October 21, 2004
This October, Sotheby's will offer selected items from the corporate collection of the HSBC Bank USA, NA. The collection as a whole compromises 18th and 19th century paintings and drawings together with furniture and works of art, acquired by HSBC through their purchase in 1999 of the Republic Bank of New York.
Founded by the late Edmond Safra in 1966, the Republic Bank of New York's collection clearly revealed Safra's personal vision and connoisseurship.
The single owner sale to be held in October contains magnificent 18th- and 19th-century English and Continental furniture and silver. The overall breadth and quality of the collection enhance our perceptions of the life of a truly remarkable man.
The pride of the collection is a George III Carved Mahogany Library Table, one of the most important library tables to have appeared on the art market for many years (pictured above). Estimated to sell for $2/3 million, the table was almost certainly commissioned by John Martin - a prominent member of an 18th-century banking family - for the library of his new house, Ham Court, Upton-on-Severn, Worcestershire, the table can be confidently attributed to the firm of Thomas Chippendale.
Conceived in fine mahogany with richly figured veneers and exceptional carving in the Neoclassical manner, its form and construction may be closely compared to two other documented tables supplied by Chippendale to Nostell Priory in 1766 and Harewood House in 1771.