Christies to Offer 18th-Century French Decorative Arts From Dalva Brothers – Barron’s

Posted: February 11, 2020 at 3:50 pm


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An intricately inlaid table made for Madame Infante, the daughter of Louis XV for the ducal Palace at Colorno will be offered for between US$100,000 and US$200,000 Courtesy of Christie's

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In April, Christies will host a sale of more than 250 pieces from a collection of Dalva Brothers, a New York-based art dealer that has been the go-to source for 18th-century French furniture and decorative arts for 87 years. The dealer is closing shop.

The sale, including European furniture, Svres porcelain, Chinese works of art, clocks, and sculpture, is expected to fetch approximately US$5 million.

The sale, titled Dalva Brothers: Parisian Taste In New York, has a strong representation of works of royal and aristocratic provenance, led by a Svres porcelain gold-ground teapot and cover (thire bouillotte) circa 1779, likely made for Marie Antoinette or Louis XV I. It has an estimate of between US$30,000 and US$50,000.

Additionally, an intricately inlaid table made for Madame Infante, the daughter of Louis XV for the ducal Palace at Colorno will be offered for between US$100,000 and US$200,000, as will a Consulat ormolu-mounted mahogany and Angoulme porcelain clock, circa 1800, supplied to the Chteau de Saint-Leu for Napoleons brother, Louis Bonaparte and his wife Hortense de Beauharnais, later the King and Queen of the Netherlands. It is estimated to fetch between US$60,000 and US$100,000.

Highlighting the 18th-century French furniture from the collection is a Louis XVI pietra dura and ormolu-mounted ebony secrtaire en cabinet by Adam Weisweiler and supplied by Dominique Daguerre, circa 1785-90. The cabinet has a presale estimate of between US$600,000 and US$1 million.

For the past eight decades, Dalva Brothers has worked with such institutions as the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Palace of Versailles, and the Louvre. Private clients included Greta Garbo, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and John Dorrance, the former president of Campbells Soup.

While my family has been privileged to work with these objects from the Age of Enlightenment, this auction heralds a new chapter for Dalva Brothers, Leon Dalva, whose parents founded the business in 1933, said in a statement. It is our wish that these works of art will bring happiness to their new owners just as they have to my family and our clients over the years.

The family is closing the dealing business due to a variety of reasons, according to Jody Wilkie, co-chairman of decorative art at Christies New York.

Although the Dalva Brothers gallery in a six-story townhouse on East 77th Street is a warm, fascinating place to showcase their collection of antiques, the world in which they are operating has changed a great deal, Wilkie says.

Dalva Brothers used to be located on East 57th Street in Manhattan at a strip of major antiques stores, many of which already went out of business. The closing of the great treasure house is very much a New York story, Wilkie adds.

Highlights of the sale will be open to public view at Christies Rockefeller Galleries in New York starting on March 27 until the auction day, April 2. A second sale of the Dalva Brothers collection will take place at Christies Paris in November.

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Christies to Offer 18th-Century French Decorative Arts From Dalva Brothers - Barron's

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February 11th, 2020 at 3:50 pm

Posted in Enlightenment