsor, the collection of Machault 1719 (sold at Christie’s New York on 20.5.1994, catalog no. 80), the collection the Counts of Warwick (sold at Christie’s Geneva on 18.11.1974, catalog no. 54). The latter two have furniture fittings « aux têtes de femme » on. The marquetry of the side frame is identical to that of the Wallace Collection, and partly to that of the console from the Machault collection. The marquetry of the legs can be found in an identical manner in all the mentioned furniture « aux têtes de satyre » and in the Bureau-Plat of the Machault collection. The extremely fine foliage marquetry again finds himself in an almost identical manner in all the mentioned furniture. Information Provenance The family of Nicolay comes originally the Vivarais and is bringing in historical connection with the jurisdiction and a line through it as a « Premier Président de la Chambre des Comptes « and in the military as officers of France. In 1502 was a member of Treasurer of the Neapolitan kingdom, another was Lieutenant General « du grand maître de l’artillery » under Louis XIII and also included general officers or colonel of dragoons, others were bishops , such as Avignon, Cahors, Béziers or Verdun, the latter at the same time « premier aumônier » Madame la Dauphine for, mother of Louis XVI. Other members were Knights of Malta and Saint-Louis, President of the Grand Conseil, a member of the Académie Française, Chancellor in the service of Louis XVI and nine Premiers Présidents the Chambre des Comptes in Paris, which since 1509 to 1794 (with the resolution the monarchical structures) followed almost without interruption – a very rare example of a dynastic career in the French political system. It is thus understandable that members of this wealthy and important family gathering furniture of AC Boulle. According to A. Grimod de la Reynière, the famous gourmet and son of the renowned collector Aymar-Claude de Nicolay, Bishop of Bezier lived this surrounded by numerous furniture of the Parisian master. Aymar-Charles de Nicolay (1747-1794), President of the Chambre des Comptes and member of the Académie Française, owned several furniture of AC Boulle; among other things, a ceiling chandelier « à têtes de bélier », a pair of candelabra, a pair of half-cabinets « à trois portes » and the two famous cabinets « de Socrate et Aspasie » (now part of the collections of the Musée du Louvre in Paris, Stock No. OA 9518 -9519, and formerly in the collections of the Prince of Bendern, W. Beckford and the Dukes of Hamilton). The entire ensemble was auctioned on 25 May 1797 and mentioned a Bureau-Plat under catalog number 31: « Un très beau bureau de 6 pieds de long avec son serre-papiers en deux parties, surmonté d’une pendule garnie d’une figure d ‘homme et de femme d’après Michel-Ange de couleur antique, le reste du bureau de marqueterie en bronze doré d’or moulu.  » Aymar-François de Nicolay (1777-1839), eldest son of the above, Marquis de was Bercy, Comte de l’Empire, chamberlain of Emperor Napoleon, Pair de France during his 100-day rule and later under King Louis-Philippe. He married Alexandrine Charlotte Malon de Bercy (died. 1808), whose ancestors already furniture of AC Boulle possessed, above all a great Bureau Plat « s marqueterie de cuivre et d’écaille ». After the death of the last member of the Malon in 1809, the Château de Bercy came with the inventory owned by Gabriel de Nicolay under the condition that this assumed the title and arms of the Marquis de Bercy. In its heritage and the Château de Blet was, which he handed over to his brother Léon de Nicolay (1801-1873). In this castle the here offered Bureau-Plat remained for nearly two centuries. ‘s not inconceivable the possibility that Aymar-François de Nicolay the here offered Bureau-Plat reacquired at the above mentioned auction, as the third Duc de Praslin for the Boulle furniture of his father in 1793, or the Duc d’Harcourt for two « cabinets à figures en pied de Louis XIV », now part of the collections of the Musée du Louvre (Stock No. OA 5468-5469), at the auction of the collection his uncle, the Marquis de Lambert, in 1754 did. inclusion in the Catalogue Raisonné The offered Bureau-Plat of Marquis de Nicolay is in the Catalogue Raisonné, begun by Jean Nérée Ronfort and continued by Boulle The Project was added. It is under the number 4 20140721 CR configure. André-Charles Boulle was born on November 10, 1642 in Paris, where he died on Saturday, March 1, 1732. His long and successful career makes him one of the most important figures in the history of art during the reign of King Louis XIV and the Regency era. Boulle took over his father, who had founded this in 1653 in the Rue de Reims « Sur la Montagne Sainte Geneviève » the studio. By decree of Queen Maria Theresa of Austria, acting on the instructions of King Louis XIV Boulle received on 20 May 1672 so-called « logement » under the gallery of the Louvre, where once the Ebenist Jean Macé had worked. In October 1679 this studio was greatly enlarged and extended with facilities that were located near Queen Anne Louvre wing, opposite the Place du Vieux Louvre. This influenced the production greatly, now that we manufacture in those areas, both the furniture and marquetry design as well as the bronzes, pour and could zieselieren, which was a unique circumstance in the late 17th century. 