Design: from fundraising to investing, a growing market

Important Art Deco and Art Nouveau works, Italian, French and modern design will be auctioned on May 12 at Phillips London

Why invest in design? Gathering in historical design and investing in modern design also means adding value to everything that accompanies us in everyday life. It should be noted that the closure has added to the domestic environment many activities that were previously widespread and widespread in the city, from work to the most frequent habits, and this has reassessed the furniture sector in general.

Furthermore, the economic recession that has arisen in recent years has put organizations under increasing pressure to differentiate their offerings. Resource consumption pushes companies to draw value from what they do, rather than what they have. This shows that an increasing number of companies have started using modern designs to differentiate themselves from the competition. The trend is about any reality that wants to stand out from the competition.

Design is a strategic investment, not an expense. It is widely accepted that all companies aim for high performance, which means high levels of profitability. The most common profitability ratio is the target of ROI (return on investment). Constant investment in design is very profitable, even in the long run. And in this vision, that design collection becomes an asset class to invest in as the market is still accessible to those who want to get closer, as opposed to contemporary art which has much higher costs. Furthermore, it should be noted that in the postlockdown, a widespread recognition of the value of designing housing and a growing awareness of defining the home environment in balance with the most essential and modern personal lifestyles emerges instead.

More and more international auction houses are focusing more on design and offering works especially on the squares of London, Paris and New York. An example the next Phillips auction in London will be held live on May 12 at. 14.00.

Among the ceramics in this sale are works of Magdalene Odundo, Elizabeth Joulia, Georges Jouve and Hans Coper. Highlights of French design include works by Jean-Michel Frank, Jean Prouvé and Pierre Legrain. Excellent examples of Italian design before and after the war include works by Osvaldo Borsani And Lucio Fontana, Gino Sarfatti, Ico Parisi, Gio Ponti and Carlo Mollino. Scandinavian craftsmanship is represented by two unusually rare sofas, one designed by Nanna and Jørgen Ditzel and one designed by Finn Juhl. That modern design is led by Jeroen Verhoeven and Ron Arad, among other. The collection, which consists of 156 lots, will be on view from May 6 at Phillips London in Berkeley Square until the auction on May 12.

Leading the sale is a polished and charred pottery vase from Magdalene Odundo from 1987. Odundo appeared on the art scene after his groundbreaking MA exhibition at the Royal College of Art in 1982. A characteristically balanced round base supports a top of the extended body, defined by two delicate ribs running up to an oval-shaped edge. The edge is folded inwards, creating an almond shape that frames the inner cavity. This geometry and exploration of form and form is characteristic of Odundo’s work and offers collectors a rare example of acquiring one of the artist’s earliest works. In the selection of French ceramics from a private collection offered at the London Design auction, there is a monumental sculpture designed by Elisabeth Joulia. Made in 1955 and purchased by Alan Grizot from Joulias La Borne studio in 1978, this sculpture was later acquired by Pierre Staudenmeyer, who bought the piece at auction in Paris in 1991.

Pierre Legrain 1889-1929
Rare stool with lid, around 1920
Estimate: £ 60,000-80,000

ONE stool with rare lid in original condition designed by Pierre Legrain is another strong point of the sale. The only known example of this existing model, this stool has remained in the same collection since 2006, when it first appeared on the market. An archive image has since emerged with such an example of this stool found in Madame Jeanne Tachard’s boudoir. An avid collector and patron of the most famous Art Deco designers, Tachard was one of the few patrons for whom Legrain would have designed entire rooms.

The rare side table designed by Osvaldo Borsani and Lucio Fontana. The architect and the artist worked closely together on several projects. This artistic collaboration has resulted in a range of furniture, examples of which have been offered at previous auctions by Phillips, most notably a wall-mounted console which broke the world record when it was auctioned for over £ 1m. in 2020..

Osvaldo Borsani and Lucio Fontana
Rare side table, model no. 7303/2 ca. 1950 Glass, painted and gilded wood, brass, marble. 62.4 cm (24 5/8 inches) high, 58.2 cm (22 7/8 inches) in diameter Produced by Arredamenti Borsani Varedo, Italy. Together with a certificate of expertise from the Osvaldo Borsani archive.

Another highlight of the sale is adjustable chandelier by Gino Sarfatti. A radical celebration of movement, the chandelier is a striking composition of seven brightly painted brass tubes cascading outward from a cylindrical brass shaft, revealing the dynamics at the heart of Sarfatti’s lighting design. Post-war Italy was marked by change, by a movement towards new, challenging traditional design ideas. During these years, Sarfatti found fertile ground for bringing to life, without stylistic hesitation, the many creative theories he devised before the war.

Gino Sarfatti
Rare adjustable chandelier, model no. 2076 ca. 1953 Brass, lacquered brass. 99.5 x 155.2 x 146.8 cm (39 1/8 x 61 1/8 x 57 3/4 inches), as shown Manufactured by Arteluce, Milan, Italy.

Additional highlights in Italian design for sale include works by, among others, Ico Parisi, Gio Ponti and Carlo Mollino.

Also interesting items of Italian design lightingworks by well-known designers for Murano glass art such as Barovier & Toso and Venini.

To Fontana Arte we find custom-made works, including some by the designer Pietro Chiesa

All the works are visible in the catalog

Cover image: Unique coffee table around 1965 designed by Ico Parisi, produced by Brugnoli Mobili, Cantù, Italy.

Leave a Comment