Thought originally to depict the early 18th century French sculptor René Fremin, it has now been identified as Louis Antoine Mirleau de Neuville (1701-80).
He was a wealthy Fermier General or tax farmer (a private individual assigned to collect taxes under the ancien régime) and was one of the 65 holders of this position who contributed to an edition of La Fontaine’s Contes et Nouvelles en vers.
The pastel entered the collection of Eugène Kraemer in 1908 and has been in a Parisian collection since 1928. It has an estimate of €40,000-60,000 in the auction at Drouot on April 26.
A sale devoted to European silver at Sotheby’s Paris on April 26 includes a rare and unusual 18th century Belgian teapot.
Measuring 10¼in (26cm) wide, it is marked for Nicolas Berleur of Liège, features a gold spout and retains its original leather case. The estimate is €6000-8000.
The sale features a wide range of silver from across Continental Europe spanning the 15th to 20th centuries as well as a selection of gold boxes and other objects of vertu.