The Collection of Pierre Berndt: an auction by Artcurial on 14 November 2017

A sale will be held by Artcurial at 7 Rond-Point des Champs-Élysées, Paris, on Tuesday 14th November 2017 (exhibition 10-13 November). It consists of 281 lots from the former gallery of Pierre Berndt in Geneva , mainly consisting of antique frames, but also including pieces of furniture and works of art in carved giltwood.

PIERRE BERNDT: Une vie de passion pour le cadre ancien et le bois doré

With his beaming smile, intense gaze and measured language, Pierre Berndt was, not long ago, still welcoming clients to his gallery in Grand-rue, Geneva. Whoever crossed the threshold of this sixteenth century building was immediately seduced by the simple and warm rapport with its owner which animated any conversation.

Pierre Berndt has devoted his life to antique frames and works of art in giltwood, and today a page is being turned on a career which has been rich in surprise and discovery. He was apprenticed at the age of fifteen, making his way to the top of his profession before taking over in 1989 – in partnership with his wife – the legacy of that doyen of the antique frame, André Buchs, whose plaque still decorates the façade of the shop in the Grand-rue.

From the 1990s M. Berndt has been familiar with all the secrets of the world of frames; whenever he has not been in his workshop in Geneva, he has travelled unceasingly, quartering Italy in search of the rarest antique patterns. The most demanding collectors of ancient and modern drawings have been regulars in his gallery, which still retains one of the finest painted ceilings in the old city. In this exceptional place the visitor would be given a stunning journey through every region of Italy; frames from Bologna, Venice, Florence, Rome, Piedmont and Puglia were displayed on the walls, in waiting for their future owners.

Having the opportunity to share Pierre Berndt’s passion for his subject during the realization of this catalogue was a great privilege both for me and for the Artcurial team.

Vincent Guerre

Lots 6 & 7: French Louis XIV frames, 17th century

Lot 6: a Louis XIV oak frame, carved and gilded, with continuous Berainesque decoration of scrolling foliate strapwork on a cross-hatched ground on the ogee; with fanned lambrequins held in foliate cartouches with a diapered ground in the projecting corners and centres; leaf-bud demi-centres; a sanded frieze; a leaf-tip sight edge with hatched detail; 31.69 x 25.2 ins (80.5 x 64 cm.); restored; estimate €1,800-2,500

Lot 7: a Louis XIV oak frame, carved and gilded, with continuous high-relief scrolling foliate strapwork decoration with roses-à-tiges & florets on a crossed-hatched ground on the ogee; with shells on shaped cartouches in the corners and shaped trellised cartouches at the centres; an undulating band of flower-buds on a hatched ground at the sight edge; 14.96 x 19.29 ins (38 x 49 cm.); regilded; estimate €1,000-1,500

Lot 8: Provençale late Rococo looking-glass frame, 18th century

Lot 8: carved giltwood Provençale free-standing looking-glass frame, with shaped contour, pierced scrolling sides (infilled with mirrored glass) carved with a continuous spiralling leafy flowered vine springing from a shell at the bottom centre; with rocailles and scrolled acanthus leaves at the top corners; the vine ending in a pierced fronton of palm branches, with flowers; a posy of flowers at the bottom centre; two scrolled acanthus feet; 50.79 x 36.22 ins (129 x 92 cm.); no indication as to age of glass, which shows signs of wear; estimate €1,500-2,500

Lots 25 & 26: French Louis XIII-Louis XIV flower-corner frames, 17th century

Lot 25: a Louis XIII-XIV flower-corner frame, carved and gilded oak, with hatched leaf-tip back edge; convex top edge with shaped panels or reposes engraved with branches of leaves & flowers; with projecting hatched leafy lambrequins at the corners, springing high relief sprigs of leaves, sunflowers, roses & florets; with a sight edge of centred undulating leaves on a hatched ground; 26.77 x 22.24 ins (68 x 56.5 cm.); this has been cut at the top & bottom, losing the shaped ends of the reposes; regilded; estimate €800-1,200

Lot 26: a Louis XIII-XIV flower-corner frame, carved giltwood, with vestigial knull at the back edge; convex top edge with shaped mirrored panels or reposes; with hatched leafy lambrequins at the corners, springing high relief sprigs of leaves, sunflowers & florets; with a sight edge of centred undulating leaves on a hatched ground; 12.2 x 15.16 ins (31 x 38.5 cm.); regilded; estimate €400-600

