Two Aristocratic Palazzos Liquidated at Bonhams

The Count and Countess Martignone Photo: Bonhams

Bonhams sold the complete contents of two palazzos owned by the Count and Countess Martignone at the auction house’s headquarters in London this past Wednesday. The all-day auction saw over 500 pieces go under the hammer. Sales totaled £2.4 million ($3.2 million), doubling the house’s high estimate. Lots encompassed an impressively wide range of wares: old masters paintings, sculptures, antique furniture, silver, and ceramics from the couple’s Genoese and Milanese homes.

Charlie Thomas, Bonhams Department Director of Sales and Private collections told Art Daily, “It was a credit to the Count and Countess Martignone’s wonderful taste that enabled us to sell 100 percent of the lots offered to an international audience, far exceeding both our and our clients’ expectations.”

The sale’s showpiece lot—an oil painting by Georg Cristoph Grooth, depicting a lady in a white and gold dress holding a bouquet of flowers—sold for £134,500 ($218,370), over ten times its high estimate. The winning bid was placed by an anonymous online buyer.

A large, six-foot-tall bronze garden statue by Eugenio Bellotto from 1924, which depicts a scene from the Divine Comedy, sold for £96,100 ($156,061). The result smashed the lot’s £5,000–8,000 ($8,000–13,000) presale estimate to become the sale’s second highest selling lot. An unnamed foreign individual on the telephone was the successful bidder.

Other highlights included a 19th century commode, which went for £47,000 ($76,342), and a 1694 Franz Werner von Tamm oil painting, which sold for £45,000 ($73,090).

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