TORONTO, Dec. 2, 2014 /CNW/ - An extremely rare set of 12 Russian Imperial Porcelain dinner plates bearing the royal cyphers of both Alexander III and Nicholas II will be auctioned in Toronto at Waddington's on December 9, 2014.
Commissioned for the Alexander Palace in 1883, the 'Raphael Service' was the most expensive and considered one of the greatest achievements of the Imperial Porcelain Factory.
William Kime, Senior Specialist Decorative Arts at Waddington's, says, "This 12-piece set has been referred to as 'the stuff of legends'. To my knowledge, no other set of 12 plates has ever been offered." Kime added, "What makes the plates so rare and extraordinary is that they remained together, and are in such good condition."
The story behind the exquisite dinner service is as dramatic as the Russian Imperial family itself. The design was based on the Raphael Loggia murals in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, which were ordered created by Empress Catherine the Great in the 1780s, based on the Raphael frescoes of the Vatican loggia. Production was personally overseen by Czar Alexander III and took 20 years to complete. As new items for the service were completed, they were presented to the Emperor every year as Christmas gifts.
The set of 12 plates was sold in 1947 by Wartski (British antique and jewellery dealers specialising in Russian works of art, founded in 1865) and never seen again, until consigned to the Toronto auction house this year.
Contained in its original brass-bound mahogany box, in excellent condition. Pre-sale estimate is set at $120,000 – 150,000.
The auction also includes an excellent selection of silver, early Meissen and Picasso ceramics and English blue and white porcelain.
Also of interest are Napoleonic and Grand Tour memorabilia, including models of the Napoleon monument from Place Vendome, replicas in marble of Roman ruins, as well as a white marble nude attributed to P.C. Emilio Fiaschi.
All lots in the auctions can be viewed online at: http://decorativearts.waddingtons.ca/
Saturday, December 6, 2014 from 11 am to 5 pm
Sunday, December 7, 2014 from 11 am to 5 pm
Monday, December 8, 2014 from 10 am to 12 noon
Tuesday, December 9, 2014 at 7 pm
Wednesday, December 10, 2014 at 7 pm
Waddington's Auctioneers & Appraisers
275 King Street East, Second Floor
Toronto, Ontario M5A 1K2
For more information on Waddington's visit: http://waddingtons.ca
Image with caption: "Rare Russian Imperial Porcelain Highlight of Waddington's Fall Auction of Decorative Arts (CNW Group/Waddingtons.ca)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20141202_C5901_PHOTO_EN_8903.jpg
Image with caption: "Waddingtons.ca (CNW Group/Waddingtons.ca)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20141202_C5901_PHOTO_EN_8874.jpg
For further information: For auction information, William Kime, Tel: 416.504.9100, [email protected], Or Sean Quinn, [email protected]; For media information, Tess McLean, Tel: 416.504.9100, Cell: 647.296.8377, [email protected]