Lots 27-29: French Louis XIII carved oval frames, 17th century

Lot 27: a Louis XIII garland frame, carved and gilded oak, with a leaf-tip back edge; garland of bay & oak leaves, berries, sunflowers & roses; a spiral ribbon; leaf-tip sight edge; 26.38 x 22.44 ins (67 x 57 cm.); some elements of the garland added/replaced; estimate €800-1,200

Lot 28: a Louis XIII garland frame, carved and gilded oak, with a leaf-tip back edge; garland of bay & oak leaves, berries, sunflowers & roses; a spiral ribbon; leaf-tip sight edge; 30.51 x 23.82 ins (77.5 x 60.5 cm.); slightly warped; estimate €800-1,200

Lot 29: a Louis XIII-XIV flower-panel frame, carved and gilded oak, with flowered back edge; shaped mirrored panels or reposes between branches of high-relief leaves, sunflowers, roses & florets; leaf-tip sight edge with a hatched ground; 22 x 17.32 ins (56 x 44 cm.); regilded; estimate €800-1,200

Lot 41: Italian Rococo frame, 18th century

Lot 41: a Rococo looking-glass frame, described as north Italian and possibly from Lombardy, carved and gilded limewood, with an outer framework having a shaped contour formed of S- & C-scrolls decorated with rocailles, with pierced foliate panels; with a symmetrical pierced fronton of rocailles holding a shaped cartouche with a panel of engraved mirrored glass decorated with Heracles & Artemis; with an asymmetric apron of rocailles holding another cartouche with a panel of engraved mirrored glass decorated with Eros amidst flowers; inner linear frame decorated with several orders of rocaille mouldings, with a shaped contour at the sight edge; 61.42 x 45.67 ins (156 x 116 cm.); regilded; probably original glass; estimate €8,000-12,000

Lots 48-50: Spanish & Italian 17th and 18th century frames

Lot 48: Spanish 17th-18th bolection panel frame, carved, black-painted and parcel-gilt; with applied  high-relief carved & pierced giltwood scrolling panels of leaves at the corners and centres; 35.24 x 27.76 ins (89.5 x 70.5 cm.); estimate €2,000-3,000

Lot 49: Italian leaf frame, assembled from 18th century elements; with  pierced high-relief scrolling acanthus leaves, & projecting acanthus corners, with a leaf-bud at the crest; an enriched centred spiral ribbon; 17.72 x 13.78 ins (45 x 35 cm.); estimate €800-1,200

Lot 50: small-scale Italian Baroque leaf frame, Florence, 17th century, carved, parcel-gilt & picked out in black paint; composed of high-relief pierced and scrolling acanthus leaves, rising to a tall, forward-scrolling leaf crest; with an inner frame of centred & bound husks or leaf-buds; 3.94 x 2.76 ins (10 x 7 cm.); original hanger; estimate €800-1,200

Lots 51 & 52: Spanish & Italian reverse frames

Lot 51: Spanish reverse frame, late 16th-early 17th century; astragal-&-multiple bead moulding; leaf-bud moulding on the ogee at the sight edge; 30.71 x 21.85 ins (78 x 55.5 cm.); regilded; original hanger; estimate €3,000-4,000

Lot 52: Italian  parcel-gilt & ebonized ripple frame, late 17th-early 187h century, described as Venetian; bolection profile, with interrupted ripple moulding on back edge; frieze with wave moulding; single wave moulding; ripple moulding at sight edge; 12.2 x 14.57 ins (31 x 37 cm.); estimate €800-1,200

Lot 56: Italian cassetta with figures of saints, 16th century

Lot 56: Italian cassetta with figurative polychrome paintings, 16th century, possibly Piedmontese; parcel-gilded & painted with a faux marbre or tortoiseshell ground, with gold stars on the frieze; tripartite cusped cartouches painted in the corners; two figures of saints on panels on the lateral friezes, named as St Mark on the left & St Peter on the right; a sunburst at the centre top bearing the Christogram ‘IHS’, and a coat of arms of the owner or donor at the bottom centre: a double-headed eagle above a shield black & silver per pale; 48.3 x 37.01 ins (123 x 94 cm.); restored; original hanger; estimate €2,500-3,500

Lots 63-66: Italian & Spanish 17th & 18th century frames

Lot 63: Italian Baroque moulding frame, 18th century, carved giltwood; 41.34 x 34.25 ins (105 x 87 cm.); slightly warped; estimate €800-1,000

Lot 64: Spanish reverse cassetta, 17th-18th century, ebonized & parcel-gilt; the frieze decorated in mordant gilding on the black ground with scrolling foliate flourishes in the corners and centres, with pea-pod ornament, and daisies in the top & bottom centres; 27.76 x 21.06 ins (70.5 x 53.5 cm.); estimate €2,500-3,500

