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