Mardi 26 mai 2015

ArtDaily, Jose Villarreal

Auctioneer Aymeric Rouillacpresenting a Napoleonic court sword manufactured by French goldsmith MartinGuillaume Biennais (1764-1843) and later offered to Compte Lespine Charles byJosé Miguel Carvajal, Duke of San Carlos. This piece will be auctioned on June7, 2015 at a sale organised by the auctioneer Aymeric Rouillac and the castleof Artigny near Tours. AFP PHOTO / GUILLAUME SOUVANT.

TOURS - A very rare sword in solid gold and lapis lazuli created by Biennais, Napoleon the 1st’s personal craftsman, for the Duke of San Carlos, will be put to auction – starting at 100,000 euros – by Rouillac, on Sunday June 7th, 2015, at the Castle of Artigny, in Touraine (France).

“San Carlos was the richest man of Peru at his time and served as well as a diplomat under the orders of Ferdinand VII, King of Spain. He received this sword in 1815”, tells us auctioneer Aymeric Rouillac, who goes on to say: “in some fashion, the sword served as a reward for his work, given the fact that he had helped the Bourbons recover their Spanish throne after the Napoleonic invasion”. Goya, the Spanish painter, portrayed the Duke with his sword on a great painting that shall be exposed this autumn at the National Gallery of London.

The sword is signed by Martin Guillaume Biennais, who was, at his time, the best craftsman in France. It was inspired in the famous “Austerlitz sword”, that Napoleon the 1st carried with him at all times. The other golden swords known to us to date are currently conserved in the greatest imperial museums: Fontainebleau and the Invalides. None of them has ever been seen in the art market. As a consequence, this shall be the first time in which such an item will come out. The sword depicts ancient heroes and divinities: Hercules, Paris, Diana, Neptune, Mars and Minerva, and on its blade we can see the dedicatory engraved at the Dukes request: “from the Duke of San Carlos to the count Charles de l’Épine”, L'Épine was to become the Duke's son in law. The sword has remained in the Duke’s family all from its origin, and it is only now that his descendants have decided to put it out to auction

This is one of the treasures presented by ROUILLAC for this traditional Garden Party auction, to be held the following 7 and 8 June at the Castle of Artigny, in Touraine. Other amazing objects include: the armchair used by Napoleon 1st at the Palais de l’Élysée (50,000 euros), the 1912 Gaumont Chronomegaphone (1 million euros), the last table produced by Oeben, mechanic cabinetmaker of Louis XV (500,000 euros), the most beautiful French lacquer cabinet from Louis XIV’s period (1 to 1.5 million euros), a Seascape by Vlaminck (150,000 euros) and a Chinese porcelain Bianhu flask which, together with a bronze Ming dynasty temple bell, shall undoubtedly generate surprises!
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