'Growing vigour in market' as Christie's $5.8m design sale smashes estimates


Christie's auction of Important 20th Century Decorative Art & Design yesterday (June 16) totalled an outstanding $5,845,500, well above the auction's high estimate of $5m.

The sale was 90% sold by value and 74% sold by lot.

Buyers in the room and on the phone competed for works from a range of periods and styles, from Tiffany Studios to works by Jean Dunand and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.

Don't spill coffee on it... Jean Dunand's Lacquer and Eggshell Gueridon, circa 1930

In the end, the top lot was Jean Dunand's Lacquer and Eggshell Gueridon, circa 1930, from the Property of a Boston Family. It realised $638,500, nearly double its high estimate.

The table's stark and calculated motif balances fragility with luxury, demonstrating Dunand's skills as a designer and craftsman with the geometric motifs on top meticulously inlaid in eggshell.

Meanwhile, a number of works from Tiffany Studios realised more than double their estimate, most notably the Wisteria Leaded Glass and Bronze Table Lamp which realised $578,500. A pair of upholstered silvered bronze and wood armchairs by Emile-Jacques Rulhmann achieved $218,500.

Tiffany's Wisteria Leaded Glass and Bronze Table Lamp, circa 1905

Philippe Garner, International Head of 20th Century Decorative Art & Design, attributed the sale's results to "continuous and growing vigour in the market for rare works by landmark masters with admired provenance."


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