1720 a fire destroyed the workshop in the Vieux Louvre – and with it Boulle’s immense collection of design drawings and prints, which had a marked decline in production resulted. Although Boulle was already at an advanced age, he retained both the apartment as well as his « boutique » of the Grande Galerie du Louvre. André-Charles Boulle maintained contacts to the « Direction Générale des Bâtiments du Roi », the actual Ministry of Fine Arts, the employees paid him for his important and diverse commissions for the king and his family. In addition to Boulle’s clientele included all members of high finance, who owned residences on the Place de Vendôme at that time. Boulle work as Ebenist, designer and manufacturer of bronzes was already regarded by his contemporaries for once in the « Decorative Arts ». As a designer Boulle was both « architect » and finally Ebenist of the highest quality, which earned the only « la notion de tri-dimensionalité » in his work. The huge success of its high-quality furniture, bronzes, clocks, candlesticks, pedestals and furnishings led to a plethora of orders from the French court, but also of the entire leading nobility of France, such as the Duc d’Orléans and de Bourbon, the Prince de Condé, the Duchesse du Barry, the Cardinal of Rohan, from foreign kings and princes as Philippe V of Spain, the Bishop of Cologne and Prince Maximilian Emanuel of Bavaria. Despite the enormous success Boulle was constantly struggling with financial problems and had to rely on the help of the king, for example, in 1703: « Le Roi a bien cette fois encore à voulu accorder Boulle de un arrest surséance pour six mois à condition que ce sera la dernière grâce que sa majesté luy fera là-dessus « . There were financial difficulties, especially the outstanding wage payments to his workers, and control problems, the Boulle forced in 1715 to override the company to four of his sons – but without giving the reins. To old age he remained active in his workshop and was responsible for the new design language of the Regency. spite of its expansion, the workshop Boulle has a very strong family retain embossing, a fact that was little known until today. From the beginning, Boulle worked with his father until his death in 1680, and with his sister Constanze until her death in 1678 and with his son Philippe Poitou, married the widow of the cabinetmaker Somer and also « du Roi ébéniste » was. Boulle also employed his biological cousin Pierre Boulle, the « ébéniste à la suite du Conseil » was, and later his son, a « ciseleur ». Once the own sons reached the appropriate age, they have been included by the father in the business. The eldest, Jean Philippe (1678-1744), and the Younger, Charles Joseph (1688-1754), had until her death in the Atelier de la Galerie du Louvre under the title « ébénistes du Roi » continue, especially as the first « engraver » and « ciseleur », the second as « ébéniste » and « marqueteur ». The second and the third son, Pierre-Benoît (1680-1741) and André-Charles (II) (1685-1745), her father left for 1725 The first of the two settled in the Faubourg Saint-Antoine, the second, the sculptor was won in 1709 the second prize of the Academy of Rome. He developed a very unique style in his studio in the Rue de Sèvres. Many of the bronze models, which his father processed before 1725 come from him. .: Lit JN Ronfort, A Louis XIV Armoire by André Charles Boulle, New York 2001 (Philips). Ibid., André Charles Boulle 1642-1732, Un nouveau style pour l’Europe, exhibition catalog, Frankfurt 2009 T. Dell, The Frick Collection, An Illustrated Catalogue – French Furniture and Gilt Bronzes, New York 1992 G. Glorieux, A l’Enseigne de Gersaint 1696-1750, Paris 2002 P. Hughes, The Wallace Collection, Catalogue of Furniture, London 1996, Sir H. Roberts, For the King’s Pleasure, The furnishing and decoration of George IV’s apartments at Windsor Castle, London 2001 G. Wilson / C. Bremer-David / J. Weaver, French Furniture and Gilt Bronzes, Catalogue of the J. Paul Getty Museum Collection, Los Angeles 2008th

