Johnny Swing 'coin sofa' sits at the top of Rago's $3.39m Art Deco sale

Rago Arts and Auction Center's 20th and 21st Century Design sale in New Jersey, US, netted an impressive $3.39m on October 7.

According to Rago, the sale attracted 126 in-house bidders, 239 telephone bidders and 767 bidders via the internet.

In end, 81% of the 924 lots sold.

"The sale was solid almost throughout, with particular interest in contemporary glass, American 20th century ceramics, and American craft furniture by Nakashima and Powell," said David Rago.

"The Johnny Swing sofa was the high lot and reflected an ongoing interest in great contemporary design at this level."

A professional artist for more than 25 years, Swing actually began producing artworks aged five when he set up a 'tool booth' at his parents' house and charged their guests to purchase 'Johnny Swing original drawings'.

This Art Deco 'nickle couch' was the king of the swinger's at Rago's sale

Swing later grew into a trained sculptor and licensed welder, the "cool" products of which have beguiled collectors and the high-brow art press.

Among the Vermont-based artists previous works are furniture items made from welded-together coins, including 20 "nickel couches" each assembled from about 7,000 Jefferson coins.

Swing certainly didn't waste his nickels. As well as demonstrating collectors' ongoing interest in great contemporary design, the sofa sold for an impressive $99,200.

The sale marks Swing out as an artist to watch in the contemporary Art Deco markets - and we'll bring you more news on his appearances in the auction markets.

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