A 19th century urn from the Russian Imperial Porcelain Factory proved to be the most valued lot at Bonhams' Fine American and European Furniture, Silver and Decorative Arts auction, which was held January 24 in New York.
The spectacular urn took the title of top lot, selling for $152,500. It was consigned from the property of the Jerome Dalseme Family Trust.
The urn was manufactured during the second quarter of the 19th century at the Imperial Porcelain Factory, which was established on the order of Empress Elizabeth in 1744. Producing handpainted ceramics, the factory made items exclusively for Russia's ruling Romanov family.
The factory is still functioning today, having survived the revolution and the Soviet era.
The urn depicts a young girl seated beside her bed, with the reverse painted with a wide border of neo-gothic style patterns. Unfortunately, it has recently been drilled and mounted as a lamp, hampering its final sale price.
French furniture dominated the remainder of the sale, with three of the four top lots from the courts of Louis XV or XVI. The second highest bids were provided by a fantastic Louis XVI commode, which sold for $63,700.
The commode was created after the famous model by J Stockel and G Benneman, which is currently housed in the Louvre, but was once part of Louis XVI's bedroom and also served Napoleon I, Louis XVIII, Charles X and Louis Philippe. This example was created in the fourth quarter of the 19th century and features a stepped Carrara marble top above a frieze drawer and three cabinet doors.