Other coveted lots of this auction concerned objects of various styles from different time periods. Among the Empire furniture was the important console “aux griffons” by F.H.G Jacob-Desmalter, which found a new owner for CHF 210 000 (lot 1278).

Koller Auctions - Furniture & Decoration

Important console “aux griffons”,  Empire, probably Send by FHG JACOB-Desmalter (François Honoré Georges Jacob-Desmalter, 1770-1841), Paris, about 1810/15. Sold for CHF 210 000. Photo Koller Auctions

Wood, exquisitely carved with seated griffins, palmettes, rosettes, and decorative frieze , and applies. « Portor » top. Mirrored rear wall. 133x56x92 cm.

Provenance: From a French collection.

Notes: A very similar console – made ​​with winged Sphingenfiguren and FHG Jacob Desmalter for the Tuileries – is shown in D. Ledoux-Lebard, Le Mobilier du XIXe siècle, Paris, 1989; S. 333rd As the second son of the famous Georges Jacob (Champion 1765) learned FHG Jacob Desmalter the craftsmanship in the studio of his father. Surname he added « Desmalter » to, a reference to his country of origin « Les Malterres ». As the « association » with his brother George II by the sudden death came to an abrupt end, FHG began Jacob Desmalter a new collaboration with his father and received the title « menuisier-ébéniste fabricant de meubles et bronzes LL.MMII. RR et » . Throughout the Napoleonic rule they supplied as « fournisseurs principals » the imperial palaces. The years around 1800 were marked by the boundless imagination and production as well as of the close relationship to the imperial court, which earned him the most important jobs. The thriving company employed temporarily to 600 workers and produced in these years furniture worth over 10 million francs, which was an enormous sum at that time. However, it was not only the quantity but also the already highly praised by his contemporaries « diversité » their production, which established the fame of the Jacob family. The cooperation with major artists, « bronziers » designers and such. B. with C. Percier, PL Fontaine, T. Brongniart, F. Bélanger, JL David, C. Odiot or PP Thomire, led to the most significant works that era and manifests the great importance of Jacob Dynasty. The artistic brilliance of furniture and furnishings suffered from the economic situation; many clients were due to the chaos of war in those years not being able to pay the bills numerous furniture had to be kept « en stock ».1809 revealed FHG Jacob Desmalter the difficulty of obtaining the compensation of his services at the imperial court, and described the precarious situation as follows: « Je ne pouvais prévoir, que les affaires éprouveraient une stagnation aussi grande; l’étranger ne fait aucune demande et les travaux que j’ai fait depuis sont pour les services de l’Empereur et Roi SM … Les délais sont si longs … Je ne vois par le moment où tout ce que per pourrai toucher j’ai fait pour les palais des Tuileries, Fontainebleau, Compiègne, Rambouillet et autres.  » 1813 received FHG Jacob Desmalter a general debt relief with the non incorrect remark that he was « unique management victime of événements politiques » was. Dependence on imperial orders – at the beginning of a very lucrative and prestigious affair – turned out after 1810 to be fatal. The defeat of Napoleon on the battlefields of Europe followed a financial need of the Treasury, the stopped placing orders for the production of luxury furniture. 1813, the company « faillite » had to explain. The financial disaster despite being FHG Jacob Desmalter the most important Ebenist of the Empire. lit .: P. Kjellberg, Le Mobilier français du XVIIIe siècle, Paris, 1989; S. 434/435 (biogr. Specifications).

