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Auction Description for Sotheby's: The Great Exhibitions Sale
Auction Description:
The Great Exhibitions Sale

The Great Exhibitions Sale

by Sotheby's


173 lots with images

October 31, 2006

34-35 New Bond Street

London, W1A 2AA United Kingdom

Phone: +44 (0)207 293 5000

Fax: +44 (0)207 293 5989

Email: info@sothebys.com

SALVIATI AND CO. A FINE ITALIAN MOSAIC PORTRAIT OF PRINCE ALBERT OF SAXE-COBURG-GOTHA PALAZZO BARBARIGO, VENICE, DATED 1865

Lot 500: SALVIATI AND CO. A FINE ITALIAN MOSAIC PORTRAIT OF PRINCE ALBERT OF SAXE-COBURG-GOTHA PALAZZO BARBARIGO, VENICE, DATED 1865

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Description: 60.5cm. by 54.6cm., 23¾in. by 21½in.made by Enrico Podio with glass tesserae by Lorenzo Radi, after the portrait by J.J.E.Mayall, the oval panel mounted with the demi-portrait in profile to the left, set in a copper tray with iron support and suspension loopinscribed in tessarae E.PODIO.F.1865 / STABIL. VENEZIACondition Note: some weathering to metal surfaceWe are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described in our catalogue. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSION CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.PROVENANCECollection Pauly & C. - C.V.M., Venice, sold Sotheby's, Vetri di Murano - La Collezione Storica Pauly, Venice, 13th September 2005, lot 5 NOTETogether with Henry Cole, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Prince Consort of Queen Victoria of England (1819-1861), was the mastermind behind the Great Exhibition of 1851, with a view to celebrating the great advances of the British Industrial Age and the expansion of the empire. Using the profits from this event he commissioned the building of the Royal Albert Hall and established the museum sites in Kensington.Our portrait is probably based on a daguerrotype photograph by John Jabez Edwin Mayal (née Jabez Meal) (1813-1901), photographer and producer of daguerrotypes (see albumen carte-de-visite, 1st December 1861, National Portrait Gallery, London).For an almost identical miniature example in the Victoria and Albert Museum, (illustrated here) see R.Liefkes, Burlington Magazine, Vol.CXXXVI, May 1994, pp.284-285, fig.19. Measuring 19.5cm. by 16.5cm. and signed on the reverse 'STABILIMENTO SALVIAT VENEZIA 1864'. This smaller version (inv. 261-1866) was made by Salviati at the time of the installation of mosaic panels to the Albert Memorial in London. It was presented to Queen Victoria in 1864 who in turn gave it to the Museum two years later.Antonio Salviati's glass-working career began in 1859 when he founded a workshop in Venice in order to make very large as well as plaque-sized micro-mosaics. The mosaic pieces were melted down in Murano by the well-known glass technician, Lorenzo Radi, in a wide and elegant range of colours. In 1866, when Salviati founded his own glass-works (called the Venice and Murano Glass and Mosaic Company from 1872) in Murano, he established his independence from Lorenzo Radi and produced glass mosaic pieces on his own, thanks to the collaboration of the gifted glass technician, Vincenzo Moretti. The mosaic workshop was founded by inviting the mosaic artist, Enrico Podio, from Rome. He came from a family specialising in mosaic and micro-mosaic work. The most famous member of the family was Luigi Podio who had made miniature micro-mosaics for the renowned Roman goldsmith, Pio Castellani as well as for his children and heirs, Alessandro and Augusto. The latter were all creators of beautiful pieces of jewellery in archaeological style as well as being collectors and antique dealers in their own right. The Castellani family enjoyed a close professional relationship as well as friendship with Salviati and Alessandro Castellani was Salviati's consultant regarding the ancient glass-making techniques.It is likely that the Castellani trio introduced Salviati to Enrico Podio who is already quoted in the catalogue of the first Murano glass exhibition (inaugurated in 1864 in the glass museum, founded in 1861) alongside Lorenzo Radi as being one of the main figures behind the renaissance of mosaic-work in Venice.Salviati made important large-scale mosaics for both European and American clients even after 1877 when he was abandoned by the other members of the Venice and Murano Glass and Mosaic Company. He continued to produce important mosaic decoration on public and privately-owned buildings as well as exhibiting at the major World Fairs of the period. His smaller plaque-sized mosaics were an important part of this production and include views of monuments and portraits of such historical figures of the 'Risorgimento' as Giuseppe Garibaldi, King Vittorio Emanuele II, Cavour as well as of Antonio Salviati and others.

