Year in Review: Favorite Acquisitions of 2017

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As the year comes to a close, we are so thankful for the opportunity to have acquired some of the most beautiful, unique, and important historical objects and artworks available. We would love to answer any questions you may have about our pieces, and we wish you a lovely holiday season! Here are a few of my favorite acquisitions of 2017.

 

Falaise et Porte d’Amont par Gros Temps by Claude Monet

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One of the highlights of our collection right now is a spectacular painting by Claude Monet. This work, entitled Falaise et Porte d’Amont par Gros Temps, is a spectacular example of Monet’s fascination with atmosphere and light that is so prevalent in his works. This is also one of the first works in the period where Monet focused wholly on the landscape as the subject of the image, deeply investigating the effects of different weather conditions and seasons on the landscape itself. The captivating scene depicts a cliff in a small fishing village called Étretat on the coast of Normandy, quite near the town of Le Havre where Monet was born. Though he painted more than 70 canvases in this village on several trips to the area, the intense brushwork and vibrant pastels in this painting make it among the most vivid from this important series and an excellent example of the impressionistic style. Shop Monet »


Internally Flawless Fancy Yellow Diamond Ring

30-6663_1-1This is an absolutely spectacular gemstone and one of the finest yellow diamonds we have ever had! The size alone is enough to turn heads, (a monumental 16.57 carats), but this diamond has much more to boast. It is GIA certified to be a natural fancy yellow color, and in addition to that is internally flawless. To put this in perspective, for every 10,000 colorless diamonds that are mined, only one natural fancy colored diamond will be found, and to find one of this size is exceedingly rare! This gem is set amongst white diamonds in a platinum and 18K yellow gold setting. We have had some beautiful yellow diamonds in the past, but this one is really special. Shop the Ring »


The Dulcimer Player Android-Automaton

One of our more recent acquisitions, the Dulcimer Player Android-Automaton is one of only nine such creations known to exist in the world and the only one not currently in a museum collection! This Dulcimer player was made by Joseph Möllinger, one of the finest German craftsmen of his time, in 1770. Möllinger’s piece was the inspiration for the most well-known Android-Automaton of the time, which was made several years later for Marie Antoinette by Möllinger’s protégé Peter Kinzing. The fascinating difference between a simple automaton and an android-automaton is that the robotic woman is actually playing the Dulcimer, rather than miming as an instrumentalist with the sound coming from a concealed music box. This level of automation is extremely complex and makes this fully functional example a one-of-a-kind treasure of mechanical art. Shop the Dulcimer Player »


30-6098_1_1Tsar Nicholas II's Winter Palace Armoire

This incredible Russian armoire is an example of a piece with incredible Royal provenance! We are known for finding rare and unique treasures here at M.S. Rau, but this piece goes above and beyond in both form and history. This magnificent armoire was crafted for Tsar Nicholas II’s Winter Palace in St. Petersburg. The building itself is now one of the most famous museums in the world, the Hermitage Museum, but the treasures made to furnish its interior are of unrivaled quality and ingenuity. This armoire is hand carved with intricate details including ornate columns, arches, and other architectural features, but it also contains several hidden compartments. It was removed from the Winter Palace after the Bolshevik Revolution, and was shipped to Belgium, where it stayed on a ship in the harbor of Ghent for several years until it was seized by Customs officials. These officials sold it to a pair of cheese exporters who put it on display in Belgium where it attracted large crowds of Belgians who were fascinated by the Russian architecture. It is by far one of the most exceptional things we have ever had here at M. S. Rau. Shop the Armoire »


The Mills-Dewey Chicago Triple Slot Machine

30-7027_1This triple slot machine is a quintessential piece of Americana. The Mills Dewey Chicago Triplet has two Dewey machines framing a Chicago machine in the center, the best of both of the company’s highest end gaming devices. This model was only produced from 1903 to 1916, with an estimated 583 machines made. However, when gaming was outlawed at the beginning of the 20th century, the vast majority of the machines were destroyed, and this particular example is the only one that is known to have survived. Made by the Mills Novelty Company of Chicago, this machine is actually three slot machines that each take a different bet amount (a nickel, quarter, or half dollar), all housed in a beautiful carved oak case. Shop the slot machine »

 

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