Marble and bronze figures were likewise high in demand. The Greek bronze figure of Zeus from the 5th century B.C. was auctioned for CHF 294 000 (lot 1016). The ca. 80 cm tall marble figure of Actaeon with club, skin, horn and dog, which was created by Barthélemy Blaise in 1786, sold for CHF 180 000 (lot 1253).

Koller Auctions - Furniture & Decoration

Bronze figure of Zeus, Greece, 5th century BC. Sold for CHF 294 000. Photo Koller Auctions

Bronze with green patina. Zeus standing with his right arm raised, on a stepped, square wooden base. H 18 cm (without base). H 23.5 cm (with base).

Provenance: – Former private collection, Zurich.
– Auction Sotheby’s New York, 17.12.1998 (Lot No. 113).
– Gallery D. Cahn, Basel.
– Private collection, Switzerland.

Exhibition: André Emmerich Gallery, New York, 7.2.1968-13.3.1968.

Notes: There the bronze was explained as follows: « The smooth green patina is typical for the Dodona bronzes and it is very likely that this Zeus was a votive offering to his famous sanctuary The slender proportions and the highly relaxed poise point to a work under the. influence of the great Lysippus at the ending phase of classical art. For a novel version of this type Zeus in Madrid see R. Thouvenot, Cat. the figurines et objets de bronze (1927) pl.I 10 Cf. so a Jupiter Often Represented on Roman Imperial coins, eg on sestertii of Antoninus Pius, with the inscription IOVI STATORI: Coins of the Roman Empire, British Museum, 4 (1940), pl 28, 3 For the head, the old man on the Ilissus stele. in the National Museum of Athens (H. Diepolder, The Attic grave reliefs (1931), pl.48), Provides a striking parallel.  » Zeus the highest and unbezwingbarste the Greek gods and the god of light, of the sky was known. The name derives from the Indo-European Djeus and is related to the ancient Indian Dyauspita, lat., This Peter / Jupiter, together. As the son of Cronus and Rhea Zeus had brought in a tremendous battle against his father, him and the Titans plunged into Tartarus, to take control over the dark powers of depth. But Zeus had to share the rule with his brothers Poseidon and Hades. When God the height he let his power in heaven, the « Cloud Baller », the lightning lover who Hochdonnernde and Dunkelwolkige, who was responsible for all weather changes. But among the gods he was also the most fertile: Athena, Apollo, Dionysus, Ares, Hermes, Hephaestus, Artemis, Persephone, Euphrosyne, Thalia and Aglaia were all his children. If he was human women approached, he changed his form more than any other Greek god; so also in Europe, the beautiful daughter of Agenor.The legend says that the girl, when she saw the bull was so blinded by his beauty that she stroked him and sat on his back. The bull jumped into the sea and then swam to Crete, where he joined with her. For the love of Zeus for Titaness Themis sprang the three Fates, Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos. But constant consort of Zeus was his sister Hera. Their children were Ares, Hephaestus, Hebe and Eileithya. was Zeus but also as the wisest and weitschauendste of the gods, gave people the « noble mind », which was considered mild and accepted the expiations. To appear comprising the power of Zeus liked, he never ceased to be the God of the bounded domain, ie from their homes and possession. To him they turned the other gods when they had disputes and studied law. His main places of worship were Dodona and Olympia and the largest temple of Zeus, the Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens, once started Peisistratids, was not completed until the reign of Hadrian.

