Aftersale of the 12th Tiberius Auction
Prices include all fees

Los 570 Auktion


Aftersale price:  7.620
  • USD: 8.283 $
  • GBP: 6.521 £
USD: 8.283 $GBP: 6.521 £

Additional information




Retour d’Égypte
Armrests supported by two sphinxes
Four claw feet
Ca. 1800/10
Finest Empire marquetry
Silk cover
Height 97 cm, width 63 cm, depth 70 cm
Seat height 43 cm
Provenance: Joseph von Hammer-Purgstall, Hainfeld Castle near Feldbach (leading Oriental researcher and top freemason)

This armchair has an unusual provenance: it comes from the estate of Baron Joseph von Hammer-Purgstall (Graz 1774 – 1856 Vienna). Hammer-Purgstall was an Austrian Orientalist and pioneer in his field. From 1799 he travelled to Constantinople, then to the Levant, and subsequently to Egypt in connection with Napoleon’s Egypt expedition.

When Napoleon Bonaparte started his campaign to Egypt (1798-1801), his army was accompanied by numerous explorers who published their research in 1802 as “La description de l’Égypte”, from which the fashion for the “Retour d’Égpyte” developed. This style was extremely popular at the beginning of the 19th century, but is only found in a limited period of time, which is reflected in the rarity of the objects preserved today. This armchair features two carved sphinxes with a nemes headscarf characteristic of pharaohs and typical claw feet.

The armchair comes from the Renaissance castle of Hainfeld near Feldbach, the largest moated castle in Styria and from 1835 the summer residence of Hammer-Purgstall, who inherited the castle from Jane Anne Purgstall and made it a landmark of his “native Orient” by, among other things, building the largest secular library in Styria within.

Dehio-Handbuch, Die Kunstdenkmäler Österreichs. Steiermark (ohne Graz), Vienna 1982, page 159f.


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