Past Auction

Old Master Paintings and English & Continental Furniture & Decorations

Wed, Jan 27, 2016 at 10am EST |
New York
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Sale of English & Continental Furniture & Decorations and Old Master Paintings Tops $2 Million

  • Doyle's Sale of English & Continental Furniture & Decorations and Old Master Paintings Tops $2 Million on January 27, 2016
  • Auction Achieves Exceptional Sale Rate of $91% Sold by Lot and 97% Sold By Value
  • Consignments Are Currently Being Accepted for the May 2016 Auction

Doyle New York's auction of January 27, 2016 achieved strong prices for English and Continental furniture and decorations from the 16th through 19th centuries, including English, Continental and Chinese export porcelain, Georgian silver, sculpture, clocks, chandeliers, sconces, tapestries and rugs. The Old Master paintings and drawings section of the sale offered landscapes, still lifes, portraits and religious subjects by European artists from the Renaissance through the early 19th century.

With competitive international bidding from the salesroom, the telephones and the Internet, the sale totaled a successful $2,110,569, surpassing the presale estimate of $1,338,150-2,054,500, with an exceptional 91% sold by lot and 97% sold by value.


Highlighting the sale was an elegant George II sterling silver covered soup tureen by Paul de Lamerie, whom the Victoria and Albert Museum in London describes as the “greatest silversmith working in England in the 18th century.” Estimated at $40,000-60,000, the tureen achieved a remarkable $112,500 following spirited trans-Atlantic bidding. The piece exemplified the height of Rococo fashion and was richly cast with lions to the feet and handles. It was one of a group of Georgian silver articles that was property of a New Jersey Collector. From the same collection was a pair of George II sterling silver sauceboats, also by Paul de Lamerie, that sold for $25,000, exceeding their estimate of $10,000-15,000.

Silver from other collections included a George III Irish sterling silver epergne by John Lloyd of Dublin, estimated at $10,000-15,000, that fetched $21,250, and a sterling silver flatware service in the Trifid pattern by James Robinson of London that sold for $20,000, doubling its estimate of $8,000-12,000.


The selection of clocks was highlighted by a fine bracket clock by Samuel Watson (c. 1635-1710) that surpassed its estimate of $15,000-20,000, selling for $31,250. An important English clockmaker and mathematician, Watson called himself Mathematician in Ordinary to Charles II. The works of an astronomical clock he made for the King in 1682 are preserved in another case at Windsor Castle. In 1692, he was admitted to the horological guild, the Clockmakers' Company. This bracket clock was from the Wetherfield Collection, which was sold in one of the most celebrated clock sales of the 20th century. Many of the clocks were by bought in 1928 by the highly-respected English furniture dealer, Arthur S. Vernay, New York, from whom this example was purchased.

Marques de Almedares Armorial Porcelain

A colorful Canton Famille Rose service in the sale was a rare example of Cuban armorial porcelain. It was commissioned in the mid-19th century by the Marqués de Almendares, a member of an aristocratic Spanish family who had built a considerable fortune in Cuba in sugar and other enterprises. Each piece is decorated with a coronet and the abbreviation of the title, Excelentísimo Señor Marqués de Almendares. The four lots offered in the auction descended from a private collection in Cuba to the consignor, and all sold above their estimates, highlighted by a platter that sold for a near-record $5,000.

During the 19th century, Spain saw its global empire weakened and its wealth likewise diminished. At the same time, the Spanish colonial aristocracy had grown fabulously wealthy through the international trade of sugar, coffee, tobacco and other commodities. In order to shore up its influence with its colonies, and gain much-needed revenue, the Spanish Crown bestowed titles of nobility on affluent colonists in return for large sums of money, with Cuba receiving more grants of noble titles than any other colony.

On December 4, 1842, Don Miguel Antonio de Herrera y O'Farrill (1799-1844) was granted the title of Marqués de Almendares by a Royal Patent of Queen Isabella II of Spain. A member of an aristocratic Spanish family who had built a considerable fortune in Cuba in sugar and other enterprises, Don Miguel had served as Lieutenant Colonel in the Third Rural Squadron of King Fernand VII and was influential in the construction of the Cuban railroad. Don Miguel held the title of Marqués de Almendares until his death in Havana on February 19, 1844, after which the title became vacant and remained so for eight years.

By a Royal Charter of Succession dated November 25, 1852, Don Miguel's younger brother, Don Ignacio José María de Herrera y O'Farrill (1807-1884), became the second Marqués de Almendares. The Spanish Crown would bestow further honors on Don Ignacio. He was named a Gentleman of the Bedchamber and was awarded the Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Isabella the Catholic. He was also appointed to the Spanish Senate and served as a Senator of the Kingdom from 1861 until 1864.

Offered in the auction were four lots from the Marqués de Almendares armorial porcelain service. Made in Canton, this Famille Rose service was commissioned by either the first Marqués, Don Miguel, between his elevation in 1842 and his death in 1844, or by the second Marqués, Don Ignacio, following his succession to the title in 1852. Each piece is decorated with a coronet and the abbreviation of the title, Excelentísimo Señor Marqués de Almendares.

Old Master Paintings

The Medieval Italian Mother of Mercy, an image of the Virgin sheltering her people under her cloak, made its way north of the Alps in the 15th century. There, the  Virgin was shown as Queen of Heaven, with angels holding her cloak. Highlighting the Old Master paintings was a 16th century altar panel in the Manner of the Master of the Bamberg Saint Claire Altar that is a classic example of this northern variation of the theme. Its donor, shown at the Virgin’s feet, is identified by the banderole as the Elector Frederick of Saxony. Competitive bidding sent the work to $30,000, many times its estimate of $6,000-8,000.

By a follower of Canaletto was a view of A Newly Elected Doge Presented to the People of Venice in the Piazza San Marco that achieved $22,500, doubling its estimate of $8,000-12,000. Beginning in the late 15th century, it was the custom for a newly elected Doge of Venice to be installed in office in the Basilica of San Marco, after which he would be carried, along with members of his family and the Admiral of the Arsenal, around the Piazza San Marco in a ceremonial chair known as the Pozzetto. During this procession, he and his companions threw gold and silver coins specially minted for the occasion to the crowd, which greeted this largess with such enthusiasm that a corps of baton-wielding men had to be stationed along the route to keep order, as shown in this depiction.

All prices include the buyers' premium.

We Invite You to Auction!

Consignments are currently being accepted for Doyle's May 18, 2016 auction of Old Master Paintings & Drawings and English & Continental Furniture & Decorations. We invite you to contact us for a complimentary auction evaluation. Our specialists are always available to discuss the sale of a single item or an entire collection. For information, please contact:

Peter Lang, Furniture & Decorations, 212-427-4141, ext 274, [email protected]

Elaine Stainton, Paintings, 212-427-4141, ext 249, [email protected]


Consignments are currently being accepted

To have your property evaluated for possible consignment in the next auction, please contact:

Media Contact

Louis LeB. Webre
SVP, Marketing & Media
212-427-4141, ext 232
[email protected]

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  • Estate of Patricia M. De Bary
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  • Property from a New Jersey Collector
  • Property from a New York Estate
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A Selection of Auction Highlights