Phillips Announces Highlights from the March Design Auction in London
Works by Claude Lalanne, Jean Dunand, Edmund de Waal, Marc Newson, and Shiro Kuramata to Lead the Sale
Unique low table, 1998
Estimate: £250,000 – 350,000
LONDON – 10 MARCH 2020 – Phillips is pleased to announce highlights from the upcoming Design auction in London. This sale presents significant works from key periods of 20th and 21st century design, from French Art Deco and Contemporary through to Italian and Nordic Design, as well as a strong offering of British Studio ceramics. Highlights include works by Claude Lalanne, Jean Dunand, Edmund de Waal, Marc Newson, and Shiro Kuramata, among others. Comprised of 175 lots, the Design auction will take place on 26 March at Phillips London.
Domenico Raimondo, Head of Design, Europe and Senior International Specialist, said: “This March we are delighted to present a carefully curated selection of works celebrating design in its many forms and reflecting Phillips’ strategy of giving a fresh perspective to the traditional collecting categories. Following on from the successes of 2019, which demonstrated strong international demand for Italian and French Post-War design, we have included exceptional examples of Italian Pre and Post-War design by Gio Ponti, Carlo Mollino, and more, as well as significant examples of French Art Deco from Albert Cheuret through to Jean Dunand.”
Leading the sale is Claude Lalanne’s Unique low table which is wrought from bronze into interwoven vines, depicting the silhouettes of two tropical birds whose feathered heads double as groups of leaves. Designed in 1998 for a patron’s home in the Caribbean, the table reflects how Lalanne preferred to create unique pieces for individual clients around the world, most famously for Yves Saint Laurent and Salvador Dalí. Lalanne operated intuitively, taking inspiration from the gardens in Ury, France that surrounded her home and studio, where she made the present lot. This unique table reveals Lalanne’s imagination in full force, as it magnifies and extends the beauty of the tropics into a luxurious interior.
Born in Switzerland in 1877, Jean Dunand studied sculpture before moving to Paris where he apprenticed under the Art Nouveau artist Jean Dampt, working as a sculptor until 1907. In 1912, Dunand was among the first Western designers who began to work with natural lacquer, using traditional processes to develop the rare material which was then used to decorate furnishings. Dunand experimented with creating lacquered silk dresses and designs for couturiers including Jeanne Lanvin and Madeleine Vionnet. The present set of Art Deco nesting tables illustrates Dunand’s elegant eggshell lacquered furniture, which combines organic simplicity of form with decoration. Descending across the three tabletops, the design features a geometric pattern integrated into the curved structure of the tables.
Set of three nesting tables, circa 1925
Estimate: £120,000 - £150,000
Edmund de Waal’s Kamen consists of five cabinets containing 115 round hand-thrown porcelain pots. The vessels are between two and four inches tall, arranged in five to seven groups per cabinet, and from two to nine pots per group. It is an intricate numerology, suggesting either a mathematical problem or a musical composition. De Waal’s first arrangements of pots were often set within carefully calibrated installations located in historic venues. In 2007, he realised three such projects: at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge; MIMA, in Middlesbrough; and Chatsworth, later realising Signs & Wonders, a permanent installation for the Victoria and Albert Museum. The present work is a more portable installation and can be situated on any wall.
Edmund de WaaL
Estimate: £150,000 - £200,000
Among the contemporary highlights to feature is Marc Newson’s 1993 Orgone chair. More so than any of his other designs, the Orgone chair of 1993 channels Newson’s lifelong fascination with the streamlined ‘Continental look’ that characterises many classic Italian sports cars of the 1950s and 60s. A collector of rare vintage racing cars, Newson demonstrates the influence of the shape, speed and symbolism of those cars through his designs. The present chair is made up of compound curves which cradle the sitter’s body before swelling into fender-like contours at either end. With its sculptural shape and seamless aluminium surface, the Orgone chair recalls the aerodynamic forms made possible by Italian car design techniques.
Orgone chair, 1993
Estimate: £200,000 - £300,000
Shiro Kuramata first exhibited his now iconic Miss Blanche chair in 1988. Created in homage to Miss Blanche DuBois in Tennessee Williams’ play, A Streetcar Named Desire, which Kuramata had seen earlier that year, this design initiated a series of works in acrylic. The chair’s arms and backrest comprise gentle curves whilst the overall structure retains a sharpness, interrupted by the asymmetrical pattern of the artificial roses. Kuramata’s designs were not conceived for serial production and were therefore produced in limited numbers, reflecting the importance of craftsmanship in his work. The present Miss Blanche chair is number 21 from the edition of 56, executed in 1991—the year of Kuramata’s death. Examples of the Miss Blanche chair are held in the permanent collection of international museums, including the Vitra Design Museum; Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco.
'Miss Blanche' chair, designed 1988, executed 1991
Estimate: £200,000 - £300,000
Further highlights include examples of Italian Post-War design by Alberto Giacometti, Fontana Arta, and Studio BBPR, as well as examples of contemporary Nordic design from Axel Salto and Studio Job - Job Smeets and Nynke Tynagel.
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