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Silverwork Sets the Table

On 11 February 2021, by Anne Doridou-Heim

Marcel Sztejnberg’s silverware collection received just recognition for a noble, beautiful passion, as well as a preemption.

Silverwork Sets the Table

Antoine I Neyrat, pair of fluted-stem candlesticks with collars, Clermont-Ferrand, 1687, h. 16.8 cm. (6³?/??”), weight, 693.9 gr. (24.47 oz.)
Result: €243,200

In an article about this rare collection, La Gazette reported on Marcel Sztejnberg’s interest in antique French silverwork and why he decided to sell his collection. Part one included 140 lots obtaining a total result of €1,920,064. The pieces sported a wealth of hallmarks from Clermont-Ferrand, Rennes, Strasbourg, Dunkirk, Dôle, Nantes and Angers, recalling the vitality of silversmithing in the provinces.

A pair of incredibly modern-looking candlesticks fetched the highest bid. If it weren’t for the date, 1687, they could be taken for an Art Deco model.  These major pieces made by Antoine I Neyrat in Clermont-Ferrand fetched €243,200. They date from a time before items like this were melted down to fund the French kingdom’s wars. An eight-sided saltcellar "à rouleaux" (weight: 128.1 gr./4.51 oz.) crafted by Théodore Chastelain (admitted as master 1656) in Paris in around 1670-1671 sold for €74,240.  

An attractive silver toiletry set with four powder boxes, made in Rennes in around 1750-1753, was expected to fetch the highest bid but finally achieved second place with €204,800: a fine sum, nonetheless.

In this gleaming parade, a lidded vermeil bowl from Strasbourg (1775, 271.1 gr./9.56 oz.) bearing Prince Louis Armand de Rohan’s monogram fetched €83,200, a pair of candle snuffers on a kidney-shaped platter made in Rennes (1720, 442 gr./15.59 oz.) €76,800, and a sugar bowl with twisted sides made in Dôle €70,400. The Musée de la Renaissance d'Écouen preempted a folding traveling place setting (the fork’s three prongs can fit into five loops on the back of the spoon), stamped in Paris between 1600 and 1610, for €10,880: an action the collector expected.  

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