Details
Of hexagonal form with pierced scrolled foliate-cast rim and removeable lid with ormolu finial cast as a spray of flowers, above outscrolled handles cast in the form of bulrushes, on a conforming scrolled and pierced foliate-cast base, marked to the underside of lid and underside of vase in black ink with the number '17372' and the number '17949' crossed out, with two later drilled holes, presumably for fixing to a further base

1334 in. (35 cm.) high, 13 in. (33 cm.) wide, 7 in. (18 cm.) deep
Provenance
Probably acquired by Count Alexandre Stroganoff in Paris, circa 1756.
Thence by descent with the Counts Stroganoff, St. Petersburg.
Confiscated from the above by the Soviet Government after the Revolution, October 1917.
Sold Lepke, Berlin, 12-13 May 1931, lots 162/163.
Mrs. Meyer Sassoon, Berkshire.
Acquired from the above in London in 1946.
Literature
Sir Francis Watson, Chinese Porcelains in European Mounts, New York, 1980, no.17.
Special notice
Please note this lot will be moved to Christie’s Fine Art Storage Services (CFASS in Red Hook, Brooklyn) at 5pm on the last day of the sale. Lots may not be collected during the day of their move to Christie’s Fine Art Storage Services. Please consult the Lot Collection Notice for collection information. This sheet is available from the Bidder Registration staff, Purchaser Payments or the Packing Desk and will be sent with your invoice.
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Lot Essay

This vase is apparently identical to and probably one of the pair sold from the Stroganoff Collections in 1931. A closely related vase but with slightly differing mounts also originally formed part of the Wildenstein Collection (subsequently sold by Akkram Ojjeh, Sotheby's Monaco, 25-26 June 1979, lot 62), whilst a further pair of the same model as the latter and stamped with the C couronné poinçon was sold by the comte de la Panouse at Sotheby's Monaco, 11 February 1979, lot 231. All of these vases were presumably commissioned by the same marchand-mercier - perhaps Lazare Duvaux, and their mounts were undoubtedly executed by the same ciseleur-doreur.

COMTE ALEXANDRE STROGANOFF (1733-1811)

The son of the Baron Serge, one of the richest nobles in Russia, Alexandre undertook his first grand tour in 1752 aged 19. Starting in Berlin, he passed through Frankfurt and Strasbourg before arriving with his mentor in Geneva where he studied the sciences, history and geography with the best scholars. Count Sievers wrote to the father in St. Petersburg saying, Votre fils a appris 'parler couramment plusieurs langues: l'allemand, le français et l'italien, grâce à lui, j'ai pu rencontrer plusieurs savants iminents'.

After traveling in Italy, where he made his first purchases in 1754, Comte Stroganoff arrived in France where he stayed from 1755 to 1756. He sent back to Russia, most likely in 1756, the Dubut secrétaire and a suite of fauteuils by Dieudonné now in the Hermitage Museum. After his return to Russia in 1758 he had himself painted by Tocqué. En route to Russia he learned of the death of his father on 30th September 1756. In February 1758, he married Anna Worontzoff, daughter of Empress Elizabeth's prime minister. He was appointed special envoy to the Empress Maria-Teresa of Austria, who awarded him the title of Count of the Holy Roman Empire, which was confirmed forty years later by Tsar Paul. Following the death of his first wife, he married the young Princess Catherine Petrovna Troubetzkoy in 1771 and they left on a second tour. By 1772 he was living in the rue de Richelieu, before moving in 1773 to the corner of the rue de Verneuil and the rue de Poitiers. The 1777 Almanach des artistes lists him in the fashionable rue Montmartre opposite the hôtel d'Uzès. Shortly afterwards, in 1778, he returned to Russia where he continued to buy through his agents. On seeing the beautiful Countess in Geneva, Voltaire wrote: 'Ah madame, quel beau jour pour moi; j'ai vu le soleil et vous.' Their two children, Paul and Nathalie were born in Paris. From 1768 he was involved in establishing the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts, remaining President until 1800. As Grand Chamberlain of the court and member of the Imperial Council, Stroganoff's somewhat low-profile political career allowed him to keep his position even after the death of Catherine II. Paul I gave him responsibility for the construction of the Cathedral de Kazan. He died in 1811 seated in the middle of his gallery surrounded by the fruits of fifty years of collecting.

THE STROGANOFF PALACE

The Stroganoff palace, which stands on the Mooka quay was constructed in 1753 for Count Serge Grigoryevich Stroganoff by Rastrelli, architect of the Tsar's Winter Palace. The palace, which was renovated by Voronikhin at the end of the 18th century, had a Picture Gallery as well as a Mineral Cabinet. The palace, which was still lived in up until 1918, was emptied after the Revolution and its contents mostly nationalised and sold at auction in Berlin by the Soviet Government in 1931.

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