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CHRISTIE, James, the elder (1730--1803)
[Sale catalogue. 1801:04:07]
A catalogue of the capital, well-known, and truly valuable collection of antique statues, bustos, Ægyptian, and other vases, bas-reliefs, &c. (including a few capital pictures, ...) the property of a noble earl, deceased, ... Which will be sold by auction, by Mr. Christie, at Roehampton, on Tuesday, April the 7th, 1801, ...
[London]: J. Smeeton, printer, [1801].
8 p. ; 28.5 cm. (4°)

Lugt 6226; Fredericksen, Index of paintings, I, p. 7, no. 23 (listing only two other locations apart from Christie's file copy). With a printed addenda slip detailing supplementary lots 116--18 in Case, No. 10. The "noble earl, deceased" was Lord Bessborough. Soane made several notable purchases at this sale, including six cinerary vases or urns (in lots 33, 40, 42, 71 & 72), three of which are identifiable as SM Inv. M429, S146 & S147 [probably], one, a pilastered double cinerarium (M429), being an example that had passed through Piranesi's workshop and formed the subject of one of the plates in his Vasi, candelabri, cippi ..., 1779 (q.v., pl. 5). Soane also paid 61 guineas for one of the highlights of the sale, a statue of Diana of Ephesus (lot 103, SM Inv. M613) which had appeared in Montfaucon's L'antiquité expliquée, 1719 (q.v., vol. I, pl. 95, p. 158). Other Soane purchases included a large oval antique vase (lot 73, SM Inv. M828) for which he paid 32 guineas; a statue of Aesculapius (lot 80, SM Inv. M603); a small cippus or altar (lot 2, SM Inv. M515); and a fragment of a frieze (part lot 23, SM Inv. MC19). The remainder of Soane's purchases (lots 33, 40 & 42) have not been securely identified with objects in the Museum. For the above lots Soane paid a total of £210, including commission. In addition to this, however, and as an apparently separate transaction, Soane seems to have also bought lots 104, 106, 112 and 114, for tipped onto the title-page in copy 1 is James Christie's bill for these lots dated 8 April 1801 amounting to a further £97. However, accompanying this is a letter from Christie dated Pallmall/ May 2. 1801 asking Soane to fix a day for the return of the marbles to Roehampton, ... as Lord Bessborough would wish to apprize his Servants of their coming, that proper assistance might be had for placing them in the different Situations they are meant to occupy. Clearly some dispute, mistake or dissatisfaction had arisen amongst the parties concerned. Soane drafted his reply in pencil on the back as follows Ld. Bessboro' may have lots 105, 106, 112, 115 on sending for them to Ealing, taking on himself all the risque & expence as to the safe return of the Marbles Mr S is to be repaid the purchase of £97----- & also the Expence he has been at in the carriage of the Marbles to Ealing & putting them into their place. It is calculated this expence has been about £3----- but it may be determined by what Lord B. pays for carrying the Marbles to Roehampton. Mr S pledges himself that the Marbles recd. no injury neither in their transit nor in placing them. The incorrect lot numbers may be explained by Soane not having the relevant details in front of him while he was writing.

Copy Notes Copy 1: Title-page inscribed in ink Lord Besborough 1801. Prices noted in ink only for Soane's purchases. With a letter from James Christie dated 2 May 1801 and two bills dated 8 April 1801 (see notes above). Bound in a collection of sale catalogues, 1784 to 1823.
Copy 2: Without the addenda slip. Title-page inscribed in ink Lord Besborough 1801 and in pencil M Scholey/ 10 Cumberland / place / Paddington / Road. With most prices noted in pencil, but only Soane named as a buyer, suggesting perhaps that the bookseller Robert Scholey may have acted as Soane's agent at the sale. Bound after copy 1.

Binding Recent half goatskin, binder's cloth boards.

Reference Number 1896


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