A private collection marked by the good taste of its owner is up for auction

What must a piece have to make a collector fall in love with it? Beauty, rarity and state of conservation are the main qualities.

The private collection presented by Setdart is a perfect example of dedication to the search for treasures from all over the world, covering different periods, materials and authors. Half a century of research, traveling the world, served to create an extraordinary collection based in London. The eclectic taste reflects an overflowing interest in a multitude of disciplines, from decorative arts to contemporary painting.

Interest could not be enough to find these pieces. The precise knowledge of each subject indicates the collector’s good eye, knowing how to recognize in a neoclassical biscuit, one of the last examples of the Buen Retiro, or in a wine decanter from the Royal Factory of Martinez, the coat of arms of a viceroy in America.

In order to make a journey through the collection, a brief summary can be made of the different disciplines it covers. As for the art of the 20th century, we note the interest in the artists of each decade, whether Spanish or foreign. Like the patrons of the Renaissance, the owners decided to bet on the promises and consolidated artists of their time, and even had a close and friendly relationship with them. A clear example of this are the exquisite drawings of Claudio Bravo.

The antique paintings range from Spanish to Italian works, and those of American colonial origin deserve special mention. In the 70’s and 80’s there was a great lack of knowledge about the American viceroyalty schools despite the fact that in our country we have, by historical tradition, some of their masterpieces. Thus, they were passionate about the mysterious and exotic aspects of colonial painting even though it was not fashionable or valuable for the market. In this field, the Villalpando panel and the work of Juan de Correa stand out. Following the thread of colonial art, they turned much of their interest to the works made in India for the Portuguese, English and Dutch colonists. The chests, chests of drawers and cabinets of marquetry that they collected are unique in terms of their quality.

The oriental world, always so evocative, has always generated an interest on the part of Europeans. China, in this case, becomes one of the highlights of this collection with the presence of furniture for export, made with the expensive huanghuali wood, or the Ming and India Company porcelain plates.

Turning finally to Europe, it is clear that the taste for the classic is a fundamental thread in all disciplines. Mythological scenes and furniture inspired by ancient Greece and Rome abound, whether in Regency, Empire, Fernandine or Charles X styles. Marbles, agates or porphyry are the attraction of any cabinet of curiosities, in which the souvenirs of the Grand Tour cannot be missing either.

A superb collection, treasured for half a century, comes on the market for the first time in four auction sessions that will take place from February 27 to March 2.

External references to Roman urns

Prado Museum