The Collection of the Duchess of Alba

Christie’s France is honoured to announce the sale on 23rd May 2013 of an exceptional  group of furniture created by the celebrated French Art Deco cabinet maker, Armand Albert Rateau (1882-1938), for the private apartments of the Duchess of Alba, doña María del Rosario de Silva y Gurtubay (1900-1934), in the Liria Palace, Madrid. Commissioned between 1920-1921 by her husband, Jacobo Fitz-James Stuart y Falco (1878-1953), 17th Duke of Alba, probably on the occasion of their marriage on 7thOctober 1920 at the Spanish Embassy in London, these pieces are amongst the most famous and legendary creations produced by the designer/cabinet maker/sculptor, trained at the renowned École Boulle.

The House of Alba has decided to sell the Armand Albert Rateau furniture commissioned by the 17th Duke of Alba, don Jacobo Fitz-James Stuart in the early 1920s in France, in order to support the funding of its heritage and of its various palaces throughout Spain as well as supporting new projects for the family. This is part of a general reorganization undertaken by the House of Alba, as illustrated by the recent exhibition ‘El Legado Casa d’Alba’, the first ever organized in Madrid between December 2012-March 2013. These pieces of furniture are all that remain of a larger ensemble that no longer exists. They do not form part of the historic collection of the House of Alba nor do they relate to the history of Spain”, stated the House of Alba”, stated the House of Alba.

Two large dark green patinated floor lamps ‘aux oiseaux’, 1921: Estimate: €1,500,000 – 2,000,000 EACH

A dark green patinated bronze and black marble low table ‘aux oiseaux’, 1921: Estimate: €1,500,000 – 2,000,000

A dark green patinated and marble dressing table, 1921: Estimate: €600,000 – 800,000

A white marble bath tub, 1921: Estimate: €150,000 – 200,000

© Christie’s Images Limited 2013