Rare and Important Louis XVI silver tureen, Robert-Joseph Auguste, Paris, ca. 1784. © 2014 VERITAS
LISBON.- A Louis XVI silver tureen by Robert-Joseph Auguste and a George II silver tea caddy by Paul Crespin will be presented in Veritas December auction. The three-day evening sale takes place on 9, 10 and 11 of December featuring important Antiques and Works of Art.
These exceptional silverworks by two of the most notable 18th Century European makers shine amongst an extensive collection of selected Silver and Jewellery pieces, auctioned along with important Paintings, Porcelain, Furniture and Decorative Objects.
Appointed l’orfrèvre Ordinaire du Roi for Louis XVI, Robert-Joseph Auguste’s workshop produced hundreds of works for European Royal Houses. A rare oval shaped silver tureen – Paris, ca. 1784 – coming from an important Portuguese private collection, will be offered on December 9th session (lot 196) with an estimate of €25.000 – €50.000.
Rare and Important Louis XVI silver tureen, Robert-Joseph Auguste, Paris, ca. 1784. Estimate €25.000 – 50.000. © 2014 VERITAS
Of oval shape, foot with frieze, plain body with relief neoclassic frieze, cast and chiseled handles depicting branches of leaves and fruits, cover with framed tab at two relief rosettes, pine cone and acanthus cover finial on relief calyx with leaves and fruits Charge and discharge marks of Paris (1783-1789), “Maison Commune” mark of 1784 and Robert-Joseph Auguste maker’s mark (act. 1757-1793) 19th century liner and stand with similar decoration, Tête de Minerve 1 mark and Debain & Flament maker’s mark (1874-1880) (minor wear signs, small bruise to the stand, stand with faded maker’s mark); 28 x 38,5 x 23,5 cm 29 x 39,2 x 30,2 cm; 2880 g (terrina/tureen); 5204 g (total)
Note: Robert-Joseph Auguste (Mons, 1723-Paris, 1805) needs no introduction. Alongside Thomas Germain (1726-1791) he was one of the most important 18th century silversmiths and after Germains bankruptcy in 1765 Auguste become the most important and busy silversmith in France. Adding to the commissions due as Orfrèvre Ordinaire du Roi for Louis XVI (since 1778) his workshop produced hundreds of works for European Royal Houses, among others the courts of Stockholm, Saint Petersburg, Copenhagen, London and Lisbon were frequent buyers.
Some outstanding and famous silver table sets were made by Auguste, being the Tsarina Catherine the Great of Russia ensemble or the one commissioned by George III of Great-Britian two of the most famous. A magnificent pair of salt cellars signed by R. J. Auguste and part the Catherine the Great service is now on permanent exhibition at the Gulbenkian museum, Lisbon.
On April 1784 the Queen D.Maria (1777-1816) ordered two silver gilt toilette ensembles to Paris where D. Vicente de Souza Coutinho was the responsible for the royal purchases, he had no doubt choosing the author for the royal demand, in his own words it had to be R. J. Auguste the best silversmith of the country and probably of all Europe. Five sets of ewers and basins of this service are still at the Portuguese Royal Collections, on permanent exhibition at Museu de Arte Antiga, Lisbon, alongside three footed salvers from the same service. Several boxes and footed salvers with same provenance ended with Sweden royal family members inherited from the Empress Amalia of Leuchtenberg (1812-1873), second wife of D.Pedro IV of Portugal, first Emperor of Brazil. Some of these pieces appear for auction at times; in May 2011 a pair of salvers was sold at Sothebys Paris for more than 192.000 euros.
Adding to the royal family also the most important houses of the country bought from Robert-Joseph Auguste, being the most famous the commissions by the Dukes of Cadaval or the Counts of Povolide; a Cadaval tureen was sold in June for more than 162.000 euros at Bonhams London and a pair of wine-coolers bearing Povolide arms is at permanent exhibition at Museu de Arte Antiga, Lisbon.
