Antiques PR Publicity Announcements News and Information
Antiques PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Christies to Auction medieval works of art from the Marquet de Vasselot Collection

Christie’s Paris announced its forthcoming sale composed of 24 lots from the Marquet de Vasselot collection. Not only due to their quality but also their provenance, these exceptional works of art can be considered medieval treasures intimately tied to the history of art. They will be offered on the 16th of November in Paris for a global estimate of € 2.000.000 – 3.000.000.

The medieval works of art in the Collection of Jean-Joseph Marquet de Vasselot (1871-1946) were in large part inherited from his father-in-law Victor Prosper Martin Le Roy (1842-1918) who put together a magnificent grouping at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th centuries in France. The sale includes exceptional pieces, acquired from the most eminent collections of art of the 19th century among them Frédéric Spitzer, Michel Boy and Eugène Piot. The magnificent works of art assembled by Martin le Roy was studied and later enriched by his son-in-law, Jean-Joseph Marquet de Vasselot, French art historian, curator at the Louvre and director of the Cluny Museum. His expertise as a scholar was highly regarded and supported by major publications about tapestries and medieval enamels. It was in 1906 that he undertook the publication of the Catalogue raisonné in five volumes of the Collection of Martin le Roy with the intention of making it possible for scholars to discover the treasures that the collection contained.

Both of men were extremely generous to the Louvre and the Cluny Museum in their own life time by donating works of art to enrich the national collections. The remaining remarkable and extremely rare group of objects reflects the taste as well as the elegant and eclectic spirit of these two passionate art collectors, representing a major testimony to the decorative art of the Middle Ages. The works of art have been beautifully preserved and are offered by the direct descendants of Jean-Joseph Marquet de Vasselot.

The sale is composed of a series of exceptional ivories, enamels, gilt-bronze, an illuminated Gothic manuscript and pressed leather cutlery cases.

Ivories dating from 10th century to 14th century:
A rectangular carved ivory book-cover of the Crucifixion, Constantinople, 10th century (lot 9, estimate: €300.000-500.000).

• A carved ivory group of the Virgin and Child Enthroned, Paris, circa 1250-1270. The size, the delicacy and the remarkable condition make this an exquisite object in the collection. (lot 20, estimate: €1.000.000-2.000.000).

• A rectangular carved ivory diptych panel depicting the Betrayal, French, late 13th century or early 14th century (lot 22, estimate: €12.000-18.000).

• A carved mirror case cover, French, 14th century, (lot 23, estimate: €30.000-50.000).

Limoges enamels from 1185 to 1200:
• A gilt-copper and polychrome enamel reliquary casket, Limoges, circa 1200. (lot 16, estimate: €80.000-120.000).

• A gilt-copper and polychrome enamel terminal from a processional cross depicting the symbol of St. Matthew, Limoges, circa 1185-1195. (lot 19, estimate: €8.000-12.000)

Copper and gilt-bronze
• A gilt-copper ajourée applique of Saint Mark’s Lion, probably Italian, 14th century (lot 10, estimate: €5.000-8.000)

• A gilt-copper chrismatory, Flemish or German, 15th century. (lot 11, estimate: €10.000-15.000)

Manuscript Illumination
The Marquet de Vasselot collection presents a quintessential example of a gothic manuscript illumination (lot 13, estimate: €250.000-350.000). Composed of 28 pages from a magnificent antiphon of Franciscan use, executed in Flanders, circa 1310-20, bearing the arms of the Count of Flanders. Each leaf contains a beautiful historiated initial, with delightful and lively marginal drollerie.

Acquisitions from the Louvre and musée du Moyen Age – Thermes et Hôtel de Cluny
In the context of the first privately negotiated sale to the French Nation, since new legislation was approved in July 2010, three major works of art from the Marquet de Vasselot Collection have been purchased by the Louvre and musée du Moyen Age – Thermes et Hôtel de Cluny. A pair of gilt-bronze figures depicting two apostles (Paris, second quarter of the 12th century), a carved ivory figure representing Christ at the column (Paris, circa 1300-1310) will join the rooms of the Louvre. A gilt-copper and polychrome enamel element from a processional cross depicting the eagle of Saint Jean has been acquired by Cluny where it will join other works from the collection.

Three other works of art have been classified ‘Trésors National’, a carved ivory Byzantine book cover, first half of the 6th century and the book of Hours of Jeanne de France in Latin and in French, Vallée de la Loire, mid-15th century.

Viewing: from Saturday 12th to Wednesday 16th 2011 from 10h to 18h.
Sale: Wednesday 16th November 2011 at 19h

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