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Auction Report: Bonhams & Butterfields Mariani Collection

by Christopher Kent (02/23/09).

Bonhams  & Butterfields has the distinct pleasure of offering pieces from the collection of Antonio and Liliane Mariani, owners of the internationally known and respected Antonio’s Antiques. This single-owner, 400-lot auction will be held in Bonhams’ San Francisco salesroom on Monday, March 2.

This extraordinary sale offers “the rare, the unique, and the exquisite.” It is sure to draw strong international interest and pull from Bonhams’ “who’s who” client base. The collection comprises a select offering of highly desirable 17th-, 18th- and 19th-century antiques. Antonio’s Antiques was one of the driving forces that established San Francisco’s Jackson Square as a destination for antique collectors and designers from around the world.

The sale will offer some of the finest highlights of the Antonio’s collection reflecting rarity, connoisseurship and centuries of beautiful design. The collection opens for preview on Feb. 27 continuing to the day of the auction,

Highlights include Lot 246, A superb late-17th-century Brussels tapestry that depicts a loggia with Solomonic (barley twist) columns overlooking a parterre within a border of floral swags. The tapestry measures 9 feet, 4 ½ inches by 14 feet. The clarity of color and condition, with minimal reconditioning, makes this museum-quality tapestry well worth its estimate of $30,000-$45,000.

17th-century Brussels tapestry

17th-century Brussels tapestry

Another standout is Lot 80, a pair of George III terrestrial and celestial globes estimated at $15,000-$20,000.

George III terrestial and celestial globes

George III terrestial and celestial globes

Lot 46 is an unusual George III giltwood wall clock estimated at $10,000-$15,000. Both unique and unusual, this period Rococo clock is fashioned out of wood as opposed to being cast in bronze and gilded. The delicacy of the pierced and floral carved frame is topped by an outspread winged ho ho bird crest that centers a silvered dial with both Latin and Arabic chapter rings and seconds dial. The maker, John Page of Ipswich, England, inscribed the dial.

George III giltwood wall clock

George III giltwood wall clock

Lot 183 is a finely proportioned, early-19th-century Russian gilt-bronze chandelier with an estimate of $35,000-$50,000.

Early-19th-century Russian chandelier

Early-19th-century Russian chandelier

Lot 223, an important early-18th-century Louis XIV boulle work, marquetry commode has an estimate of $70,000-$100,000. This commode incorporates the finest decorative techniques of the 18th century. Its rectangular top is placed over two short and two long drawers flanked by scrolled stiles ending in gilt sabots. The quality of the pieds de biche, overall inlay in premier partie boulle work depicting media-del-arte figures and animals along with the inlay of tortoiseshell brass, pewter and shell marquetry makes this piece second to none.

Early-18th-century Louis XIV commode

Early-18th-century Louis XIV commode

Lot 224 is a marvelous 16th-century Spanish Renaissance figure of the Madonna. This deaccessioned piece from New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art has an estimate of $12,000-$15,000.

16th-century Spanish Madonna

16th-century Spanish Madonna

More than 40 European paintings are on offer including works by Pieter Bout, Johann Halszel and Bartholomeus Assteyn.

The sale also includes excellent examples of Chinese Export, English and Continental porcelains, continental decorative items and silver.

(All photos are courtesy of Bonhams & Butterfields.)

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