The Antonio and Liliane Mariani Collection of Continental & English Furniture & Decorative Arts for Auction

. September 25, 2009

More than 400 lots of superb English, French and Italian furniture and decorative arts from the collections of the late Antonio Mariani and his wife Liliane Mariani, owners of the well-respected firm Antonio’s Antiques, come to auction in Bonhams & Butterfields’ San Francisco salesrooms on November 2, 2009. The auction and pre-sale viewing (on Oct. 30-Nov. 2) will coincide with the popular San Francisco Fall Antiques Show and strong international collector interest is expected.

George IIIAntonio’s Antiques was established in San Francisco by the Marianis more than four decades ago and boasts a “Who’s Who” of clients. Collectors, designers, connoisseurs, museum curators and novices alike flocked to Antonio’s Antiques from around the world. The November sale, Part II of the Mariani Collection, brings many rare and impressive pieces to auction and follows the successful March 2009 sale of Part I. [see the press release: The Antonio and Liliane Mariani Collection Draws Spirited International Bidding at www.bonhams.com/press].

According to Bonhams & Butterfields Vice President and Furniture Dept. Director Jeffrey Smith, “Antonio’s Antiques maintained one of the largest and most desirable inventories of European antiques in the world. It was no small fete to manage a lifetime of collecting and Bonhams is delighted to assist the firm. We were impressed with the outpouring of warmth from family friends, collectors and other dealers, expressed when Part I of the collection was sold in March. This Fall auction, featuring property never-before publically offered, should bring bids from all over the world.”

A fine pair of late 18th century Louis XVI polychrome decorated doors and door surrounds from Provence could bring $12/18,000. The doors and overdoor panel stand more than 11-feet high and nearly eight-feet wide. Jeffrey Smith described the doors as similar to a pair within the collection of the Musee Massena in Nice, once the residence of one of Napoleon’s marshals.

A fine 18th century Louis XVI giltwood barometer beautifully carved with rams’ heads and standing nearly three-feet high could bring $4,000-6,000. A pair of 19th century Louis XVI style marble and gilt bronze six-light candelabra, after François Boucher, are estimated at $7/9,000.

English highlights include a very unusual circa 1770 George III mahogany and walnut collectors’ cabinet. Standing just over seven-feet high, the cabinet is expected to bring $6,000-8,000. A superb Queen Anne burl walnut bureau bookcase, early 18th century, is in remarkable condition (est. $10/15,000) and a rare pair of Victorian brass-mounted mahogany campaign chests, designed in the mid 19th century to accompany an English officer while stationed in the colonies, is included (est. $8/12,000). A large and important German blue painted and parcel gilt pier mirror, second quarter 18th century, could bring $15/20,000.

Antonio’s was known for its remarkable collection of important and rare Italian furniture – said to be Antonio’s “passion.” This sale will offer collectors the opportunity to own some of these important pieces, such as: a monumental Italian Baroque lacquered and arte povera tall case clock built in Genoa early in the 18th century, decorated with depictions of coastal scenes of Venice, Calabria and Naples (est. $8/12,000); a massive pair of important 18th century Venetian parcel gilt and cut glass torcheres (est. $10/15,000); a set of twelve Italian Baroque walnut chairs formerly in use at Patrizia Veneziana (est. $15/25,000); as well as a rare Roman Neoclassical parquetry and gilt bronze mounted cylinder desk (est. $18/25,000).

A fine early 19th century Russian Neoclassical gilt bronze and cobalt blue glass lantern (est. $8/12,000), a Russian Neoclassical inlaid figured birch desk (est. $3/5,000) and a pair of Russian Neoclassical style brass inlaid mahogany and leather upholstered armchairs should interest bidders.

Among the many examples of fine 17th and 18th century tea caddies, caskets and traveling boxes, clients will find an unusual example of an 18th century traveling box mounted with tortoiseshell and made in Guadalajara.

The auction will also include Asian works of art, including a pair of Meji Period Japanese cloisonné enamel dishes with bird and maple leaf designs, Chinese Imari bowls with ormolu mounts, and a pair of late Qing/Republic Period Chinese polychrome and black lacquered door cabinets estimated at $4,000 to $6,000.

Fine art includes multiple Flemish, English and Dutch School paintings with harbor scenes, landscapes and portraits, estimates ranging from several hundred to several thousands of dollars.

The auction’s illustrated catalog will be available for review and purchase online, please visit: www.bonhams.com/us. Public previews of the offered lots open on October 30th, continuing daily until sale day.

Category: Antiques News

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