Led by a pair of beds, 18th and 19th-century decorative arts uncontestably dominated this sale, achieving the best results.
C. 1830, pair of iron and gilt bronze beds, gilt bronze, polished steel, wrought-iron frame, 126 x 220 x 114 cm/49.60 x 86.61 x 44.88 in.
"Spectacular" is the word that this pair of gilded bronze beds brings to mind. It is hard to say which one is more impressive than the other, whether because of the dimensions, close to those of today’s king-size beds, or the eye-straining profusion of ornamentation. The relatively plain-looking iron frame disappears under gilded, chased, polished or matted bronze acanthus leaves. Leafy cups adorn the bed knob-topped uprights and natural stamped roses decorate the sides, mixed with shells and scrolls forming the curve of the legs. The lavish decoration had a price to match: €88,400. The rococo ornamental repertory recalls the furniture Johann Melchior Kambly (1718-1783) designed for Frederick the Great at Sans-Souci Château and the Neues Palais. These unsigned beds, then, are closer to Prussian or Austrian creations than French ones. A pair of Louis XVI porphyry vases (57.5 x 13.5 x 13.5 cm/22.64 x 5.31 x 5.31 in) whose mounts are attributed to Pierre-Philippe Thomire fetched €49,400. The sale also included a pair of girandoles with porcelain storks from the Marquise de Pompadour’s former collection and an allegorical white marble putti (h. 91 cm/35.83 in) attributed to Francesco Ladatte (1708-1787). Neither found a buyer.