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ATTRIBUTED TO FREDERICK NASH 1782-1856

Lot 501: ATTRIBUTED TO FREDERICK NASH 1782-1856

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Description: "'WHILE MEN PUZZLED OVER DOMES TO RIVAL THE PANTHEON AND HALLS TO SURPASS THE BATHS OF CARACALLA', PAXTON INUAGURATED A NEW STYLE OF ARCHITECTURE 'WHICH PROMISES TO HAVE A STILL GREATER INFLUENCE ON THE FUTURE'" - J. R. PIGGOTT QUOTING THE ARCHAEOLOGIST AUSTEN HENRY LAYARDA VIEW OF THE INTERIOR OF CRYSTAL PALACE, SYDENHAM65 by 120cm., 25½ by 47¼in.signed JOSEPH PAXTON and stamped with a wax seal on the mount l.r. watercolour over pencilNOTEAfter the Great Exhibition of 1851, the Crystal Palace was disassembled and rebuilt in Sydenham, which opened to the public in 1854. The rebuild included an interior with a series of fountains that the designer, Joseph Paxton, said 'rivalled Versailles'. The Palace was used for many events after the move including festivals, music shows and future International Exhibitions.

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w - THE MEDIEVAL COURT JOHN HARDMAN AND CO. AN ENGLISH BRASS ANGEL DESIGNED TO STAND ON TOP OF A CURTAIN STANDARD

Lot 502: w - THE MEDIEVAL COURT JOHN HARDMAN AND CO. AN ENGLISH BRASS ANGEL DESIGNED TO STAND ON TOP OF A CURTAIN STANDARD

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Description: EXHIBITED AT THE GREAT EXHIBITION, LONDON 1851h.85cm., 33 3/8 in.Birmingham, circa 1850cast as an angel upholding a candle holder, on a circular base with three lion paw feetNOTEThis brass angel and the following lot were exhibited in the Medieval Court in 1851 and can be seen in the chromolithograph published in Dickenson's Comprehensive Pictures of the Great Exhibition, after Nash, Haghe and Roberts, London 1852. It is rare to find pieces which can be identified from the Medieval Court, which was one of the most formative aspects of the Exhibition. The history of these angels is particularly fascinating. They were originally commissioned by the scholar, antiquarian and priest the Rev'd. Daniel Henry Haigh for the Catholic Parish Church of SS Thomas and Edmund in Erdington. Haigh made use of private inherited fortune to build this church on the outskirts of Birmingham and employed the architect Charles Hansom (1819-1879). The metalwork for the interior was produced by John Hardman and Co. of Birmingham. The original account is recorded in the Metalwork Daybook, preserved in the Birmingham City Archives the entry for the 18th May 1850 reading, "6 large brass angels to stand on top of curtain standards, with wings etc, & holding candlesticks in hands. No.2099 £60." They were then borrowed from Erdington to add to the display in the Medieval Court along with several other pieces. Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin was the inspirational force behind the display and no doubt his close relationship with Hardman lead to these angels being selected. An interesting note taken from the Illustrated London News' report of the Exhibition mentions the angels. "Round the high altar on the east side, as set of six brass pillars, about 12ft. in height are erected. These pillars are highly ornamented in their shafts, with moulded caps and bases, and sustain six angels, also in brass, with outspread wings, bearing standards with tapers; between every pillar is a brass rod with open-work bratishing, and rings from which silk curtains wove with sacred emblems are suspended. This kind of inclosure was formerly to be found in the majority of the foreign cathedrals, and occasionally in our own; but bad taste and revolutionary violence have completely stripped the ancient churches of these beautiful arrangements, and they have been revived for the first time for the chancel of St Thomas's Church at Erdington, for which the whole this work has been designed and executed." (Illustrated London News, 20th Sept., 1851, p.362.)Following the Exhibition the angels were returned to Erdington but were removed in 1897 when the present altar was installed, as part of the celebrations to commemorate the 1300 anniversary of the arrival of St. Augustine. It is not known when they were disposed of.The Medieval Court was highly important for the introduction of the Gothic revival style under the inspiration of Pugin. In many ways it was seminal in the development of what became the aesthetic movement and later the particularly British Arts and Crafts movement. At the time there was considerable controversy regarding the influence of Catholic imagery when the Anglo Catholic revival was causing concern in conservative church circles. The Prime Minister had to intervene in a row concerning Pugin's cross, which was thought to be too visible within the Crystal Palace. It was eventually lowered, within the court however there must have been an air of solemnity, which could only have been enhanced by these splendid angels.

