Sotheby’s London auction has again been very successful and created records in the field of decorative arts. Mario Tavella, Sotheby’s Deputy Chairman Europe and the specialist in charge of the sale was very excited and enthused by the results. She said “ The extraordinary rare treasures with highly desirable aristocratic provenance sparked competition from private collectors and institutional buyers alike as well as the trade and there was bidding and buying from Europe, the United States, Russia, Asia and the Middle East.”
The star of the show was a massive wine cooler weighing 168 pounds and certainly the most important piece of English silver to come to the market in 50 years. The Great Silver Wine Cistern measuring more than a meter across which was made originally for Thomas Wentworth was bought by a private Asian buyer for over 2.5 million British Pounds beating the pre-sale estimates of 1.5 to 2.5 million pounds. Sotheby called this 21 lot sale Sotheby’s Sale of “Treasures” bringing in a total of $ 21.18 million exceeding the high end of the pre sale estimates comfortably.
There was an Italian ivory inlaid rosewood table made for Duke of Urbino going back to 1596-97, an amber box bearing the arms of Prince William IV dating back to 1734. Even more impressive was a set of three ivory painted and parcel-gilt Royal Pliants by Jean-Baptiste-Claude Sene who made them for the Salon De Jeux of Queen Marie Antoinette in 1786-87. They fetched more than double the estimate of 250,000 pounds.