A Sèvres Chinese service and the profile of Emperor Hadrian sculpted in the 17th century both put on fine performances.
Sèvres, late 19 th century. Part of a porcelain reticulated Chinese service with a decoration of openwork rosettes highlighted with gold fillets and with bamboo-shaped handles, comprising a lidded teapot, a milk jug, a lidded sugar bowl, two cups and saucers, marked "RF doré à Sèvres", "89" and "92" in red.
Expected to make no more than €8,000, this part of a service inspired a battle up to €35,000 because of its rarity. Featuring a double-wall, solid on the inside and with openwork trellising on the outside, these virtuosic pieces are particularly fragile. They were made during the reign of Napoleon III, and are similar to Queen Marie-Amélie's reticulated Chinese breakfast service, designed by Hyacinthe Régnier and produced at Sèvres in the reign of Louis-Philippe. In contrast with this group (now in the Louvre), which is embellished with rich polychrome decoration, these are more subtly highlighted in gold. Antiquity was popular with collectors, too, as witness the success of the Emperor Hadrian, sculpted in white marble in Italy during the second half of the 17th century. He inspired a bidding battle all the way up to €36,250 (h.48 cm, 18.8 in). The Ancien Régime was also celebrated, with €14,375 going to a mid-17th century chest attributed to Jean Armand, inlaid with leafy foliage in ivory on a tortoiseshell background, with a gilt copper keyhole. It is similar to a model with more complex decoration sold for €22,525 by the same auction house on May 23. A pair of Louis XV bookcases in bloodwood and purple wood, with tulip wood fillets and two glazed doors, obtained the same price.