Lot 65: Italian Baroque bolection frame, described as Bolognese or might be Roman, 17th century; carved giltwood; gadrooned on the top edge; original hanger; 16.34 x 12.8 ins (41.5 x 32.5 cm.); estimate €600-800

Lot 66: Spanish or Italian Baroque frame, 17th-18th century; carved giltwood with acanthus leaf corners & centres; original hanger; 7.09 x 4.72 ins (18 x 12 cm.); estimate €350-450

Lots 82-83: Italian ‘Sansovino’-style & revival Renaissance frame

Lot 82: Italian ‘Sansovino’-style frame, Venetian or possibly Florentine, 16th century; symmetric about the vertical axis, with pierced S-scrolling brackets at the sides, centred with clasps and hung with garlands of fruit, placed on a double pedestal with palmettes and supporting vestigial capitals with palmettes; interrupted swan’s neck pediment, strung from trompe l’oeil nails with garlands of fruit morphing into drapery, with a small Mannerist cartouche at the centre; pierced foliated scrolling at the bottom, with further garlands, supporting a cherub’s head at the centre; all the scrolls decorated with piastre ornament; 27.56 x 20.08 ins (70 x 51 cm.); estimate €7,000-9,000

Lot 83: Italian revival Renaissance frame, possibly Sienese, 19th century, in the style of e.g. Pietro Giusti (1822-78), carved and parcel-gilt walnut, with candelabrum ornament at the sides, dragons and grotesques at top & bottom, and with a trio of pomegranates carved in each of the corner cassettes; 9.06 x 6.22 ins (23 x 15.8 cm.); estimate €500-700

Lot 103: French 17th century engraved ogee frame

Lot 103: Provençale Louis XIII-XIV ogee frame, carved and gilded oak, engraved in the gesso with centred undulating foliage on a hazzled ground; 25.2 x 18.5 ins (64 x 47 cm.); original gilding; slightly warped; estimate €1,000-1,5000

Lots 113-115: Italian 17th-18th century frames

Lot 113: Italian cassetta, 17th century, carved, painted black & parcel-gilt, with fluted leaf-tip and astragal-&-double bead mouldings; the frieze decorated in mordant gilding with delicate arabesques and pea-pod ornament; 38.39 x 31.1 ins (97.5 x 79 cm.); original hanger; estimate €3,000-4,000

Lot 114: Venetian ‘Canaletto’ panel frame, 18th century, carved giltwood, with gadrooned back edge;shaped mirrored panels or reposes on the ogee between corners carved with delicate foliate scrolls on a cross-hatched ground; leaf-tip sight edge with a hatched ground; 24.8 x 19.69 ins (63 x 50 cm.); estimate €800-1,000

Lot 115: small Italian Baroque frame, 17th century, carved giltwood, centred imbricated leaf top edge; acanthus-&-shield sight edge; 8.66 x 6.89 ins (22 x 17.5 cm.); original gilding; estimate €700-900

Lot 131: Italian architectural element, 18th century

Lot 131: Italian Baroque overdoor or chimneypiece, 18th century, carved giltwood aedicular structure with sculptural foliate & shell crest, gadrooned cornice; scrolling foliate panels and pendants of fruit & leaves; 33.46 x 44.88 ins (85 x 114 cm.); estimate €2,500-3,500

Lots 137-140: Italian & Spanish 17th-18th century frames

Lot 137: provincial Italian bolection frame, 17th-18th century, described as from southern Italy; carved limewood, parcel-gilt and polychrome; decorated on the ogee with stylized acanthus leaves & leaf-buds on a black ground; 60.43 x 50 ins (153.5 x 127 cm.); original finish, & hanger; estimate €4,000-5,000

Lot 138: Spanish reverse frame, 17th century, carved in limewood, with a painted faux- pierre finish, described as tortoiseshell; 36.61 x 26.18 ins (93 x 66.5 cm.); hanger; estimate €2,000-3,000

Lot 139: Italian bolection frame, 17th century, finished in brown paint with gilded foliate ornament at the corners & centres; 25.2 x 18.7 ins (64 x 47.5 cm.); estimate €800-1,000

Lot 140: Italian bolection frame, 17th century, described as from the Marche, finished with silver leaf and faux-marbre; 11.02 x 8.66 ins (28 x 22 cm.); estimate €600-800

