1900 TO NOW

Trending Italian Architect-Designed Masterworks & Seminal Works of Scandinavian Mid-Century Design

London, 26 October 2016

London - This season a strong selection of 20th century Design will be featured across both Design and Historical Design sales in London on 26 October 2016. The auctions will present a varied selection of architect-designed works from around the world, from Brazil to China, with a strong emphasis on Italian and Nordic mid-century design. Works on offer include furniture, lighting, sculpture, ceramics, glass and metalwork by the leading designers of the last 120 years. Estimates range from £2,000 to £200,000.


The Design sale is led by ‘Cinderella Table’ of 2004 by Jeroen Verhoeven (estimate: £70,000 - £100,000). Inspired by 17th and 18th century archetypal shapes of tables and commodes he found in the library of the Stedlijk Museum in Amsterdam, his references to the outline of an 18th century dressing table on cabriole legs, and an 18th century commode, are brought into sharp relief by their juxtaposition in a work of startling 21st century cutting-edge innovation and virtuosity. Other examples of this work are in the permanent collection of many international public and private collections, including the Victoria & Albert Museum, London; The Museum of Modern Art, New York and The Centre Pompidou, Paris. The present work takes advantage of the very latest technology, but also addresses the rich tradition of furniture design.

 The auction also includes a rare and hitherto unseen group of Italian furniture by Carlo de Carli. Architect, designer, writer and academic, De Carli was a pivotal figure in Italian culture of the post-war era. The essence of De Carli’s poetic of furniture design is articulated in the unique interior created for a Milanese private commission in 1949, the Casa Galli. This is exemplified by the sofa (estimate: £6,000 – 9,000) and an important pair of matching armchairs (estimate: £8,000 – 12,000). With accessible estimates, this is an opportunity not to miss for new and distinguished collectors alike.

The design work of several more of the world’s leading contemporary architects is represented in the sale including Ron Arad and Zaha Hadid. The sale will also offer works by Hans Wegner and a striking selection of handcrafted jewellery by the Swedish designer Torun Bulow-Hube. Amongst the rare objects included in the sale is a previously unrecorded carpet by Francis Bacon, circa 1930, (estimate: £120,000 – 180,000).  Prior to being regarded as one of the nation’s leading Post-War artists, Bacon had originally sought to establish himself as a designer-decorator. At c.13 by 8 feet, this carpet is of significantly greater scale than those which are now remaining in private collections and institutions alike.

Historical Design

The Historical Design sale is focused on the important design and decorative art movements of the first half of the 20th century, including Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau and Art Deco. Highlights feature an array of works by the master art deco sculptor Demetre Chiparus, including the present lot Thais (Estimate: £100,000-150,000), alongside an important collection of the highly sought-after works by Emile Gallé and Louis Majorelle such as the Art Nouveau table (Estimate: £30,000 – 50,000).

Also included are a number of rare works by Josef Hoffmann and Koloman Moser, founder members of the Wiener Werkstätte. Founded in 1903, the ‘Vienna Workshops’ produced some of the finest Secessionist design of the early 20th century and their work is today celebrated for its avant-garde simplicity and craftsmanship. Of particular note are this pair of étagères, designed by Hoffmann for the Villa Ast, Vienna, in 1911 (Estimate: £40,000-60,000).

About Christie’s

Christie’s, the world's leading art business, had global auction, private and digital sales in the first half of 2018 that totalled £2.97 billion / $4.04 billion. Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and international expertise. Christie’s offers around 350 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie's also has a long and successful history conducting private sales for its clients in all categories, with emphasis on Post-War & Contemporary, Impressionist & Modern, Old Masters and Jewellery.

Alongside regular sales online, Christie’s has a global presence in 46 countries, with 10 salerooms around the world including in London, New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Amsterdam, Dubai, Zürich, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.

*Please note when quoting estimates above that other fees will apply in addition to the hammer price - see Section D of the Conditions of Sale at the back of the sale catalogue.

*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and are reported net of applicable fees.