Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information
Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Phillips de Pury & Company New York Design Sale June 3

Building on the success of the recent April London Design sale, Phillips de Pury & Company has announced the highlights from its New York Design sale to be held on June 3, 2009. 128 lots will be offered with a total pre-sale estimate of $2,729,300 – 3,677,000.

This sale offers an array of highly select works with a focus on rare and important examples from eminent 20th and 21st Century designers. The Design department has broadened its collecting categories to integrate key areas such as Contemporary Ceramics, Italian Glass and Artist’s Jewelry.

Alexander Payne, Worldwide Director of Design, Phillips de Pury & Company: “We are proud to follow-up our strong sale in London with the New York sale which sets out to offer the best of the best. In this market on both sides of the Atlantic, the demand is for exceptional, hard to find works. This sale meets the criteria.”

Mid-Century Masterworks
Phillips de Pury & Company will present career defining works by heavyweights Jean Royère, Jean Prouvé, Claude Lalanne and George Nakashima. Important American Studio works from the collection of Dr. Alfred L. Jones debut on the secondary market.

Jean Royère’s Ours Polaire sofa, ca. 1950, estimated at $180,000 to 220,000, takes its cue from a slumbering polar bear’s round shape and exemplifies the designer’s surrealist sense of humor. Other examples of Ours Polaire sofas have consistently achieved the highest prices among all of Royère’s work on the secondary market. The recent Phillips de Pury & Company London Design sale in April sold an important Royère armchair for £94,850, over twice the high estimate amount, along with a pair of his Bouquet wall lights, the Fondperdue floor lamp and a coffee table, confirming that this pioneering master’s market continues to thrive.

Jean Prouvé’s Trapèze table exemplifies his legendary use of sheet metal cantilevered by internal load-bearing supports. It was commissioned and built in the late 1950s for the Commissariat à l’Énergie Atomique (C.E.A.), a French government-funded defense and energy research organization. Prouvé created fifteen known examples of this table in seven variations for the C.E.A. The pre-sale estimate for Trapèze is $150,000 to 200,000.

A designer of furniture, sculpture and jewelry with surrealist inclinations, Claude Lalanne first created her whimsical Grains de Café side chairs, ca. 1965, for Olivier de La Baume, director of the French coffee company Maison du Café. The twelve chairs, estimated at $180,000 to 220,000, are supported by curvilinear brass and steel frames and are fitted with leather pads styled in playful homage to the coffee bean. The Centre Pompidou included a Grains de Café chair in its 2004 exhibition, Mobilier national 1964-2004: 40 ans de creation.

George Nakashima’s Monumental “Conoid” dining table was designed in 1989, just one year prior to his death. Nakashima’s career crested during his twilight years, and this Conoid table, estimated at $150,000 to 200,000, is an example of his finest work, featuring 15 of his signature rosewood keys which anchor the walnut boards and natural surface fissures. This table will be sold accompanied by its original drawing.

Phillips de Pury & Company will introduce to the market significant, custom-built works by Paul Evans and Phillip Lloyd Powell, two American Studio designers from New Hope, PA who frequently collaborated on commissions. In the 1960s, the artists designed several pieces for the private Manhattan residence of Dr. Alfred L. Jones. Paul Evans designed his Unique custom-made illuminated cabinet bar, ca. 1963, estimated at $80,000 to 120,000, for Dr. Jones’s wine collection. Evans was well known for using multiple materials and techniques within a single piece and this cabinet bar, with its varied treatment of steel, wood, gold leaf and bronze, is a testament to his distinctive handiwork.

Additional highlights include an important and rare table by Pierre Jeanneret for Le Corbusier, a pair of lamps by Alberto Giacometti, and a Bush sculpture by Harry Bertoia, which join the offering of seminal Mid-Century works.

Italian design from the 1960s and 70s makes a strong appearance with works by Joe Colombo, Gabriella Crespi, Ettore Sottsass, Gino Sarfatti and Angelo Mangiarotti.

Contemporary Design Highlights
Two chaise longues designed by Ron Arad, After Spring and Before Summer, balance between sculpture and functional furniture. It is a rare occasion for these two pieces to be in the same sale, for their titles when read side by side suggest a paradoxical moment between two seasons. A forthcoming 2009 exhibition at MoMA in New York will showcase the designer’s range of poetically charged and technologically innovative work. After Spring and Before Summer, both from 1992, are offered as separate lots, each with a pre-sale estimate of $130,000 to 150,000.

