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    This masterpiece of English Rococo, the Burghley Epergne, was created for the 9th Earl of Exeter. It is estimated at $800,000/1.2 million. (Click on image to enlarge) UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $950,500.

    The four day sale of  the Lily and Edmond J. Safra Collections  at Sotheby’s in New York in October offers remarkable opportunities to collectors around the world.  Sotheby’s say that the six dedicated sales from October 18-21 represent the pinnacle of their respective collecting categories.

    The sales are as follows: Magnificent European Furniture & Works of Art, led by an extraordinary group of French 18th-century lacquer, arguably is the most important at auction since the 1882 sale of the Collection of the 12th Duke of Hamilton from Hamilton Palace, Scotland; Important Russian Works of Art comprised of over 100 lots of fine and important Russian porcelains, silver, enamels and other objects; Highly Important Silver, including a stunning assemblage of primarily English and French creations from the mid-18th to the early-19th centuries; Important Cosway Bindings, comprised of a magnificent group of approximately 180 Cosway bindings, the finest collection to be sold at auction in nearly 90 years; Interiors: Fine 19th Century Watercolors, presenting a collection of over 100 interior paintings, many of which document the great estates of wealthy patrons and sumptuous palaces of royalty;  European Furniture, Fine & Decorative Arts, led by a large group of 18th-century Meissen porcelain figures of birds, as well as a significant collection of extremely fine and rare ‘tour de force’ turned ivory carvings.

    Cosway binding by Riviere & Sons Concerning the True Portraiture of Mary Queen of Scots by Joshua James Foster. The cover is inset with 13 miniature portraits of Mary Stuart and François II, almost certainly painted by Miss C. B. Currie ($40/60,000). (Click to enlarge) UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $50,000.

    Mr. and Mrs. Safra’s collections offer unparalleled opportunities for connoisseurs worldwide. The full sale, which is estimated in excess of $40 million, will be on exhibition throughout Sotheby’s York Avenue headquarters beginning 14 October.   A two day sale of the Safra Collections at Sotheby’s in 2005 realised  $49 million.
    Born in Beirut to a family that started in banking at the time of the Ottoman Empire Edmond Safra built a business that spanned more than thirty countries across the globe. A victim of arson at his home in Monaco, he died in 1999.  He was an extraordinary philanthropist who supported tens of thousands of students, underwrote medical research, built and restored schools and synagogues, endowed professorships, and contributed to countless humanitarian, religious, educational, and cultural causes worldwide. Since 1999 Lily Safra has chaired the Edmond J. Safra Philanthropic Foundation. Both personally and through the Foundation, she supports research into neurodegenerative diseases, particularly Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, at dozens of hospitals and universities worldwide

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