We are proud to offer for sale in Lisbon this magnificent piece that belongs to an important Portuguese collection. Although its provenance is unknown it is not difficult to assume that this might be a commission of an important court member, especially noticing that this tureen dates of the exact same year than the royal toilette service.
João Júlio Teixeira, G.D.
We are thankful to Calouste Gulbenkian Museum and to the Arte Antiga Museum Silver Department, Dr.ª Luísa Penalva, for the collaboration.
A Rare George II silver tea caddy, Paul Crespin, London, 1745. Estimate €3.000-5.000. © 2014 VERITAS
Of rectangular shape, sliding cover Relief chiseled and engraved rocaille decoration. Shell feet, scalloped base with scrolls and profuse floral motifs; sides with large shell, flowers and leaves, center of both sides with large shell-framed cartouche; upper part with shells suspending a garland Sliding cover depicting fruit tree branch with fruits and leaves Cartouches of both sides engraved with crest under “DEO JUVANTE” motto London marks for 1745 and Paul Crespin maker’s mark (1720-1770) (wear signs, minor bruises); 12,4×9,7×6,4 cm; 400 g
NOTE: Paul Crespin (London 1694 Southampton 1770) is one of the most important English silversmiths. Alongside Paul de Lamerie (Bois-le-Duc 1688 London 1751) or Nicholas Sprimont (Bap. Liège 1716 London 1771) Crespin and his younger brother were part the Huguenot group of refugees in London after 1685.
The arrival of this group of artists and artisans was one of the most important reasons for the development of Britains 18th century decorative arts in areas such as furniture, clock making, jewellery and more especially in silver. The extraordinary quality and know-how of the works was way superior to those made by the British until then. They also bring new styles and typologies from the continent and gradually rococo enters the English taste at the same time tureens and the sauce boats also arrive to Britain. The sculptural character of this silver works of art as well as exquisite engravings distinguishes them from the rest of the production.
Crespin worked for an extremely high-end clientele and royal commissions were frequent, in his vast list of patrons and clients we can find the Duke of Marlborough, the Duke of Portland, the Prince of Wales and more important to us Portuguese, D. João V King of Portugal.
Very often Crespin and Sprimont worked together and are specially remarkable two pieces: the Asburnham centrepiece (1747) today at the V&A and the Neptun tureen commissioned by the Prince of Wales in 1741 and still at the royal collections at Buckingham.
The relation between Crespin and the Portuguese court is remarkable and paradoxically quite unknown.
Paul Crespin and his brother were responsible for one of the most legendary commissions by D.João V (1706-1750): the silver gilt bath for his famous mistress, Madre Paula.
Commissioned to Paul Crespin in 1724 the doublement dorée solid silver bath was raised in dolphin feet and the surface was fully decorated with relief mythological scenes and exquisitely chiselled. The work was finished by August 1724 and before being sent to Lisbon was presented to the King George II who showed himself extremely surprised with so curious piece.
Before that Crespin had already worked for the Portuguese court and in 1722 a large basin fitted for foot bath was made possibly for the Maundy Thrusday ceremony. The piece was part of a Portuguese noble estate until the end of the 19th century and today is kept at the British Museum.
Is also curious note that Paul Crespins younger brother we couldnt find his name that worked in partnership with his brother was appointed orfévre du Roi by D.João V ca. 1727 and stayed in Lisbon at least in 1729.
This close relationship with the best English silversmiths of the time is often forgotten in the bibliography regarding the large Portuguese commissions of the first half of the 18th century but it is one more proof of the extremely quality of D. João Vs collections.
We are proud to offer for sale this magnificent piece signed by one of the best silversmiths of the 18th century and one that worked so closely with Portugal.
The auction full catalogue is available online at http://www.veritasleiloes.com. The sale preview takes place from 3rd to 8th December [all days from 10am-9pm, except for Friday and Saturday from 10am-10:30pm] at Avenida Elias Garcia, 157A/B, Lisbon, Portugal. The sale takes place on the 9th, 10th and 11th at 9pm, at the same venue