Catalogue des Tableaux précieux, Dessins, Gouaches, Estampes, Portraits en émail, par Petitot & Châtillon, Terres cuites, Bustes & Figures de marbre, Bronzes formant girandoles, Vases de Porphyre, de serpentin, d’albâtre, d’Agathes orientales, tous richement garnis; Cristaux de roche, Pierres gravées antiques & autres; Collection d’Histoire naturelle, Minéraux, Coquilles, Coraux, Madrépores, Cailloux, Agathes, & autres Objets curieux qui composoient le Cabinet de feu M. Aubert, Jouaillier de la Couronne. Par A. J. Paillet. Dont la Vente se fera…le Jeudi 2 Mars 1786, & jours suivans…
71 pp. 8vo, 19th-cent. paste-paper boards (corners a little worn), blue morocco lettering-piece on spine. Paris: Paillet & Hugues, 1786.
A rare sale catalogue, with most prices and buyers’ names written in a contemporary hand. Aubert (1736-85), jeweler to the Crown and a favorite of Marie Antoinette, as well as the Comtesse du Barry before, blended his craft with occasional forays into art dealing; however, his avid collecting took precedence. In the preface, Paillet (1743-1814), the expert for this sale, praises Aubert’s taste for Dutch and French pictures along with his impressive natural history cabinet.
This catalogue describes 293 lots: 79 lots of paintings (by Panini, J. Breughel, Rubens, van Dyck, Jordaens, Teniers, Wouwerman, Rembrandt, Metsu, Berghem, Netscher, van Ostade, A. Brouwer, P. Potter, Bourdon, Largillière, F. Boucher, Chardin, Greuze, Fragonard, Anne Valayer-Coster, etc.); 28 lots of drawings (by Bouchardon, Watteau, Lagrenée, etc.); 26 enamel miniatures; 38 lots of prints; 22 lots of sculptures; 38 lots from Aubert’s natural history cabinet; and 46 miscellaneous lots including vases with artificial flowers, bird-cages, rubies, cases of butterflies, etc.
The contemporary annotations show that many of the great collectors and dealers of the time were present at this sale such as Lebrun, Desmarais, Dubois, Constantin, Lenglier, etc. Paillet is shown to have purchased a large number of the lots himself.
Very good copy with valuable provenance information. Title-page a little soiled.
❧ Grove Art online–“[Paillet was] responsible for many of the spectacular sales of the final decades of the ancien régime in France…In 1779 he bought the Hôtel de Bullion and transformed its rooms into the most elegant and modern auction house and gallery in the city; top-lighting was installed over the main gallery space, a novel feature later imitated by his rival, Jean Baptiste Pierre Lebrun…From 1777 until the start of the French Revolution Paillet was involved in the acquisition of paintings for the museum in the Louvre that was being planned by Louis XVI’s minister for the arts, the Comte d’Angiviller. Paillet attended auctions in Paris on behalf of the crown; he acquired chosen paintings and objets d’art for the royal collection at sales that he himself conducted; and he travelled extensively in northern Europe as an agent of the king…” Lugt 3993. P. Michel, Le Commerce du tableau à Paris dans la seconde moitié du XVIIIe siècle, p. 31.
Item ID: 6442