Piguet Auction House reveals its end-of-year auction catalogue

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A rare complete skeleton of a “Sabre-toothed tiger” headlining the Natural History and Palaeontology collection.

A rare complete skeleton of a “Sabre-toothed tiger” headlining the Natural History and Palaeontology collection.

GENEVA.- This November, Europe faces the second wave of the Covid-19 epidemic with full force. New measures in place to deal with it set new challenges in the continuation of business in Switzerland and around the world. Piguet Auction House tasks itself with constant innovation and reinvention in order to continue its business, providing its clients a distraction and some escapism. From adapting public viewings respecting the current sanitary measures right through to the auction and lot collection, the team is ready to bring culture to life and meet the demands of the public wishing to acquire objects that please them.

Following the success of its major September auctions, Piguet reveals its end-of-year auction catalogue. Famous private collections await the public and are certain to attract an international audience.

Dinosaurs are back in the limelight in Geneva with a session dedicated to Palaeontology.

The sale of the Prince and Princess Sadruddin Aga Khan’s collection follows the Christie’s sale under the same name held in Paris last October. In addition, Piguet Auction House will be selling the largest and most prestigious collection of tobacco pipes and accessories ever exhibited in the world, with pieces worthy of the greatest museums.

THE SALES AT A GLANCE

Russian treasures:

A rare and exceptional Patek Philippe Moscow sky Celestial watch, limited to 50 examples, representing the starry vault of the northern hemisphere (lot 505, estimated CHF 100,000-150,000).

A gold, diamond and enamel Fabergé box decorated with the Romanov griffins and the monogram of Tsar Nicholas II (lot 216, estimated CHF 100,000-150,000).

The Collection of Prince and Princess Sadruddin Aga Khan from the Bellerive Château (Geneva, Switzerland).

Exceptional collection of pipes and smoking accessories.

A rare complete skeleton of a “Sabre-toothed tiger” headlining the Natural History and Palaeontology collection (lot 323).

Works by internationally renowned artists in the paintings sale: Buffet, Corot, Dali, Dubuffet, Picasso, Poliakoff…

The Fine jewellery and watches sale closes these end-of-year auctions.

The Prince and Princesse Sadruddin Aga Khan Collection
The first part of the Prince and Princess Sadruddin Aga Khan’s collection was sold by Christie’s, Paris in October. Now Piguet Auction House receives the baton, presenting the second part of the collection, tastefully assembled over several decades at the Château de Bellerive, on the outskirts of Geneva, Switzerland.

Sadruddin Aga Khan was the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees between 1965 and 1977. With his wife, he shared a passion for both Western and Eastern art from the 16th to the 20th centuries, ranging from furniture to prints, books to silverware. This collection opens a page on the intimacy of the Prince and Princess, presented in the catalogue similarly to how it was at Bellerive. It also reflects the tender affection that united them. Princess Catherine recounts that her husband, Prince Sadruddin, had a tradition, on his return from New York he often went to the UNHCR, to pass through Old Russia on 5th Ave and bring her a Russian Imperial porcelain egg on each of his trips (see photo above, lots 208 to 215).

Piguet Auction House has been entrusted by Princess Catherine Aga Khan with the sale of this collection that she loved so much (160 lots).

An imperial gift that was given twice …
Slip into the shoes of Tsar Nicholas II and offer a Fabergé creation for the holidays! Russian emperors regularly ordered precious objects from the greatest master jewellers and goldsmiths. While some pieces were added to the Romanov family’s collections, others were intended to be used as diplomatic gifts. Surprisingly, it was customary at the time that these gifts were sometimes returned to obtain money without contravening protocol or offending the Tsar.

This is precisely what happened to the gold, enamel and diamond presentation box now being sold at auction. Tsar Nicholas II had ordered this magnificent piece from the Karl Fabergé workshops, decorated with the Romanov griffins and his own monogram. At the end of the 19th century, Nicholas II offered the box on two occasions. At first, it was given to Lieutenant-General Theodor Fedor Alexandrovich Feldmann (1835-1902) on 3 December 1897. He then returned it 13 days later to the Imperial Cabinet to obtain a sum of money. Following a meeting with Kaiser Wilhelm II on 15 November 1899 aimed at facilitating relations between the Russian and German powers, the Tsar offered the box to the German Hofmarschall, Baron Maximilian Freiherr von Lyncker (1845-1923), who orchestrated the meeting.

This splendid Imperial and diplomatic gift is now being presented at auction with an estimate of CHF 100,000-150,000 (lot 216) along with other treasures from the Romanov period.

Relics from the world’s history put up for sale
Sales dedicated to palaeontology are fascinating and for good reason! It is a speciality that speaks to everyone, man or woman, of all ages, cultures and nationalities. These objects are part of our common heritage, part of the history of our planet.

The Palaeontology sale offers about 40 very high quality lots capable of attracting the greatest collectors in the field. All terrestrial (land, sea, mineral and vegetal) and extra-terrestrial elements are represented with an overall estimate of CHF 160,000-220,000. The star of this sale is without any doubt an extraordinary and very rare skeleton of a “sabre-toothed tiger”, more than 90% complete (lot 323)! This “tiger” also known as the Holophonus, estimated at CHF 60,000-80,000, lived in North America about 37 million years ago. Collectors cannot miss the magnificent 40 cm high coloured ammolite, a real jewel of the Cretaceous period (75 million years ago) (lot 299 estimated at CHF 20,000-30,000). A lunar meteorite, Megalodon shark and Tyrannosaurus Rex teeth, better known as T-REX, will also be much coveted (lots 291, 305, 306, 308 and 315).

With estimates starting at CHF 300, the sale of Palaeontology is intended to be accessible to all. Those wishing to take a piece of history home with them will be able to bid on an 80 million year old fossilized ammonite estimated at CHF 500-700 (lot 304).

Exceptional collection of pipes and smoking accessories
This is a world first on the market! Never before has such a collection of pipes and tobacco objects been auctioned off under the hammer! Our collector is a businessman, based in Switzerland, in the canton of Vaud. It became his life’s passion as he searched, scoured and attended the sales to buy the most impressive and luxurious pipes thus creating the largest private collection in the world in the field. More than 15 years after his death, his widow decided to entrust Piguet Auction House with the sale of this impressive collection of high quality pipes and tobacco accessories in order to perpetuate this passion and release put the most exceptional pieces back on to the open market for new collectors.

From meerschaum, to ivory, ceramics and glassware, the collection illustrates the work of craftsmen in the production of pipes in the western world over a period of 300 years. One of the most intricately carved meerschaum pipes is that depicting the marriage of Princess Louise to the Marquis of Lorne in the Chapel of St. George, Windsor, surrounded by the Royal family, inscription bearing the title and dated 21 March 1871, amber mouthpiece, gold setting, estimated at CHF 15,000-25,000 (lot 121).

Writer
James Ardis
James Ardis
Senior Writer and Editor

James Ardis is a writer, editor, and content strategist focused on the auction industry. His company, James Ardis Writing, has partnered with auction houses, galleries, and many clients outside the art world.

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