Thursday, 30 January 2014

Auction of Napoleonic Decorative Arts

French Porcelain Bust of Napoleon

Chicago Auctioneers Leslie Hindman have announced the auction of an unusual and fascinating collection of Napoleonic Decorative Arts. The property of the late Mrs Ann Ross Stone of Shaker Heights, Ohio, this delightful collection was assembled with the aid of her husband and children over a number of years and countless visits to Paris.

Ann Ross Stone (1931-2012),with Leonard Stone

Representation of Napoleon on his deathbed on St Helena

Napoleon in his declining years on St Helena

It is rather sad that such a fine collection so lovingly put together over so many years is now being dispersed.

Sèvres Style Porcelain Plates with individual portraits of Napoleon

A unique collection, in its entirety it provides an excellent illustration of the wide range of artefacts inspired by the legend of Napoleon in nineteenth century France. It would I think have merited closer examination and analysis by an academic specialist before the items again go their separate ways.

Sèvres Style Gilt Metal Mounted Porcelain Garniture

It is a pity that it was not possible to mount an exhibition in a major museum or gallery before the collection was sold off, although the logistical problems and the time and costs involved in such an undertaking would I imagine have been prohibitive.

A Sèvres Porcelain Five-Piece Napoleonic Coffee Service

Many of the items seem to be modestly valued, there are as far as I can see no dubious historical claims, and few works by recognised artists. It will be interesting to see what they actually make. I am far from an expert, but I suspect that the piece by Emile Hippolyte Guillemin will attract a lot of interest.

A French Bronze Figure, Emile Hippolyte Guillemin (1841-1907)

My thanks to Corbin Horn of Leslie Hindman's for drawing this to my attention. I really wish I could get to Chicago to look at the collection before the sale, but at least I will be able to follow the auction online.


Hels said...

Although I too think it is very sad that such a fine collection is now being dispersed, I would buy the Sèvres Napoleonic Coffee Service in a heart beat.

The galleries that have big Napoleonic collections already eg in Paris or Melbourne, should bid for these pieces.

John Tyrrell said...

Hi Hels,

Yes I would like to think that some of these pieces will end up in places where they can be viewed by the public.

Margaret Rodenberg said...

Oh, yes! I too would like to have that 5-piece coffee service.