Lots 154-156: Italian 17th-18th century frames

Lot 154: Italian reverse cassetta, 17th century; trompe l’oeil woodgrain finish on the frieze, with gilded corner & centre decoration; Sienese ‘windowsill’ chequering in black & gold on the sight edge; 24.02 x 28.74 ins (61 x 73 cm.); estimate €3,500-4,500

Lot 155: Italian cassetta, 17th-18th century; Sienese ‘windowsill’ chequering in black & gold on the top edge; the frieze painted black, with corner & centre foliate decoration in mordant gilding; 16.14 x 11.81 ins (41 x 30 cm.); hanger; estimate €2,000-3,000

Lots 198-200: Italian 17th century frames with painted trompe l’oeil finishes

Lot 198: Italian reverse cassetta, 17th century, described as from the Marche; black & brown trompe l’oeil tortoiseshell or marble finish; 25.2 x18.5 ins (64 x 47 cm.); estimate €1,500-2,000

Lot 199: Italian Baroque bolection frame, 17th century; described as from the Marche; with blue & grey faux marbre/lapis finish; 13.78 x 9.84 ins (34.5 x 25 cm.); estimate € 300-400

Lot 200: small Italian Baroque bolection frame, 17th century; with trompe l’oeil stone finish in warm browns; 7.68 x 5.31 ins (19.5 x 13.5 cm.); hanger; estimate €300-400

Lots 211-212: Italian ‘Sansovino’ frames, 16th-17th century

Lot 211: Italian ‘Sansovino’ frame, 17th century; carved and gilded; symmetrical about both axes; decorated with S-scrolls, piastre ornament and fluting, centred on rosettes; 33.07 x 28.74 ins (84 x 73 cm.); original gilding; estimate €3,500-4,500

Lot 212: Italian ‘Sansovino’ frame, 16th century; crudely carved, stripped of gilding; symmetrical about the vertical axis; with scrolling and foliate lateral brackets topped by caryatid heads; centred on a cherub’s head at the crest; 11.81 x 15.35 ins (30 x 39 cm.); estimate €2,000-2,500

Lots 220-221: Italian & Spanish Baroque frames, 17th-18th century

Lot 220: Roman Baroque  ‘Salvator Rosa’ frame, late 17th-early 18th century; carved, with parcel-gilt and black polished finish; ovolo back moulding; spiral ribbon; acanthus-&-shield sight edge; 23.62 x 18.5 ins (60 x 47 cm.); hanger; estimate €1,500-2,000

Lot 221: Spanish Baroque moulding frame, late 17th-early 18th century; carved, with parcel-gilt and black polished finish; leaf-tip-&-shield back edge; acanthus leaf sight edge; 13.98 x 10.43 ins (35.5 x 26.5 cm.); hanger; estimate €1,200-1,800

Lots 269-271: ripple moulding frames, 17th century

Lot 269: cabinetmaker’s frame, 17th century, described as Venetian but more probably Neapolitan; carved, stained & polished; with wave moulding on the frieze; ripple moulding; double ripple moulding at the sight edge; 25.2 x 19.49 ins (64 x 49.5 cm.); estimate €1,000-1,500

Lot 270: small bolection ripple frame, 17th-18th century, described as Venetian but could be Neapolitan or Middle European; carved, stained & polished; double ripple moulding at back edge and sight edge; 5.51 x 4.13 ins (14 x 10.5 cm.); estimate €500-700

Lot 271: small bolection ripple frame, 17th-18th century; described as Venetian but could be Neapolitan or Middle European; carved, stained & polished; interrupted ripple moulding at back edge and sight edge; 6.89 x 5.91 ins (17.5 x 15 cm.); estimate €500-700

Lot 279: Louis XIII-style arched garland frame

Lot 279: Louis XIII-style frame, 17th century, described as Piedmontese or Provencal; carved giltwood; centred spiral ribbon at back edge; torus carved with ribbon-bound imbricated bay leaf-&-berry moulding depending from scroll & acanthus leaf at crest, and centred at bottom with acanthus leaf corners; acanthus leaf sight edge; 59 ins high (149.86 cm.); estimate €2,000-2,500

Lot 281: Italian Baroque sunburst

Lot 281: Italian Baroque sunburst with Christogram, 17th-18th century; carved, painted and gilded, with the Christogram ‘IHS’ carved in low-relief in the central moulding frame; double-sided, with the motif repeated in trompe l’oeil on the reverse; 37.4 ins (95 cm.); estimate €1,000-1,500

The catalogue can be read or downloaded below, in pdf form

 

Carved angels are also available…