THE SECOND part of the Riahi collection, which holds a legendary position among the great collections of French furniture, will be offered at Christie’s in London on December 6. The name Riahi is synonymous with French 18th century furniture and works of art, collecting and connoisseurship. On offer is the very best mid 18th century marquetry and lacquer furniture, many pieces with Royal and illustrious provenance. Comprising around 50 lots the collection was formed over half a century by M. an Mme. Riahi and is expected to realise more than £20 million. The sale of 59 lots from the first part of the collection in 2000 realised $40 million.
Exceptional Louis XV lacquer furniture by Bernard II van Risenburgh is led by the magnificent ormolu-mounted Japanese lacquer secretaire-à-abattant, circa 1755 (£3,000,000 – 5,000,000) illustrated above on the left. It is almost certainly from the collection of Mme de Pompadour, as recorded in Lazare Duvaux’s journal of 19 February 1757. It entered the collection of Dukes of Richmond at Goodwood House, Sussex in 1765, where it remained until 1993. The pair of silver soup tureens illustrated in the centre above are by King Louis XVI of France’s goldsmith Robert-Joseph Auguste (1723-1805). They are estimated at £400,000-600,000.
A further highlight is a Louis XV ormolu-mounted Chinese celadon porcelain pot-pourri vase and cover, Kangxi (1662-1722), with mounts dating to circa 1740. This unusual vase can be traced back to 1756, when it was sold from the collection of Marie Joseph d’Hostun, duc de Tallard. Many of the pieces in his collection came from the cabinet of the Dauphin, son of Louis XIV, whose property was sold to different collectors after his death. Illustated on the right of the image above it is estimated at £250,000-400,000.