Koller Auctions - Furniture & Decoration

Barthelemy Blaise (Lyon ca. 1738-1819 Paris), Young Actaeon sitting on a rock. dated 1786, ParisSold for CHF 180 000. Photo Koller Auctions

« Carrara » marble. On a round shaped base. Signed as BLAISE FECIT 1786 H 81.5 cm.

Provenance: – Auction Sotheby’s London, 8.7.1998 (Catalog 104.).
– Private collection, Switzerland.

Notes: B. Blaise first attended the Ecole de Dessin in Lyon. Later, he began to build up an excellent reputation as a sculptor and has received several major commissions in Lyon; so he created a life-size figure of St. Stephen, and another by John the Baptist for the cathedral in Lyon. In the years 1770-1772 J. Chinard was his pupil. In 1785 he was admitted to the Académie Royale in Paris and introduced two years later at the Salon figures of a « berger » and Leda from. A year later, he created the monument for the Comte de Vergennes, Charles Gravier for Notre Dame in Versailles. He also produced numerous ornamental work on major buildings of the French capital. The most famous representation of this hero of Greek mythology comes from Ovid. This surprised the roaming through the woods surrounded by Actaeon the nymphs bathing Diana. Deprived of the goddess, her bow, splashed him with water from the source and called to him: « Now tell me, if you can, you had seen me naked » Then Actaeon grew antlers from the center of the forehead, the ears were longer, hands and feet were to split hooves and a fur covered his body. In the shape of a deer he was later not recognized by his friends, but hunted and eventually torn to pieces by his own hounds.

Books & Autographs

“Astronomicum Caesareum” by Peter Apian sold for CHF 660 000

The Book auction featured no less than three bids in the six-digit range. The top lot was the “Astronomicum Caesareum” by Peter Apian from 1540, which sold for CHF 660 000 (lot 402). In addition to being one of the most attractively printed works of the 16th century, this book is considered to be the last important work of Ptolemaic astronomy.

Koller Auctions - Books & Autographs

Peter Apian, Astronomicum Caesareum. Sold for CHF 660 000. Photo Koller Auctions 

Title with colored woodcut border and woodcut big coloroured. Dedication with engraved coat-of-arms of emperor Charles V. and full page-size color woodcut at the end. 36 full page-size colored woodcuts astronomical, thereof 21 with in total 61 (of 83 upon) moving elements (so called « volvelles ») and 27 colored cords. A lot, partly colored woodcuts in text and 93 figural woodcut initials-(thereof 53 on 11.5 lines). Ingolstadt. [Colophon in mirror writing]: In aedibus nostris [George and Peter Apian], folio 1540. [59] leaves. Two mounted bands text on fol. G4 recto, mounted correcting-band over two lines on fol. K1 recto. Red maroquin of the 19th century (signed Belz-Niédrée), applies with spine and covers, and true edges. – First edition, edition B CORRESPONDING Schottenloher: The last page with an older coat-of-arms woodcut: an eagle with one head and signature « Insignia Petri Apiani ». Our copy without the 12 pearls, Which werewolf mounted on the cords. – Inside: Lightly waiterstained on the upper border, in the beginning a little stronger, the first three leaves with smal restorations of the bursting border (outside the text). The last third so a little waterstained on the borders, apart from did just a little browned, all in all in exceptional condition on.

Provenance: Old book seller mark of the Erasmus House Basel.
– Swiss private property.
– One of the most important books of the 16th century and « the most spectacular contribution of the book-maker’s art to sixteenth century science » (Gingerich).

The second highest bid of the auction, namely CHF 408 000, went to Isaac Newton’s “Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica” from 1687 (lot 353). With this work, Newton laid the cornerstone for the Law of Universal Gravitation and Classical Mechanics.

