Marie Antoinette’s exquisite armchair from the Pavillon Belvedere is among the highlights at Christie’s sale of important French furniture in London on July 9. The Taste of the Royal Court sale of furniture from a private collection comprises 22 examples of 18th century decorative arts. The furniture in the sale was created for some of the most celebrated patrons of the 18th century: Queen Marie Antoinette, Duke Albert de Saxe-Teschen, Jean Baptiste de Machault d’Arnouville, Chancelier de France and the Prince de Conti, and subsequently entered such legendary collections as those of the Dukes of Hamilton, the Marquesses of Bath at Longleat and the Comtes de Vogüé at Vaux-le-Vicomte.
The sale features work by master craftsmen like André-Charles Boulle, Charles Cressent and Adam Weisweiler. A giltwood fauteuil en bergère supplied to Queen Marie Antoinette for her salon in the Pavillon Belvédère at the Petit Trianon, was part of the most expensive suite of seat furniture ever made for the Queen. The only armchair from the set known to have survived is estimated at £300,000-500,000. A bureau plat by Cressent, of which the only other known example is in the Louvre, is estimated at £1-1.5 million. Estimates range from £30,000 to £1.5 million and the collection is expected to make more than £6 million.