Design makes everyone agree

The sector auctions in June confirm the positive trend both abroad and in Italy


The calendar for the 20th century design and decorative art auctions in June is very rich, with remarkable results both in Italy and abroad. The 6th, in New York at Christie’s, as part of the auction “The Spirit of Paris”, which raised $ 11,510,070, a very special deco-cabinet by Jean-Michel Frank from around 1925, decorated with straw marquetry, iridescent yellow peroba wood. and avodire, were sold for $ 1.5 million (estimated 500-700 thousand) and a “Grecque” table lamp by Alberto Giacometti, in plaster and galvanized brass, from about 1937 obtained 1,184. 400 (estimated 200-300 thousand).

Also at Christie’s in New York the next day, a “Berceau” low table, model “aux Renards”, designed by Diego Giacometti around 1975, at an auction dedicated to design, amounting to $ 17,667,216, was sold for 3,180. 000 (estimated 1.40) -1.8 million) and a “Table aux antilopes” in gilded bronze and glass, a unique piece devised by François-Xavier Lalanne in 2007, raised more than 3 million dollars by doubling the maximum estimates of 1.5 million.

On the same day at Phillips’s, a 2006 “Bone” chair in aluminum was sold for $ 630,000 by Joris Laarman, and a pair of rare painted plaster and metal surrealistic applications from around 1931, “Main Tenant une Coupe”, by Alberto Giacometti obtained $ 617,400. a doubling of the maximum estimate of 300,000. Among the Italian designers it is worth mentioning the $ 75,600 paid for one of the well-known wall elements in mahogany and brass designed by Gio Ponti around 1953 for the Royal Hotel in Naples (estimated 30-50 thousand).

By staying in New York but moving to Sotheby’s, the important design auction held here on the 9th totaled $ 22,448,788, including two other patinated bronze pieces of furniture by Diego Giacometti among the best: the “Cerf et Renard” console , created in 1972 for the American author James Lord and sold for $ 2,349,000 (estimated 1.5-2 million) and the pair of chairs with armrests “Pommeaux de Canne”, from around 1963, sold for $ 2,228,000 for an estimated 250-350 thousand.In Paris, as part of the auctions organized by Christie’s to spread the very refined, eclectic and impressive collection of Hubert de Givenchy, on June 14 another poetic console “Oiseau et Coupelle”, created by Diego Giacometti around 1976 specifically for the large couturiers, won 1,662,000 euros against an estimate of 400-600,000, the same as a patinated bronze sculpture, “Oiseau du jardin”, by François-Xavier Lalanne from 2001, which was sold for 1,602,000 euros.

In Vienna, at the Dorotheum, as part of the auction dedicated to the 15th to 20th century decorative art, a mahogany table with elephant beak was sold, one of the most famous models designed by Adolf Loos around 1900. for 43,520 euros, which exceeded the estimate of 9-18 thousand, and the next day, in the session dedicated to Design, a polychrome ceramic «Mint» totem by Ettore Sottsass, designed for Bitossi in 1964 but produced in 1986, was sold for 30,720 euros, a doubling of the minimum estimate of 15 thousand.

Returning to Paris, at Piasa on the 22nd, a pair of applications in glass, metal and nickel-plated brass by Max Ingrand, a model made by Fontana Arte in the 1960s, brought in 104,000 euros out of an estimate of 12-18 thousand and another identical pair he got 97,500. In Italy, albeit with less striking results, there were several notable events. In Genoa, in Cambi, on June 1, a set of three armchairs with lacquered metal structure and velvet upholstery, produced by IPE around 1960, increased the maximum estimate of 3 thousand euros by tenfold with a final sale to 30,100. what estimated 1.500-2 thousand euros will be paid for a sofa of the same series. On the 23rd and 24th of Milan, at Il Ponte, a group of vases by the artist Yoichi Ohira, all unique pieces from a private Milanese collection, reached attractive prices.

Among these 32,500 euros for a cobalt blue vase with star-shaped murrine in lattimo (estimated 8-12 thousand), 20 thousand for another opaque brown specimen with murrine inserts in crystal, green, red, black and blue glass (estimated 6 – 8 thousand) and 16,250 euros for a pumpkin-shaped vase with vertical milky and opaque red sticks, with inserts with large reds and burgundy murrine (estimated 5-6 thousand). Surprisingly, the price of € 16,250 for a small resin cube by Enzo Mari for Danes is estimated at € 550-600. Excellent results also for Max Ingrand, Angelo Biancini, Carlo Scarpa, Flavio Poli and Fulvio Bianconi.

Also in Milan, the opening sale of Design, organized online by Sotheby’s Italia from 21 to 27 June, exceeded the maximum pre-sale estimate (553,200-813,100), totaling 1,007,118 euros. The rare ceiling lamp by Lucio Fontana from 1954-55, decorated with blue and gold ceramics, turned out to be the top lot at the auction and went to the highest bidder for 138,600 euros, more than double the minimum estimate (50-80 thousand). Gio Ponti’s table lamp “Proteo” from 1967 reached 107,100 €, seven times the maximum estimate (10-15,000) and its corner sofas with side panels, designed in commission in 1954, exceeded the pre-auction estimate of 12-16,000 euros, giving 40,320 Euro.

By Osvaldo Borsani, a beautiful oval table from 1944 in Candoglia marble inlaid with marble maple leaves raised € 32,760, which is a doubling of the maximum estimate of 15 thousand. Great satisfaction from Cambi in Milan for the Fine Design auction, which was held on the 27th: 70% of the goods were sold, 140% sold by value, for a total of 1,590,000 euros. Among the most significant prizes are a few important drawers by Piero Fornasetti in lacquered and silkscreen wood with Gran Coromandel decoration from around 1950, estimated at 60-80 thousand euros each and sold for a total of 225 thousand; a ceiling lamp model 2077 produced by Fontana Arte based on a design by Max Ingrand in 1958 and sold for 90 thousand euros (estimate 40-50 thousand); a rare console by Gio Ponti and Piero Fornasetti with a wooden structure and carved crystal cladding back painted on gold leaf, produced by Fontana Arte around 1940 and sold for 62,500 (estimated 40-60 thousand); eight “Rising Sun” chairs by Gabriella Crespi, with bamboo and rattan structure from around 1970, sold for 52,500 euros (estimated 15-20 thousand); five «Africa» model chairs from the «Artona» series by Afra and Tobia Scarpa, in wood with curved plywood seat upholstered in leather, produced by Maxalto around 1970 and sold for 35 thousand euros (estimated 10-15 thousand).

On 28, 29 and 30 June, it was Wannenes’ trip to Genoa that struck more than 1,100 pilots with different valuations for a total of 1,289,980 euros. Among the most important results is the well-known wall mirror by Ettore Sottsass for Santambrogio & De Berti from the 1950s, sold for 17,600 euros (estimated 10-15 thousand); the sideboard “MS 120” model, also by Ettore Sottsass for Poltronova from around 1960, sold for 47,600 euros (estimated 12-16 thousand); the coffee table «1774» by Max Ingrand for Fontana Arte from the late 1950s, in enamelled metal, brass, colored, sanded, curved and mirrored crystal, sold for 20,100 euros (estimated 16-20 thousand); and the model «839» armchair by Ico Parisi for Cassina from around 1955, in enamelled metal, curved plywood and upholstered vinyl leather, sold for 13,850 euros (estimated 7-9 thousand).

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