Dreweatts' two-day auction of Fine Jewellery, Silver, Watches, Pens and Luxury Accessories auction on 8 & 9 March, features Property from the Collection of Victoria, Lady de Rothschild. Her collection includes silver and tableware, meticulously curated over the years with the help of her great friend, British designer, Tomasz Starzewski. Here Tomasz picks out his top ten picks from her collection.
Victoria liked the unpredictable... an appreciation for something that is used in an unpredictable way. If she felt that there was design, it didn't matter where it came from - it could come from a street market, but it had to have design. If we dissected this table, you realise that it is so ahead of its time. There is a discipline, a modernity, it's contradictory, it's unexpected...
Tablescape by Tomasz Starzewski
Tomasz Starzewski's Top Picks
Lots 262-266: Silver and vermeil thumbprint bowls by Elsa Peretti for Tiffany & Co. | Est. £300-500 (+ fees) per lot
"I first came across Elsa Peretti in the 1970s, when she was a muse for the Anglo-American clothes designer, Charles James in New York. Charles James has one my all-time favourite designer aesthetics. Elsa’s jewellery designs revolutionised the outlook of the jewellery industry in the 1970s when she joined Tiffany. Her pieces were so very different to anyone else’s, bringing a modernity with simple organic forms, influenced by her time in Japan. Peretti epitomised the minimalist American style, which was a design discipline that Victoria also adhered to."
Lot 243: A set of eight silver chicken leg egg cups and spoons by Asprey | Est. £700-1,000 (+ fees)
"These remind me of Victoria’s delicious humour, as she used them as salt cellars, rather than for their intended purpose."
Lot 397: A woven silver evening bag | Est. £150-250 (+ fees)
"Victoria would collect these little bags on her travels to Bali, and she loved these small precious evening bags. She was hugely influenced by the Orient, and by its traditional arts and crafts, especially the local craftsmen who made these basket weave silver pieces."
Lot 295: A group of twenty four opaque white cased clear glass goblets, specially commissioned from Boutique Talmaris, Paris | Est. £200-300 (+ fees)
"These glass goblets are so chic and unpredictable. Whilst they are of a traditional Venetian design, their colour is completely untraditional. How fresh and light they are! Victoria prized the thinnest of glasses, and these are almost paper thin."
Lots 300-311: Sets of Murano glass beakers, Laguna B (Brandolini) | Estimates from £100-300 (+ fees)
"These beakers were made by Marie Brandolini who founded the Laguna B glass company on Murano in 1996, and were based on the ’goti di fornasa’ glasses that Venetian glass makers traditionally made for their own personal use from the left-over glass in the factories. Marie’s mother was Beatrice de Rothschild, and the Rothschild family were very supportive of her glass making and added her designs to their collections."
Lot 194: A matched plate electro-plated three piece tapering coffee set | Est. £300-500 (+ fees)
"Victoria loved the wicker handles on this Art Deco coffee set, which mirrored her love of wicker and basket weaving, which were very much part of her collecting style. As with all her silver collection, this coffee set was functional and frequently used at her dinner parties."
Lot 144: A set of four electro-plated posy vases | Est. £80-120 (+ fees)
"Victoria used these vases to humourous effect as vessels to serve miniature blinis for caviar."
Lots 210-216: Sets of hammered silver beakers by William Welstead Ltd | Estimates £100-600 (+ fees)
"Victoria was a great supporter of modern British craftsmen of many disciplines including silversmiths. She frequently visited the Craft Centre in Islington; the annual Collect Exhibition at Somerset House, and the Royal College of Art Degree Shows, where she would find wonderful modern pieces to add to her collection. These beakers were used on her tablescapes as water glasses."
Lot 237: A Danish silver coloured 978 pitcher by Henning Koppel for Georg Jensen | Est. £3,000-5,000 (+ fees)
"There is something about Jensen that just stands out. Jensen pieces are special and unique, thanks to the highly talented designers he collaborated with. There is such sophistication and refinement in this pitcher."
Lot 294: Six large glass Kilner type water bottles | Est. £100-150 (+ fees)
"It was so witty of Victoria to engrave the family crest on such utilitarian objects. The resulting effect was to turn an everyday object into something glamorous."
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Tuesday 8 & Wednesday 9 March | 10.30am
Donnington Priory, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 2JE
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- Viewing in Donnington Priory (full sale):
Donnington Priory, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 2JE
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