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J. Paul Getty Museum

The Borghese-Windsor Cabinet sells for $2.8m

J. Paul Getty Museum

Paris, 20 September 2016 - International collectors came out in droves today to testify to the extraordinary eye and taste of the great French collector Robert de Balkany (1931-2015). In the first of three sales at Sotheby’s in Paris, collectors, art dealers and institutions from across the globe (including the US, Europe, Russia, Asia and the Middle East) registered their intention to bid on masterpieces of Decorative Arts and Old Masters paintings from Robert de Balkany’s Paris residence, the Hôtel de Feuquières in Saint-Germain-des-Prés. The sale had been preceded by an exhibition which attracted over 3,000 visitors.

Assembled over 50 years, this exceptional ensemble represents one of the most significant collections of Decorative Art and Old Master paintings ever to appear at auction in France. Tonight’s sale was led by the Borghese-Windsor Cabinet - the most important Roman cabinet ever to have come onto the market – which sold to The J. Paul Getty Museum for €2,499,000 / $2,812,475/ £2,154,493, a world auction record for a piece of Roman furniture. Made in Rome circa 1620, this exceptional gilt-bronze mounted silver, ebony and hard stone cabinet boasts exceptional provenance, having belonged to Pope Paul V Borghese (1605-1621), before being acquired in 1824 by King George IV who displayed it in Windsor Castle. The cabinet remained in the Royal Collection until 1959, when it was bought by Aladar de Balkany, on the advice of his son who was passionate about architecture.

Commenting on tonight’s results, Mario Tavella, Président-Directeur Général, Sotheby’s France and Chairman, Sotheby’s Europe said: “The two top lots of this evening - the Borghese-Windsor Cabinet and Charles Clay’s organ clock – are testament to Robert de Balkany’s eye and passion for hardstone furniture and exceptional timepieces - the most important categories of his collection. Both of these exceptional pieces went to major art institutions, The J. Paul Getty Museum and the Museum van Speelklok tot Pierement, Utrecht and for me, this is the best tribute to my friend Robert. It was an honour to have been entrusted with the sale of the masterpieces in his collection which he jealously kept in Paris. ”

  • 24.09.2016
    Presse »
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus »

    Dates for your diary PRE-SALE EXHIBITION

    Sotheby’s Brussels, rue Jacques Jordaens 32, 1000: Thursday 8 – Friday 9 September 2016

    Sotheby’s London, 34-35 New Bond Street, W1A 2AA: Friday 23 – Monday 26 September 2016


    10.30am, Tuesday, 27 September 2016 


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  • THE BORGHESE-WINDSOR CABINET Sells for €2.5 million / $2.8 million / £2.2 million To The J. Paul Getty Museum
    THE BORGHESE-WINDSOR CABINET Sells for €2.5 million / $2.8 million / £2.2 million To The J. Paul Getty Museum
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus