Sotheby's is to present "the greatest collection of 18th century scagliola ever to come to the market" in its auction of The Collection of Prince and Princess Henry de La Tour D'Auvergne Lauraguais on May 3, 2012.
The technique of scagliola was developed as an alternative to expensive marble in 17th century Tuscany. Princess Anne de La Tour d'Auvergne Lauraguais is an expert on the technique, whose passion stems from her father Prince Henry.
"It was my father, Prince Henry who inspired me to study the art of scagliola," the Princess commented. "I followed his advice and am indebted to him for giving me a life-long love for the art of scagliola."
The most valuable among the scagliola items on offer is a pair of panels by Enrico Hugford, an Italian artist who was instrumental in the development of the scagliola technique. Each depicts a harbour scene in the trademark style of Hugford, mounted in carved giltwood and ebonised frames. An estimate of £20,000-30,000 ($32,296-48,445) has been set for the pair.
The auction will see eight rare scagliola panels by the artist and Lamberto Christiano Gori available in total. Gori studied under Hugford in Tuscany.
The auction will also see fine Neo-classical and Empire furniture among a range of items from the family collection.
A spectacular gilt-bronze mounted amaranth and tulip wood secrétaire is set as top lot of the sale. From renowned Parisian ébeniste Joseph, the robust piece "represents the pinnacle of Le Goût Grec style", according to Sotheby's. An estimate of $150,000-300,000 has been set.
The sale comes as a result of the family's decision to sell items from their London homes. Paul Fraser Collectibles reported on the sale of several Dali works in the auction yesterday.
We are also very pleased to present our own selection of fine antique furniture, including this John Linnell George III period demi-lune commode.