Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Metalwork in a league of its own

Paris, France
Although fine metalwork has an international collecting base, it has always been held in particularly high regard in Continental Europe. Ample proof of this can be found at the Paris etude of Fraysse & Associes, they are selling a mammoth collection of antique metalwork compiled over the course of a lifetime by Michel Rullier. Rullier, an antique dealer, has always had a personal passion for the subject and has constantly upgraded his private collection.

The massive eclectic mix made more or less what was predicted. There was a high proportion of absentee bidding. Mme Houze believed around one in three lots were sold via the phone and virtually all the buying came from collectors. Four lots were secured by the Musee des Beaux Arts, Rouen including the exceptionally fine wrought-iron and damascened silver and gilt key, ascribed to 17th century Italy and worked along the entire shaft and ridges which crosses of St Andrew.

The Rouen Museum secured the top priced lot of the auction, the 18th century, 2ft 1in (65cm) wide wrought and engraved-iron chest from Southern Germany which fetched 46,000 Euros (£41,820). This featured a complex locking system and an elaborate cagework of foliate scrolls and leaves over the entire outer surface, with a double headed eagle to the cover.

Fraysse & Associes

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