AN UNUSUAL PAIR OF PEWTER SCEPTRES MODELLED AS THE SUN AND CRESCENT MOON
PROBABLY FRENCH, LATE 19TH / EARLY 20TH CENTURY
Mounted on tapering baluster knopped supports, on later stands
The moon -- 39 in. (99 in. ) high; the sun -- 31 ¾ in. (80.5 cm.) high, including stands
Refer to the Terms and Conditions for Explanation of Catalogue Symbols
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These sceptres represent the sun and crescent moon and one conjectures that they may have been made for Masonic use. The sun and moon have throughout human history been deemed to have mystical importance and in the Bible, in Genesis l : 14-19, we are told that on the fourth day of creation "God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night". Later in Medieval Europe with the study of Alchemy, symbols became extensively used to protect the secret formulae of the methods of turning base metals into gold and silver and it was at this time that Alchemists designed the stylised images of both the sun and moon with human faces.
Additional charges, including buyer’s premium, valued added, sales or compensating use tax or equivalent tax, any and all shipping expenses, including costs, packing and handling, any loss damage liability fees, and all other applicable charges will apply.
Buyer’s Premium:In addition to the hammer price, the buyer agrees to pay to us the buyer’s premium together with any applicable value added tax, sales, or compensating use tax or equivalent tax in the place of sale. The buyer's premium is 25% of the first £50,000 of the hammer price on each lot plus 20% of the excess of the hammer price above £50,000 up to and including £1,000,000 plus 12% in excess of any amount above £1,000,000. VAT will be charged on the buyer’s premium at the applicable rate. Value added tax, sales or compensating use tax of any applicable jurisdiction will be collected before the lot can be released. It is the buyer's responsibility to ascertain and pay all taxes due.
VAT: All lots shall be sold as part of the Margin Scheme unless stated with the Star symbol (*) or the words “Starred Lot”. Margin Scheme lots have VAT applicable to the buyer’s premium at the VAT rate of 20%. Lots marked with the Star symbol (*) or with the words “Starred Lot” are on Temporary Admission in the UK and Import VAT is payable at 5% on the final bid price and domestic VAT is payable at 20% on the buyer’s premium. You are responsible for any VAT (including any Import VAT) payable as a result of the sale of the lot. VAT charges and refunds depend on the particular circumstances of the buyer. In all circumstances EU and UK law takes precedence. For the purposes of this online-only auction, the VAT amount in the buyer’s premium for EU private buyers cannot be refunded. For buyers outside the EU, VAT may be refunded if certain conditions are met including showing proof of a ‘controlled’ export outside the EU within 30 days of the close of sale (for lots marked with the Star symbol (*) or the words “Starred Lot” on Temporary Admission) and for all other lots proof of export within 3 months of shipping. For buyers outside the EU where items are shipped outside the EU through Christie’s Art Transport, you will not be required to pay the VAT at settlement. Please contact Christie’s Client Services on +44 (0) 207 839 9060 or by email at
You must pay the full amount due (comprising the hammer price, buyer’s premium, any applicable value added, sales or compensating use tax or equivalent tax, any and all shipping expenses, including costs, packing and handling, any loss damage liability fees and all other applicable charges) no later than 11:59 p.m. (GMT) on Friday, 12 September 2014. This applies even if you wish to export the lot and an export license is, or may be, required. You will not acquire title and own the lot until all amounts due to Christie’s have been received by Christie’s in full, cleared funds.
In addition to the final bid price, buyer’s premium and any applicable VAT, you will be asked to pay the applicable shipping and insurance charge in order for Christie’s to facilitate the transport and insurance of your purchased item from London to your selected shipping address. Christie’s will arrange shipment of your purchased lot(s) within three (3) to five (5) days of receipt of your payment in full, cleared funds. Purchases cannot be delivered to P.O. boxes. Notification of shipment will be sent to the email address entered at the time of registration.
Although we shall use reasonable efforts to take care when handling, packing and facilitating any shipment of a purchased lot, neither Christie’s nor the seller is responsible for any acts or omissions of any third party retained for these purposes, including, without limitation, any packing, shipping or delivery of purchased lots.
If you have any questions about the shipping process, please contact Christie’s Client Services on +44 (0)207 839 9060 or by email at
If the buyer fails to make payment in full, cleared funds by the payment deadline, Christie’s will be entitled in Christie’s absolute discretion to exercise one or more of the following rights or remedies (in addition to asserting any other rights or remedies available to us by law):
(i) To charge interest at such rate as we shall reasonably decide;
(ii) To hold the defaulting buyer liable for the total amount due and to commence legal proceedings for its recovery together with interest, legal fees and costs to the fullest extent permitted under applicable law;
(iii) To cancel the sale;
(iv) To resell the property publicly or privately on such terms as Christie’s and the seller shall think fit, and the buyer shall be liable for payment of any deficiency between the total amount originally due to us and the price obtained upon resale as well as for all costs, expenses, damages, legal fees and commissions and premiums of whatever kind associated with both sales or otherwise arising from the default;
(v) To pay to the seller an amount up to the net proceeds payable in respect of the amount bid by the defaulting buyer;
(vi) To set off against any amounts which we, or Christie’s International plc, or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries or parent companies worldwide, may owe to the buyer in any other transactions, the outstanding amount remaining unpaid by the buyer;
(vii) To reject at any future auction any bids made by or on behalf of the buyer or to obtain a deposit from the buyer before accepting any bids.
(viii) To exercise all the rights and remedies of a person holding security over any property in our possession owned by the buyer, whether by way of pledge, security interest or in any other way, to the fullest extent permitted by the law of the place where such property is located. The buyer will be deemed to have granted such security to us and we may retain such property as collateral security for such buyer's obligations to us; and/or
(ix) To take such other action as we deem necessary or appropriate.