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w - THE MEDIEVAL COURT JOHN HARDMAN AND CO. AN ENGLISH BRASS ANGEL DESIGNED TO STAND ON TOP OF A CURTAIN STANDARD

Lot 503: w - THE MEDIEVAL COURT JOHN HARDMAN AND CO. AN ENGLISH BRASS ANGEL DESIGNED TO STAND ON TOP OF A CURTAIN STANDARD

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Description: EXHIBITED AT THE GREAT EXHIBITION, LONDON 1851h.85cm., 33 3/8 in.circa 1850cast as an angel upholding a candle holder, on a circular base with three lion paw feetNOTESee Footnote to the previous lot.

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w - CRACE AND CO. AN ENGLISH OAK SIDEBOARD

Lot 504: w - CRACE AND CO. AN ENGLISH OAK SIDEBOARD

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Description: 180cm. high by 275cm. wide by 79cm. deepcirca 1855in the manner of A.W.N.Pugin, with an elaborately carved and pierced panelling, the top rail with the Naylor coat of arms above an open shelf supported by four griffins holding the Naylor armorial, the central frieze drawer flanked by two further drawers above cupboard doors carved with monograms for John and Georgina Naylor respectively, enclosing shelving, the finely finished brass lock plates and escutcheons by John Hardman and Co. of BirminghamPROVENANCEJohn Naylor, Leighton Hall, Nr Welshpool, Powys.NOTEThis splendid sideboard by John Crace and Co. in the manner of A.W.N.Pugin owes it's place in this sale to the close association both Crace and Pugin had with International Exhibitions.Pugin is celebrated for his contribution to the Medieval Court at the Great Exhibition in 1851. At the time of the Great Exhibition Gothic furniture was not highly rated and indeed much of Pugin's work attracted ridicule, R.N.Wornum who contributed his views to the Art Journal's record of the exhibition was highly critical and yet at the same time he was prompted to admit that the style deserved some attention, "nevertheless as we have said before, the Medieval Court tricked out in gaudy-coloured draperies, and glittering brass, and cold monumental stone effigies, presented a stunning coup d'oeil, and deserves analytical description". (The Exhibition as a Lesson in Taste, Ralph Nicolson Wornum, The Art Journal Illustrated Catalogue, Vertue and Co, 1851, pv following). Although Gothic revival furniture and decoration represented only a small part of the furniture shown, largely because of Pugin's influence and the success of the exhibition it gained in popularity and no doubt would have appealed to forward-looking patrons such as the Naylor's at Leighton Hall, who acquired the great sideboard by Fourdinois from the exhibition. Crace's association with Pugin is well documented and the firm continued to make furniture to his designs long after his early death in 1852. It is especially interesting to note that Crace had shown Queen Victoria around the Medieval Court, in which she showed considerable interest. Crace showed a sideboard similar to this lot at both the Paris Exhibition in 1855 and the second London Exhibition of 1862; the exhibited sideboard included an elaborate upper section but the base exhibits striking parallels. There are also similar sideboards by Crace, which rely heavily on Pugin's designs at Lismore Castle, Co. Waterford, Abney Hall in Cheshire and at Tyntesfield in Somerset. This sideboard which can be seen in a photograph of the dining room was sold as Lot 579 in the Harrods "Leighton Hall" sale, which took place in 1931. It appears in Crace's invoice for Leighton Hall, dated 1853/54/55 and is described as a "Gothic sideboard in oak, 9' long by 2'6" wide, elaborately carved £96/15/00". Naylor, a Liverpool banker moved to the 4,000 acre estate in 1851 and it is thought that he employed Pugin to advise him on the interiors, although there is no documentary evidence to support this but Crace continued to be associated with the house.

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