'Direction chair (model no. 352)' by Jean Prouvé

Auction Results: Important 20th Century Design at Sotheby's

December 16 '10

New York

Last week Sotheby's held a sale of 'Important 20th Century Design'; part of a week of a week of modern Design auctions held by the firm, which in total brought in excess of $19 million. This figure is the highest total for a week of Design sales at Sotheby’s New York since December 2003.

The 'Important 20th Century Design' sale, which featured 132 lots presented a curated collection of masterworks dating from the Arts and Crafts period through the 1990s. The highlighted piece of the sale was the Charles M. Pratt Desk and Chair by Greene & Greene; described as "the most important work created by the architects and an icon of American furniture." This piece came from one of the last 'Ultimate Bungalows' by Greene and Greene, a project for which they are listed as among the most important architects of the 20th century. However, at the auction, they were bought in.

The sale also included American Arts and Crafts movement pieces from Gustav Stickley, Charles Rohlfs, Dirk Van Erp, Louis Sullivan, Art Deco works by Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann and René Lalique, as well as later works by Jean-Michel Frank and Diego Giacometti, early modernist designs by Gerrit Rietveld and postwar pieces by George Nakashima and Claude Lalanne.

Pieces from the turn of the century did less consistently well than those of later periods. Lalique sold well, as did pieces by Ruhlmann. However it was the pieces from the 60s onwards that surprised with their positive results, despite being in a sale which felt more heavily weighted toward earlier periods.

Among those exceeding expectations were:
'Tabouret en X' by Diego Giacometti, a pair of upholstered stools c.1965, estimated at $60,000 - 80,000 and sold for $206,500.

'Direction chair (model no. 352)' by Jean Prouvé, 1951,estimated at $20,000 - 30,000 and sold for $80,500.

'Gingko bench' by Claude Lalanne, 1999, estimated at $40,000 - 60,000 and sold for $116,500.

Sales for 'Important 20th Century Design' altogether totalled $6,939,401

Important 20th Century Design Catalogue

'Tabouret en X' by Diego Giacometti, a pair of upholstered stools c.1965, estimated at $60,000 - 80,000 and sold for $206,500
'Tabouret en X' by Diego Giacometti, a pair of upholstered stools c.1965, estimated at $60,000 - 80,000 and sold for $206,500
'Direction chair (model no. 352)' by Jean Prouvé, 1951, estimated at $20,000 - 30,000 and sold for $80,500
'Direction chair (model no. 352)' by Jean Prouvé, 1951, estimated at $20,000 - 30,000 and sold for $80,500
'Gingko bench' by Claude Lalanne, 1999, estimated at $40,000 - 60,000 and sold for $116,500
'Gingko bench' by Claude Lalanne, 1999, estimated at $40,000 - 60,000 and sold for $116,500
Chair from the Lila Acheson Wallace garden, Claude Lalanne, 1987, estimated at $20,000 - 30,000, sold for $43,750
Chair from the Lila Acheson Wallace garden, Claude Lalanne, 1987, estimated at $20,000 - 30,000, sold for $43,750
'Odakyu table' by George Nakashima, 1989, estimated at $25,000 - 35,000, sold for $46,875
'Odakyu table' by George Nakashima, 1989, estimated at $25,000 - 35,000, sold for $46,875
'Normandie chandelier' by René Lalique, 1935, estimated at $20,000 - 30,000, sold for $68,500
'Normandie chandelier' by René Lalique, 1935, estimated at $20,000 - 30,000, sold for $68,500



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