David Robert’s six-volume work with 238 colored lithographs of historical subjects from Palestine and Egypt, published in London between 1842 and 1849, fetched CHF 220 000 (lot 386).

Koller Auctions - Books & Autographs

David Robert, The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt, & Nubia. From Drawings made on the spot by David Roberts, R.A. With historical Descriptions by the Revd. George Croly. L.L.D. Lithographed by Louis Haghe. 6 volumes. Sold for CHF 220 000. Photo Koller Auctions

With 4 engraved frontispieces (thereunder 1 portrait of the author), 6 engraved titles, 238 coloured originial-lithographies, all mounted on card, as well as 2 engraved maps by L. Haghe after D. Roberts and C. Baugniet. London, F. G. Moon, 1842-1849. 6 monumental Maroquin with gilt spine and covers, coat-of-arms, gilt edges (sign: « Pilkington, Dublin »; borders a little rubbed, some slight spottings, light scratchings) in: Library furniture, late Art Déco. Trope wood. Rectangular corpus with diagonal leaf on the mounted base. Open front with 6 extensible shelf boards. Metal holders. 81x52x106 cm (the leaf with scratchings and missings in the inlay). – First edition, complete with all engravings. – Inside: Titles and text a little moldy and browned. Some plates a little foxing and glue shadily. Some fingerspots. The plate ‘Shrine of the Annunciation’ in vol. I cut on the borders, the plate « Cairo looking West » with some ink dots and/ or colour dabbers. All in all in a very good condition.

Provenance: With the exlibris and coat-of-arms of the Earls of Portarlington on Emo Court (Ireland). – Monunumental travelogue from the Orient in custom-built furniture

Old Masters

Matthias Stomer and Jan Brueghel dominate the Old Masters auction

The ca. 1.1×1.5 m painting of the evangelists Mark and Luke with their attributes, lion and ox, which Matthias Stomer created as the counterpart to “Matthew and John with eagle and angel”, was the top lot at Koller’s Old Masters auction and sold for CHF 432 000 (lot 3029). This work was formerly part of the Trafalgar Galleries and subsequently became part of a European private collection.

Koller Auctions - Old Master Paintings

Matthias Stomer (Amersfoort circa 1600 – after 1650 Sicily), The Evangelists Mark and Luke with their attributes, the lion and the ox. Oil on canvas. 113 x 154 cmSold for CHF 432 000. Photo Koller Auctions

Provenance: – Trafalgar Galleries, London, 1976.
– European private collection.

Literature: – Walsh, John: Stomer’s Evangelists, in: Burlington Magazine, July 1976, pp. 504-507, fig. 84.
– Nicolson, Benedict: Stomer brought up to date, in: Burlington Magazine, April 1977, p. 238.
– Nicolson, Benedict: The International Caravaggesque Movement, Oxford 1979, p. 95.
– Nicolson, Benedict.: Caravaggism in Europe, 2. edition, 1990, fig 1512.
– Verdi. R.: Matthias Stom, Exh. Cat. Birmingham 1999, pp. 48-50, No 9, ill p. 49.

Exhibited: – « In the Light of Caravaggio », Trafalgar Galleries, London 1976, No 13.
– « Matthew Stomer », Barber Institute, Birmingham, October 1999 – Jan 2000.

With four works by Jan Brueghel sold at the auction, the Flemish master was without a doubt the star of the auction, both in numbers of lots and in total amount. A 20×26 oil on copper painting depicting the Holy Family resting on the flight into Egypt, from 1594, fetched CHF 396 000, the second highest price obtained at this auction (lot 3040). The tondo “A farmhouse by a stream” from 1610 sold for CHF 300 000 (lot 3049).

Koller Auctions - Old Master Paintings

Jan Brueghel the Elder (Brussels 1568 – 1625 Antwerp), Rest on the Flight into Egypt. Circa 1594. Oil on copper. Signed lower right: BRUE […]. 20 x 26 cm. Sold for CHF 396 000. Photo Koller Auctions

Expertise: – Dr. Klaus Ertz, 14.7.2014 (with dating circa 1595).
– Dr. Jaco Rutgers, 25.2.2014 (dating circa 1594).

