Christie's offers $6.4 million "Cucci Cabinet"

Thu Oct 8, 2009 9:40am EDT
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LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Christie's will offer for auction one of only three cabinets by Domenico Cucci known to survive, and expects the rare work to fetch around four million pounds ($6.4 million).

The ornate Louis XIV cabinet, dated 1665 to 1675, is being sold by the March family, described by the auctioneer as one of the most powerful banking dynasties of 20th century Spain.

The other two Cucci cabinets were made in the 1680s and are owned by the Duke of Northumberland at Alnwick Castle.

The work on offer, which boasts Florentine "pietre dure" plaques, hard-stone columns and opulent gilt bronze mounts, is attributed to Cucci and the Gobelins workshop in Paris.

It will form part of the "500 Years: Decorative Arts Europe" auction in London on December 10.

Christie's sold the Badminton Cabinet, commissioned by the Duke of Beaufort from the Grand Ducal workshops in Florence in 1726, for 19.1 million pounds in 2004, then a record for any piece of furniture sold at auction.

In February, an Eileen Gray chair fetched the sterling equivalent of 19.5 million pounds at a Christie's auction of the collection of fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent.

(Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato)