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    A gilt-bronze-mounted amaranth, tulipwood, bois satiné, parquetry and oak, Goût Grec Secrétaire à Abbatant, stamped Joseph Twice, Louis XVI, circa 1770. (Click on image to enlarge). UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £385,250.

    Neo-classical and Empire furniture and a collection of 18th century scagliola will be a feature of a sale at Sotheby’s  in London on May 3.  The auction of property from the London homes of Prince and Princess Henry de La Tour d’Auvergne Lauraguais also comprises Old Master paintings, silver, objets de vertu, and drawings and books from the library of designer and architect Emilio Terry, a member of the 1930’s Parisian avant-garde.  Renowned for his magnificent library at Château de Rochecotte, the sale presents part of Emilio Terry’s collection of architectural books and livres d’artistes.

    The furniture highlight is a magnificent gilt-bronze mounted amaranth and tulip wood secrétaire by Joseph, circa 1770, which, with its very strong neo-classical outline, represents the pinnacle of Le Goût Grec style.  There is an identical secrétaire at the Getty Museum in Malibu.  It is estimated at £150,000-300,000.

    One of a pair of Italian Scagliola Panels by Enrico Hugford within carved giltwood and ebonised frames, mid 18th-Century, (£20,000-30,000). Click on image to enlarge. UPDATE: THIS LOT SOLD FOR £91,250.

    Sotheby’s say the sale will present he greatest collection of 18th century scagliola ever to come to market. Developed in 17th century Tuscany as an alternative to the costly marble inlays of pietra dura, scagliola is an extraordinarily complex technique, often used to produce decorative effects resembling inlays in marble and semi-precious stones.  Princess Anne de La Tour d’Auvergne Lauraguais commented: “It was my father, Prince Henry, who inspired me to study the art of scagliola”.  In turn he had been inspired by his uncle, Emilio Terry.  “In my father’s opinion, scagliola had a refinement of colour, texture and sensuality softened as if dimmed by a veil of fog, not like pietre dure which could be bright and almost screaming with colour. Scagliola is a man-made stone, not meant to be used outside, but to live with…. I followed his advice and am indebted to him for giving me a life-long love for the art of scagliola.”

    Highlights from Emilio Terry’s library include a near complete set of the first Paris edition, 1800-1807, of Giovanni Battista and Francesco Piranesi’s works, (29 works in 27 volumes) estimated at £150,000-£240,000. Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s prints of Rome contributed considerably to the growth of the Neo-classical movement in art and architecture.

    UPDATE:  THE sale brought in £4,372,178, well above the pre-sale estimate of £1.73 – 2.62.

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