Provenance: Swiss private collection.

Koller Auctions - Old Master Paintings

Jan Brueghel the Elder (Brussels 1568 – 1625 Antwerp), A farmhouse by a stream. Circa 1610. Oil on panel. Signed centre bottom: BRVEGHEL. 21 cm diameter (round). Sold for CHF 300 000. Photo Koller Auctions

Expertise: Dr. Klaus Ertz, 10.6.2013.

Provenance: Swiss private collection.

The winged altar (triptych) by the so-called “Swiss Master” brought about a surprise. This masterpiece, depicting the coronation of Mary, Saint Bernhard and Saint Agnes, the Annunciation, and Saint Anne with the Virgin and Child, was estimated at CHF 60 000 to 80 000, and achieved CHF 180 000 (lot 3005).

Koller Auctions - Old Master Paintings

“Swiss Master”, circa 1500, (from the circle of the Master of the Carnations, active between 1479-1510), Altar wing (Triptych): the coronation of Mary (central panel), St Bernhard of Clairvaux and St Agnes (outer wing), the Annunciation and St Anne with the Virgin and Child (central wing). Oil on panel. 46 x 46 cm (Central panel), 47 x 20 cm (Outer panel). Sold for CHF 180 000. Photo Koller Auctions

Expertise: Ludwig Meyer, 20.7.2000 (as Swiss Master of the Carnations, circa 1500).

Provenance: Swiss private collection for several decades.

19th century Paintings

Russian paintings high in demand

Once again, harmoniously composed paintings by the St. Petersburg artist Ivan Fe- dorovic Choultse were among the highlights of the auction for 19th century pain- tings. A winter landscape featuring Lake St. Moritz was sold for CHF 228 000, a sunset over the Adriatic changed hands for CHF 180 000 (lots 3225 and 3222). The “Portrait of a lady with coconut jewellery” by the Russian painter Konstantin Egorovich Makovsky was another top lot at the auction and fetched CHF 126 000 (lot 3202). The highest bid at the auction went to the oil “Les danseurs de Castel- Gandolfo” by Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, created ca. 1855/60, which achieved CHF 256 000 (lot 3256).

Koller Auctions - Highlights

Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot (1796 Paris 1875), Les danseurs de Castel-Gandolfo. Circa 1855-60. Oil on canvas. Signed lower left: COROT; 39 x 55 cm. Sold for 256 000. Photo Koller Auctions

Provenance: – Hôtel Drouot (vente Marmontel), Paris, 1868, Cat. No. 3.
– Collection of M. Le Mire, Rouen.
– Swiss private collection, Anna Deere Wiman.
– Galerie Koller, Zurich, 29. November 1985, Lot 5194.
– Christie’s, London, 22. May 2013, Lot 8. (label verso).
– Swiss private collection.

Exhibited: Paris 1875, Exposition de l’oevre de Corot. Ecole des Beaux-Arts, No. 104.

Literature: Robaut, Alfred: L’oevre de Corot, Paris 1965, Vol. II, p. 362, No. 1123 (with ill.).

Porcelain, Faience & Glass and Silver

Many bidders from all over the world

The top lot of the Porcelain auction was a Meissen figure of an “Augustus Rex” great crested grebe, manufactured ca. 1734 after a model by J.J. Kändler, and was acquired by an American collector for CHF 144 000 (lot 1800).

Koller Auctions - Porcelain, Faience & Glass

Rare model of an “Augustus Rex” great crested grebe, Meissen, model by Johann Joachim Kändler, ca. 1734. Sold for CHF 144 000. Photo Koller Auctions

Naturalistically modelled. Blue AR monogram on the unglazed base. H 48 cm. Restoration on both feet, beak and reed leaves, small chip on head feathers.