Marc Newson is a designer known to utilize an economy of means to achieve a maximum sense of volume, or in the case of his Black Hole table, 2005, a sense of infinite void with three holes sinking into the table’s three legs. Black Hole, estimated at $100,000 to 150,000, is to be included as “MN-13CBHT2-2005” in the forthcoming Marc Newson catalogue raisonné of limited editions organized by Galerie Kreo in Paris. Phillips de Pury & Company recently established an auction record for the artist with the sale of his Lockheed Lounge for £1,105,250 at the London Design sale on April 30, 2009.

Zaha Hadid’s Swash cabinet, estimated at $70,000 to 90,000, is from her 2006 Seamless collection for Established & Sons, first exhibited at Phillips de Pury & Company. Hadid has created a series of work around the concept of fluidity in which forms and line dissolve into the surroundings.

French artist Lilian Daubisse conjures animal spirits, ritualism and theatricality in his Hérisson, 2004, or “Hedgehog” waistcoat. This corrugated cardboard piece straddles both fashion and performance and is reminiscent of Nick Cave’s Soundsuits. Hérisson has a pre-sale estimate of $20,000 to 30,000.

The proceeds from the sale of Philip Michael Wolfson’s Genoa desk, 2007, will benefit the Make it Right Foundation, founded by Brad Pitt to aid in the reconstruction of New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Phillips de Pury & Company previously donated proceeds to Pitt’s foundation in June, 2008 after the sale of Wolfson’s Unique LineDesk PINK, which sold for $22,500 in June 2008. The pre-sale estimate for the Genoa desk is $18,000 to 24,000.

Modern and Contemporary Ceramics
Phillips de Pury & Company’s Design department recently achieved spectacular sale results for Contemporary Ceramics. The recent London Design sale on April 30th saw 100% sell through rates in this important and growing category.

The New York sale presents twenty-two lots from the collection of Ellen and Dixon Long. Starting in 1987, Mr. and Mrs. Long adopted an open approach to collecting the finest available works from a broad range of ceramists. Dixon Long writes about his experience collecting with his wife:

In every case I was looking for a signature work by a celebrated or highly regarded artist. This suggests that when collecting with my wife, while she was still living, I was more adventuresome. That is absolutely true. She and I had a rule: we had to agree on every purchase, but if one of us developed an irrational crush it was okay to go ahead alone. There are no such “crush” items in this consignment.

With great openness and discernment, the Longs built a formidable collection from which Phillips de Pury & Company has selected premiere examples of each artist’s work including important pieces by Ruth Duckworth, Laura Andreson, Gertrud and Otto Natzler, Akio Takamori, Toshiko Takaezu and Jun Kaneko among others.

Lucie Rie is a master 20th Century potter with a serious and growing collecting base. Phillips de Pury & Company has showcased the breadth of her diverse oeuvre over several seasons and sold her work with great success. Her career has been well documented in many books and in her impressive exhibition history including the recent 21 Design Sight Museum exhibition titled U-Tsu-Wa in Tokyo. The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo will present a forthcoming exhibition dedicated to Rie’s timeless craft. Phillips de Pury & Company is pleased to offer 17 of her ceramic pots in June.

Italian Glass Master
Fulvio Bianconi was among the most outstanding of Venini’s designers during that studio’s creative high point in the 1950s. He produced this important and rare Macchie vase, estimated at $30,000 to 40,000, during this celebrated period.

Artist’s Jewelry
The June Design sale includes a rare and innovative Adam necklace, 1987, by Gijs Bakker, one of the founding visionaries behind Droog, the renowned Dutch design collective. The Adam necklace has a pre-sale estimate of $24,000 to 28,000.

Line Vautrin is well known for her mirrors circumscribed by glass and metal, but she began her career as a jewelry maker creating pieces with a fanciful touch. The Planets necklace, ca. 1950, is no exception with its emblazoned medallions designed to orbit the neck. This rare work, estimated at $25,000 to 30,000, is one of only five known examples to be produced.