King Alfonso's vase and Italian World Record seat star in $17.3m sale

Sotheby's recent London Evening Sale of Treasures: Princely Taste was led by the auctioning of a pair of Italian carved giltwood settees created for one of the most sumptuous Rococo interiors in Italy, otherwise known as the Gilded Gallery of Palazzo Carrega Cataldi.

The sale set a World Record price at auction for Italian seating, before a round of applause. In the end, the settees sold for over three times the pre-sale high estimate (£300,000-500,000) to bring £1,721,250.

Other highlights in the sale included a recently rediscovered masterpiece, an exquisitely carved chalcedony cover which is the lost partner of a magnificent cup in the collection of the Louvre, expertly crafted by Giovanni Ambrogio Miseroni.

Miseroni is today regarded as being the greatest of all Renaissance hardstone engravers, helping the chalcedony cover to bring a final price of £1,497,150.

This Royal Gilt-Bronze-Mounted Sèvres Fond Violet Porcelain Vase, sold for £109,250  

In the end, the sale's collection of rare and important decorative art with links to some of the greatest collectors in European history achieved a within-estimate total of £10,832,600 with 76.9% sold by value.

"Tonight's sale was carefully curated following the tremendous reception that last year's inaugural Treasures sale received," said Sotheby's Deputy Chairman, Europe, Mario Tavella.

"Again, we were able to offer a number of works not only of museum quality, but that were fresh to the market, and the enthusiastic buying in the saleroom this evening demonstrates the hunger - across a very international market - for works of such rarity and remarkable provenance."

Also among the highlights was a rare purple, gilt-bronze-mounted Sèvres porcelain vase, circa 1768, from the bedroom of King Alfonso XII of Spain. It raised a total of £109,250, well above its £50,000-£80,000 pre-sale estimate.


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