Provenance: – From the Royal Collections, Friedrich August II. Elector of Saxony, King August III. (1696-1763), Dresden.
– Gut Aabach, Risch am Zuger See.

The Silver auction delighted with several Russian objects. A silver-gilt “kovsh”, a tra- ditional Russian drinking vessel, by the Moscow master Alexej Iwanow Wichljajew, changed hands for CHF 60 000 (lot 1758), and a St. Petersburg lidded goblet from 1768 sold for CHF 12 000 (lot 1928).

Koller Auctions - Silver

Silver-gilt “kovsh”, Moscow 1794. Inspector’s mark Alexej Iwanow Wichljajew. Sold for CHF 60 000. Photo Koller Auctions

With maker’s mark. The inside with chased double-eagle and the depiction of a horseman. Cyrillic inscription which can be translated as « For Faith and Loyalty ». Handle with the crowned monogram of Tsarina Catherine II. The opposite side of the handle, with a cast double-eagle. The walls engraved with six cartouches depicting the tsarina and referring to the recipient in 18th century Cyrillic script. Freely translated as: « For Ivan the Small/Boy as a thank you for his long service, 20 May 1794 ». Gilding, rubbed in some areas. L ca. 26.5 cm, 420g.

Provenance: German private collection.

Koller Auctions - Highlights

Copy of a lidded goblet, marked St. Petersburg 1768. Maker’s mark Jean-Pierre Ador. Sold for CHF 12 000. Photo Koller Auctions

Square plinth, the corners each decorated with a ram head and with garlands all around. Round foot with blue enamel, with the engraving « Ador à St. Petersbourg ». Vessel with two enamel plaques in sculptured leaf cartouches. Lion heads with red glass eyes, holding a ring, handles with volutes and leaf festoons. The cover decorated with blue enamel and with a crown set with garnets.
This goblet is in the style of a vase that was produced by Jean-Pierre Ador in 1768 in St. Petersburg and belonged to the Prince Grigory Grigorievich Orlov. H 33 cm, 2235g.

Jewellery & Watches

More and more women bidders

The trend that an increasing number of women are actively bidding at the Jewellery auctions is continuing. The top lot of the Jewellery & Watches auction was the casual- elegant diamond ring with a step-cut diamond weighing 10.5 carat, created by Majo Fruithof, which sold for CHF 108 000 (lot 2177). A solitaire ring with a brilliant-cut diamond weighing 3.2 carat achieved CHF 90 000 (lot 2195).

Koller Auctions - Highlights

10.5 carat step-cut diamond ring, Majo Fruithof. Sold for CHF 108 000. Photo Koller Auctions

White gold 750. Casual-elegant model, the top set with 1 step-cut diamonds weighing 10.05 ct, ca. L/VS2, in a plain chaton with double prongs. Size ca. 53, foldable.

With pouch and copy of invoice for the ring, February 2005, and invoice for the modification, June 2011.

Koller Auctions - Highlights

3.2 carat diamond ring, ca 1960. Sold for CHF 90 000. Photo Koller Auctions

White gold 750. Classic-elegant solitaire ring, the top set with 1 brilliant-cut diamond weighing 3.203 ct, F/VVS1, set in a six-prong chaton. Size ca. 53.

With SSEF Report No. 70006, October 2013.

Old Master Drawings & Prints

Quality sells

The 1903 pencil and charcoal drawing by the Viennese artist Adolph von Menzel, depicting a couple on a bench in a park, was one of the top lots of the Auction for Old Master Drawings & Prints, and sold for CHF 9 600, i.e. above its estimate (lot 3514). Swiss works were also high in demand, in particular those by Alexandre Calame. His chalk on blue paper, depicting a mountain landscape in the vicinity of Bordighera, estimated at CHF 2 500 / 3 500, fetched CHF 9 600 (lot 3483).