High-quality Decorative Arts From Private Collections Featured In Koller’s March Auctions

Art Daily
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A Gothic Enamel Reliquary, Limoges, 2nd half 13th century. 20.5 ×8 × 15.5 cm. Estimate: CHF 70 000/120 000.

ZURICH.- Decorative artworks which have spent many of the past decades or even centuries in private collections will be featured in Koller Auctions’ March sales. The Müller-Frei Collection was lovingly assembled in Zurich from the 1960s on, and features a series of Meissen Kändler-period porcelain figurines and figural groups, such as a rare crinoline “Handkuss” group from circa 1737 (lot 1542, CHF 50 000/70 000), and a pair of lovers with a birdcage, circa 1736, both modelled by Johann Joachim Kändler (lot 1550, CHF 40 000/60 000). Dr Paul and Ursula Müller-Frei also surrounded themselves with fine examples of English silver, for example a fine Elizabeth I silver-gilt cup, 1576, from All Saint’s Church in South Cave, England (lot 1526, CHF 30 000/50 000), as well as fine 18th-century furniture, including a Transition period lacquer commode by master ébéniste Léonard Boudin (lot 1574, CHF 45 000/75 000). Old Master paintings were also a part of their collecting repertoire, such as a Madonna and Child by 17th-century Flemish artists Daniel Seghers and Erasmus Quellinus the Younger (lot 1524, CHF 40 000/60 000). The Müller-Frei collection will be featured in a special catalogue and offered on 24 March.

From another Swiss private collection comes a stunning marquetry “table mécanique” from the workshop of Abraham and David Roentgen, circa 1760/65 (lot 1129, CHF 60 000/80 000), to be offered in the 26 March Decorative Arts auction. An important 13th-century Limoges enamel reliquary will also be featured (lot 1005, CHF 70 000/120 000). This medieval “châsse” reliquary was created during the golden age of champlevé enamel production at Limoges. An early 19th-century astronomical “Copernicus” clock by Swiss clockmaker François Ducommun is as attractive as it is complex. Only a few examples of this clock exist, and most are in museum collections. This one was purchased directly from the clockmaker and has remained in the same Swiss family ever since (lot 1185, CHF 120 000/200 000).

Another highlight of the Decorative Arts auction, from a Zurich private collection, is a highly important French Régence chest of drawers from circa 1730. Known as the “Seckendorff” commode, it was most likely purchased from ébéniste François Liétaud by the Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach, and then given as a gift to his minister, Count Friedrich von Seckendorff-Aberdar, in whose family it remained until it was sold at auction in 1998. The purity and elegance of its design influenced German furniture making for decades, and its unique and noble provenance and excellent condition make this an extreme rarity on today’s fine furniture market (lot 1040, CHF 150 000/250 000).