Étiquettes

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Imperial Austrian interest: A late 19th continental gold smoking set supplied by the Austrian Crown Jeweller A E Kochert, the cigarette case with post-1891 Viennese import mark (2). Estimate £1,500 – 2,500 (€1,900 – 3,200). Photo: Courtesy of Bonhams.

LONDON.- A smoking set given to the 9th Earl of Denbigh by Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, whose assassination at Sarajevo in 1914 sparked the events which led to the First World War, is to be sold at Bonhams Fine Silver and Gold Boxes Sale in London on 12 November. It is one of several pieces by Viennese craftsmen in the sale.

The smoking set, which is estimated at £1,000-1,500 and bears the engraving ‘From H I & R H The Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, June 1897′ , was made by the Austrian Crown Jeweller A E Köchert. The firm had grown out of an initial partnership in the 1830s between Heinrich Köchert and Emanuel Pioté, the maker of another item in the sale – an 1826 rare lapis lazuli gold and enamelled snuff box which is estimated at £10,000-15,000.

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A rare 19th century Austrian lapis lazuli, gold and enamelled snuff box by Emanuel Pioté, Vienna, 1826. Estimate £10,000 – 15,000 (€13,000 – 19,000). Photo: Courtesy of Bonhams.

Operating in Vienna at much the same time as A E Köchert’s was the firm of Ratzersdorfer established in the 1840s by Hermann Ratzersdorfer and continued by his son Julius. Hermann revived and perfected the art of cutting and polishing rock crystal which had reached its peak in Milan in the 16th century. His work and that of his son is highly sought after and it is represented in the Bonhams sale by a magnificent pair of rock crystal and enamelled silver-gilt caricature model of musicians estimated at £50,000-70,000; a rock crystal and enamelled silver-gilt trefoil ewer and stand (£20,000-30,000) and a rock crystal silver-gilt and enamel model of a peacock.

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A near pair of 19th century Austrian rock crystal and enamelled silver-gilt caricature models of musicians, by Hermann Ratzersdorfer, Vienna, circa 1885. Estimate ££50,000 – 70,000 (€64,000 – 89,000). Photo: Courtesy of Bonhams.

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A 19th century Austrian rock crystal and enamelled silver-gilt trefoil ewer and stand, by Hermann Ratzersdorfer, Vienna, circa 1886-91. Estimate £20,000 – 30,000 (€26,000 – 38,000). Photo: Courtesy of Bonhams.

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A 19th century Austrian rock crystal, silver-gilt and enamel model of a peacock, by Hermann Ratzersdorfer, Vienna, circa 1886. Estimate £12,000 – 15,000 (€15,000 – 19,000). Photo: Courtesy of Bonhams.

Finally, the sale also includes a silver and enamelled desk set of inkwell and candelabra by Leopold Weininger, described in his obituary notice in 1922 as ‘the last of the lineage of the great goldsmith, from the clan of Benvenuto Cellini.’ The set is estimated at £10,000-15,000.

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A 19th century Austrian silver and enamelled desk set of inkwell and candelabra, by Leopold Weininger, Vienna, circa 1883-86. Estimate £10,000 – 15,000 (€13,000 – 19,000). Photo: Courtesy of Bonhams.

Bonhams Head of Silver, Michael Moorcroft said, “Vienna in 19th century was home to some of the greatest gold and silver smiths of the age. The concentration of wealth and power round the Imperial Court of Franz Joseph from his accession to the throne in 1848 created huge demand for elaborate and extravagant objects which still hold great appeal for collector today. »