Six vermeil dinner plates of the Borghese... - Lot 205 - Thierry de Maigret

Lot 205
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18000 - 22000 EUR
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Result : 25 760EUR
Six vermeil dinner plates of the Borghese... - Lot 205 - Thierry de Maigret
Six vermeil dinner plates of the Borghese service, by Martin-Guillaume Biennais, Paris, 1809-1819. With acanthus leaf border, engraved on the rim with the coat of arms surmounted by a royal crown. Marks: title (950°/°°), guarantee and goldsmith. D : 27 cm - Weight : 4 196 g Provenance : - Prince Camille Borghese (1775-1832), husband of Pauline Bonaparte (1780-1825) - Sale of Palazzo Borghese, Giacomini and Capobianchi, Rome, March 28-April 9, 1892, part of lot 847 - Don Antonio Licata - Prince Baucina - Ercole Canessa - Sale of the Edith Rockfeller Mc Cormick collection, American Art Association/Anderson galleries, New York, January 5, 1934. - Sale Ader, Picard, Tajan, 18 June 1975. Camille Borghese (1775-1832) came from a very old Italian noble family, originally from Siena. In the 17th century, the family built a magnificent villa in Rome that contained an important collection of antique paintings and statues. Close to French revolutionary ideas, Camille joined the French revolutionary army in 1798 and in 1803 met General Bonaparte who took him under his wing and had him marry his sister Pauline on November 6, 1803. The couple was not happy and had no children. The Borghese prince, naturalized French, accompanied the emperor in several military campaigns in Prussia and Austria. However, Napoleon forced him to sell his collection of antiques for eight million francs, a collection that is now kept in the Louvre. Appointed governor general of the departments beyond the Alps by the emperor in 1807, Camille Borghese moved to Turin where he recreated a court. It was probably to magnify this grand lifestyle that he commissioned Martin-Guillaume Biennais to make an imposing table service in gilt with more than 1,600 pieces around 1809. Indeed, only the prince's coat of arms is present and the hallmarks dating from 1809-1819 cannot corroborate the hypothesis of a wedding present from the emperor to his sister Pauline and her brother-in-law, the marriage having taken place in 1803. However, it is possible that Pauline was also involved in the original commission. In order to complete the service, the prince commissioned other pieces from Italian silversmiths until 1814, the date of his exile after the fall of the Empire. He separated from Pauline and retired to Rome and Florence where he died in 1832, leaving his fortune to his brother François, Prince Aldobrandini (1776-1839). No records have been kept of the original commission for this service and we do not know the exact number of pieces. Martin-Guillaume Biennais was the main silversmith for this order but he subcontracted some pieces to Jean-Baptiste Claude Odiot and Pierre-Benoit Lorillon. The service was completed by Florentine and Turin silversmiths after 1810. The service was first mentioned at the auction of the Borghese Palace and its contents in Rome in 1892. It was sold in a single lot to three successive owners before being purchased by Mrs. Edith Rockfeller McCormick who loaned it to the Art Institute of Chicago between 1924 and 1932. At her death in 1934, the service was sold in almost one hundred and fifty lots, which explains its presence in various private and public collections (Metropolitan Museum of New York, Château de Fontainebleau, etc.) throughout the world.
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