Editor’s picks by Whitney Robinson of ELLE DECOR

Editor’s picks by Whitney Robinson of ELLE DECOR

The interiors magazine’s recently appointed Editor-in-chief compiles his wish list from three of this month’s New York sales:  First Open | Online (9-14 December), Interiors (12 December) and Design (14 December)

‘I want to provide our readers with inspiration, immediacy and a little fantasy,’ said Whitney Robinson after being named Editor-in-chief of ELLE DECOR  in June of this year. The former Town & Country  style editor explained that his vision would incorporate ‘spectacular visuals and compelling writing on interior design, fashion, travel, real estate and art, all inseparable elements of a stylish life.’ On Monday 11 December, Robinson will speak at the Christie’s Lates event at our Rockefeller Center galleries. 

Ahead of ELLE DECOR’s curation of our last Christie’s Lates of 2017, Robinson drew up a wish list of lots selected from across three of this month’s New York sales: First Open | Online  (9-14 December), which features paintings, sculpture, works on paper and photographs by emerging and established post-war and contemporary artists — all with enticing estimates; Interiors  (12-13 December), which includes a selection from the Collection of Elizabeth Brooke Blake; and Design (14 December), a tightly curated sale that includes an extensive selection of Tiffany glass lamps, a Diego Giacometti table, three Lalanne sheep, and much more besides. 

This is what he chose.

  • 1
  • A Paul Evans Sideboard

Paul Evans (1931-1987), A ‘Cityscape’ sideboard, circa 1970. 32  in (81.2  cm) high, 90¼  in (229.2  cm) wide, 22  in (55.9  cm) deep. Estimate $6,000-9,000. This lot is offered in Interiors on 12-13 December 2017  at Christie’s in New York

Paul Evans (1931-1987), A ‘Cityscape’ sideboard, circa 1970. 32 in (81.2 cm) high, 90¼ in (229.2 cm) wide, 22 in (55.9 cm) deep. Estimate: $6,000-9,000. This lot is offered in Interiors on 12-13 December 2017 at Christie’s in New York

Paul Evans studied at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. Although he worked in metal, he was a member of the American Craft Movement, often considered a confluence of modern design and folk art. ‘The gilt and silvered metal surfaces of this side cabinet pop out at you, but this is still versatile enough to use in almost any room,’ Robinson says. ‘There is warmth and edginess in the design.’

  • 2
  • A Tiffany Studios lamp

Tiffany Studios, a ‘Wisteria’ table lamp, circa 1905. 26½  in (68 cm) high, 18 in (45.8 cm) diameter of shade. Estimate $300,000-500,000. This lot is offered in Design on 14 December 2017  at Christie’s in New York

Tiffany Studios, a ‘Wisteria’ table lamp, circa 1905. 26½ in (68 cm) high, 18 in (45.8 cm) diameter of shade. Estimate: $300,000-500,000. This lot is offered in Design on 14 December 2017 at Christie’s in New York

The ‘Wisteria’ table lamp from Tiffany Studios is an icon of 20th-century American design. With saturated blue tones, organic lines and thousands of pieces of individually selected Favrile glass, it is a triumph of craftsmanship. 

‘This Tiffany Studios table lamp is truly a work of art,’ Robinson says. ‘Its gorgeous silhouette traces the natural shape of wisteria, and the illumination through the leaded glass creates the subtle illusion of dimension. Wisteria is one of my favourite signs of spring, and this sculptural lamp is a warm reminder of the season.’ 

  • 3
  • A Fornasetti cabinet

Piero Fornasetti (1913-1988), a rare ‘Gran Coromandel’ trumeau, 1950s. 85¾ in (218  cm) high, 31½  in (80  cm) wide, 16¼  in (41  cm) deep. Estimate $30,000-50,000. This lot is offered in Design on 14 December 2017  at Christie’s in New York

Piero Fornasetti (1913-1988), a rare ‘Gran Coromandel’ trumeau, 1950s. 85¾ in (218 cm) high, 31½ in (80 cm) wide, 16¼ in (41 cm) deep. Estimate: $30,000-50,000. This lot is offered in Design on 14 December 2017 at Christie’s in New York

‘The Grand Coromandel trumeau is one of the most iconic examples of Piero Fornasetti’s irreverent approach to design and decoration,’ says Vanessa Booher, design specialist at Christie’s in New York. ‘His imaginative and often surreal decor would break the monotony of any interior. This cabinet is based on a prototype designed with Gio Ponti and presented at the Milan Triennale in 1951.’

‘With its richly coloured and sumptuously decorated lacquer surfaces, this Fornasetti trumeau is the definition of statement furniture,’ observes Robinson. ‘An entire room could be built around such an iconic piece.’

