A collection of royal and aristocratic heirlooms is headed for auction at Sotheby's on Tuesday.
The Of Royal and Noble Descent sale will feature more than 450 lots, ranging from old master paintings and renaissance sculpture to antique furniture and decorative arts, all offered with provenance from some of Europe's most distinguished families.
"Ever since their inception two years ago, our Of Royal & Noble Descent sales have captured the imagination of collectors," said Joao Magalhaes, Sotheby's specialist in continental furniture.
"This year's selection includes fascinating items from distinguished German, English, Dutch, Portuguese and Italian aristocratic families. Having survived through inheritance, many of these treasures have never been seen by the general public and their appearance at auction offers a unique opportunity for discerning collectors to acquire them."
Leading the sale will be 34 pieces from the famous 'Farnese Service', a famous porcelain dinner service produced circa 1784-88 by the renowned Real Fabbrica Ferdinandea factory in Naples.
Featuring landscape decoration of neo-classical type, the service was the first of its kind produced at the factory, and was commissioned by Giuseppe Beccadelli, an Italian politician and diplomat in the service of the kingdoms of Naples and Sicily.
Just a handful of single pieces from the service have ever appeared at auction before, and this unprecedented group of 34 plates, dishes and tureens is expected to sell for $144,450-$216,660.
Further highlights of the auction will include 164 lots from Palazzo Sacchetti, home to the Sacchetti family, one of Italy's oldest and most influential dynasties; a selection of property of the princely house of Bismarck; and a selection of medals and military decorations from the collections of Major General William HB "Reay" Mirrlees.
Sotheby's Of Royal and Noble Descent auction takes place in London on Tuesday, January 19.
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