Still-life by Jean Simeon Chardin, Le melon entamé, estimate €8m-12m at Christie's.

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A highlight of Christie’s sale of Old Master paintings in Paris on June 12 will be a still-life by Jean Simeon Chardin (1699-1779), a master of the genre. Shown above Le melon entamé, a 22 x 20in (57 x 52cm) oval oil on canvas depicting fruit prominently featuring a large melon with a slice removed, was painted in 1760 and shown at the Salon the following year.

It was displayed alongside its pendant, Le bocal d’abricots (now in the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto), and Le Panier de fraises des bois, sold at auction in March 2022 at Artcurial for a hammer price of €20.5m (see ATG No 2536) and now in the Louvre.

The painting was part of the Old Master collection of the Marcille family - father François (1790-1856) and his sons Eudoxe (1814-90) and Camille (1816-75) - who owned 30 paintings by Chardin.

After François’ death the two sons divided his collection between them and Christie’s painting went to Camille. Following Camille’s death in 1875 it was acquired by Stéphane Bourgeois, an art dealer acting on behalf of Baroness Nathaniel de Rothschild (1825-99).

It will be offered on June 12 with an estimate of €8m-12m.

Bravest of the Brave baton


Ney’s Empire period maréchal’s baton, estimate €200,000- 300,000 at Osenat.

When Osenat offers the 6th part of the late Jean Louis Noisiez’s substantial collection of antique arms, militaria and historic souvenirs in Fontainebleau on May 26, it will feature a section devoted to Michel Ney (1769-1815), probably the most famous of Napoleon’s marshals and known as ‘The Bravest of the Brave’. One of the highlights will be Ney’s Empire period maréchal’s baton.

The 19in (48cm) wooden baton, which has a dark blue velvet cover embroidered with eagles of slightly later date, is mounted to each end in gold and inscribed TERROR BELLI DECUS PACIS to one side and Michel Ney Nommé par L’Empereur Napoléon Maréchal de l’Empire le 12 Floréal An 12e to the other, with Paris hallmarks for 1798-1809.

The baton comes in its red leather-covered cardboard case of 1804 decorated in gilt with 42 imperial eagles and secured with silver clasps.

From 1961, before it entered the Noisiez collection, Ney’s baton was part of the Beaupère collection. The estimate is €200,000- 300,000.

Huge collection


Unpublished painting by Jean-Léon Gérôme titled Une Épave, estimate €80,000-120,000 at Daguerre.

Image courtesy of Drouot/ Daguerre

A collection discovered during the valuation of a Parisian apartment is to be offered for sale by Daguerre at Drouot in seven auctions with the first to take place on May 31.

Running to 1500 lots, assembled over the course of decades, it encompasses an exhaustive overview of fine art from the 16th century to the contemporary era in paintings, drawings, prints, and photographs, as well as sculpture and works of art.

The proceeds from the sales will benefit the Institut Pasteur.

One of the highlights of the first 139-lot auction will be an unpublished painting by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824-1904). Titled Une Épave, this is not one of the classical or orientalist subjects usually associated with this artist but a more radical scene of a shipwreck showing passengers crowded on a lifeboat, the vessel depicted adrift as a small craft in a vast emerald green and blue sea.

The large 2ft 3in x 3ft 5in (70cm x 1.06m) oil on canvas signed lower left J. L. Gerome has an estimate of €80,000-120,000.