  • 4
  • A table by Diego Giacometti

Diego Giacometti (1902-1985), A ‘Hiboux et grenouilles’ low table, circa 1970. 16¾  in (42.5  cm) high, 30 in (76  cm) wide, 23¾  in (60.4  cm) deep. Estimate $200,000-300,000. This lot is offered in Design on 14 December 2017  at Christie’s in New York

Diego Giacometti (1902-1985), A ‘Hiboux et grenouilles’ low table, circa 1970. 16¾ in (42.5 cm) high, 30 in (76 cm) wide, 23¾ in (60.4 cm) deep. Estimate: $200,000-300,000. This lot is offered in Design on 14 December 2017 at Christie’s in New York

This glass and patinated table by Diego Giacometti was purchased from the artist in 1974 and has remained in the same family since the 1980s. ‘The four frogs on the glass seem to be perched on a still pond,’ says Robinson, ‘while the owls underneath appear to be watching over whatever room this luxurious piece is placed in.’

  • 5
  • A Basquiat work on paper

Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988), Untitled, 1981. This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity issued by the authentication committee of the Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Estimate $50,000-70,000. This lot is offered in First Open  Post-War & Contemporary Art, 7-14 December 2017, Online

Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988), Untitled, 1981. This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity issued by the authentication committee of the Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Estimate: $50,000-70,000. This lot is offered in First Open | Post-War & Contemporary Art, 7-14 December 2017, Online

Challenging Western histories, much of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s art honours black men as heroes and kings. This work on paper, executed in colourful bursts of red and blue, hails from his ‘Famous Negro Athletes’ series. It features the crown motif, Basquiat’s signature tag during his time as a street artist, while the baseball player with backwards hat nods to sports and pop culture. 

‘Basquiat is known for his spontaneous and dynamic compositions,’ notes Robinson. ‘This a nice mix of fine art, street art and sport.’

  • 6
  • A pair of Lalanne sheep

Francois-Xavier Lalanne (1927-2008), two ‘Agneaux’, 1997. Each 20¼  in (51.5  cm) high, 22 in (56  cm) wide, 6⅞  in (17.5  cm) deep. Estimate $150,000-200,000. This lot is offered in Design on 14 December 2017  at Christie’s in New York

Francois-Xavier Lalanne (1927-2008), two ‘Agneaux’, 1997. Each 20¼ in (51.5 cm) high, 22 in (56 cm) wide, 6⅞ in (17.5 cm) deep. Estimate: $150,000-200,000. This lot is offered in Design on 14 December 2017 at Christie’s in New York

Offspring of the iconic ‘Mouton de Pierre’, a group of 10 sheep designed in the 1970s by François-Xavier Lalanne, these lambs are also made of epoxy stone over a bronze frame and stand just over 20 inches — or half a metre — high. 

‘They will add character to any room or garden,’ says Robinson. ‘Their playful demeanour contrasts nicely with their resilient construction and design.’

  • 7
  • A table by Yves Klein

Yves Klein (1928-1962), Table d’Or. Estimate                    $20,000-30,000. This lot is offered in First Open  Post-War & Contemporary Art, 7-14 December 2017, Online

Yves Klein (1928-1962), Table d’Or. Estimate: $20,000-30,000. This lot is offered in First Open | Post-War & Contemporary Art, 7-14 December 2017, Online

Yves Klein filled his acrylic tables with radiant pigments such as his International Klein Blue (IKB), hot pink or crumpled gold leaf. In 1961 the artist produced two prototypes for the tables by sprinkling pigments into wooden containers, but the pieces were never completed in his lifetime. 

In 1963 his widow, Rotraut Klein-Moquay, posthumously produced the acrylic tables from Klein’s prototypes in a controlled edition. In the sumptuous Table d’Or, 3,000 sheets of gold leaf shimmer under transparent Plexiglas.

  • 8
  • Club chairs and a chesterfield sofa by Syrie Maugham

Syrie Maugham (1879-1955), A pair of upholstered club chairs, first half 20th century. Estimate $2,000-3,000. This lot is offered in Interiors on 12-13 December 2017  at Christie’s in New York

Syrie Maugham (1879-1955), A pair of upholstered club chairs, first half 20th century. Estimate: $2,000-3,000. This lot is offered in Interiors on 12-13 December 2017 at Christie’s in New York

Syrie Maugham (1879-1955), A Chesterfield sofa, first half 20th century. 80 in (203  cm) long. Estimate $3,000-5,000. This lot is offered in Interiors on 12-13 December 2017  at Christie’s in New York

Syrie Maugham (1879-1955), A Chesterfield sofa, first half 20th century. 80 in (203 cm) long. Estimate: $3,000-5,000. This lot is offered in Interiors on 12-13 December 2017 at Christie’s in New York

This sofa and pair of club chairs designed by Syrie Maugham in the first half of the 20th century ‘beckon me to settle in, relax and have a chat’, says Robinson. ‘The button-tufting and hot pink hue hint at a bygone era, but they don’t mimic it.’

Bliss Summers, Decorative Arts specialist at Christie’s in New York, adds, ‘This set demonstrates Maugham’s ability to adapt Victorian furniture forms of the late 19th century to the burgeoning modernity of the 20th century, without sacrificing comfort or character.’