As part of its traditional sale The Collector: Le Goût Français, which will take place on 27 April, Christie’s has chosen to highlight the Château de Chantilly through one of its players, Mathieu Deldicque, Curator at the Musée Condé, and the enchanting decorations of the château, in particular by evocating one of its mythical decor, La Petite Singerie by Christophe Huet (1700-1759), during the exhibition which will be held in the salons of Christie’s from 22 to 27 April.
Indeed, while the last twelve months have left no institution in the world of culture and heritage unscathed, Christie’s is very honoured to be associated with the Domaine de Chantilly this season. Simon de Monicault, Vice President of Christie’s: “On the occasion of the ‘Le Goût Français’ sale, Christie’s is particularly pleased to honour the Château de Chantilly and in particular the associations that ensure the preservation of this multi-century jewel box. “
Mathieu Deldicque, Curator at the Musée Condé – Château de Chantilly: “Since the Middle Ages, Chantilly has been through many highs and lows. It is indeed this tormented history that gives it such a special character.
All the superlatives are combined in Chantilly: the most important collection of ancient art in France after that of the Louvre, the rarest and most precious private library in the world, a unique cabinet of drawings, 18th and 19th-century apartments with a number of pieces of furniture of royal origin, but also the most imposing stables in Europe, which are still in use, and not to mention the imposing gardens by André Le Nôtre…
Chantilly is fortunate to be the object of admiration and care of a large number of enthusiasts. The Friends of the Musée Condé and the Friends of the Domaine de Chantilly, who faithfully support and make possible, year after year, the restoration of the collections and exhibitions, need the help of each and every one of us to pursue their noble mission, which is more essential than ever: that of working to preserve and make these treasures accessible.”
At the heart of these refined and exotic settings, The collector: le goût français will celebrate French decorative arts with a particular focus on the 18th and 19th centuries. The sale will feature a fine selection of furniture and objects from a variety of periods and styles while managing to establish a certain concordance and consistency. What they have in common is that they all carry a strong aesthetic and historical message.
One of the highlights of the sale will be the rediscovery of a richly carved console table made for the Marquise de Pompadour, the King’s mistress from 1745 to 1751, who contributed greatly to the development and influence of French art, estimated at €40,000-60,000. Hippolyte de la Ferronnière, Specialist of the Department: “One of my favourites is an exciting rediscovery: a spectacular console made for Madame de Pompadour for the Château de Bellevue.”
Balanced curves and counter-curves, finesse, and precision of the generous but nevertheless elegant sculptural work characterise this console, which reflects the image of its patron, one of the most important during the reign of Louis XV: Madame de Pompadour. Originally, this console was presented as a counterpart to another one – most probably in the Music Cabinet of the Château de Bellevue. The second console, formerly in the Penard y Fernandez collection, is now in the Musée National des Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon. In 2019, Christie’s London sold a secrétaire also commissioned by Madame de Pompadour, which fetched an incredible £1,871,250, against an original estimate of £70,000-100,000.
Another remarkable lot is a lovely oil on canvas by Jean Baptiste Pillement, Le montreur d’oiseaux from a private Belgian collection. The artist was inspired by an exotic aesthetic that was very popular in the 18th century: a love of curved lines, an entanglement of patterns, and attention to detail. He offers a European interpretation of Far Eastern art and delivers a refined work that should attract the attention of collectors. It is estimated at between €50,000 and 70,000.
Also on offer is a rear set of Meissen porcelain including a group of statuettes. The ensemble is enhanced by a remarkable plate with polychrome and gold decoration (ill. right), dating from 1725 and estimated at €10,000-15,000.
From the château of Châteauneuf-sur-Loire, a royal residence which belonged to the Duc de Penthièvre, collectors will be able to acquire a writing table (estimated at €6,000 to €10,000) from the Transition period, characterised by the Transition between the novelty and originality of the Louis XV style and the return to the classical inspiration of the Louis XVI style. Dating from the same period, there is also an elegant commode (ill. on the right), made around 1760, stamped by Roger Van Der Cruse, known as Lacroix.
He created a sober piece of furniture, with a central front opening with five drawers in three rows, whose nobility is enhanced by a choice of satin veneer with warm and amber reflections. The sobriety of this piece of furniture testifies to the evolution of the artist’s style, in phase with his time.
The sale will also include works by Emilio Terry, the apostle of great classicism, whose style is close to both the Classical and the Baroque, whom he called “Louis XIX“. It includes neoclassical mahogany, and an ebony table, estimated at €10,000 to €12,000, a suite of 16 mahogany armchairs, and a suite of six three-armed wall appliques in gilt bronze. This furniture, made in 1961, illustrates the artist’s ability to use traditions to better divert them and to deploy his inventiveness and fantasy.
Please note: A digital event will be organized on 22 April at 6.15 pm: “At the heart of one of the greatest French châteaux. Conversation with Mathieu Deldicque“.
Sale: April 27
Exhibition: 22-27 April
Christie’s : 9 avenue Matignon, 75008 Paris