Bonhams 20th Century Decorative Arts Auction Features Art Nouveau, Post War Design and the Contemporary Studio Craft Items

The Bonhams 20th Century Decorative Arts auction on December 14 will feature a wide range of exciting works from periods such as Art Nouveau, Post War Design and the Contemporary Studio Craft movements.

The Art Deco period is well represented by Clara, a superb figure by Demetre H. Chiparus, circa 1925 (pre-sale est. $100,000-200,000). One of the finest examples of Art Deco sculpture ever produced and only one of four known examples, Clara was conceived in response to the artist’s fascination with modern women in the performing arts and the exotic orientalism of the Ballet Russes. The figure possesses great theatricality, grace, costume design and workmanship.

Lot No: 3168Y Demetre H. Chiparus (Roumanian, 1886 – 1947) Clara cold painted, parcel gilt and silvered bronze and carved ivory, on onyx base

Additional figural highlights include Con Brio, a figure by Ferdinand Preiss, circa 1925 (pre-sale est. $20,000-30,000) and Sun Worshipper, a figure by Ferdinand Preiss, circa 1925 (pre-sale est. $20,000-25,000).

Another highlight of the Art Deco period is well represented by Gio Ponti’s Le Mie Terre lamp/vase. A seminal creation for the artist, this particular lot is a very early example of no less than eight variant models. Shaped like a globe and decorated with a map of the world, this rare version is endowed with highly stylized iconography conjuring up the lore and allure of each continent and body of water, including skyscrapers, the Eiffel Tower, a native American Indian head, the hammer and sickle, camels crossing the dessert, dolphins, merchant ships and even a lumbering elephant indigenous to India (pre-sale est. $10,000-15,000).

Surging in popularity, the works of Paul Evans represent both art and design. Bonhams is pleased to offer one of the artisan’s masterworks, a custom-built wall-mounted cabinet from his most sought after “Sculpture Front” series. This 1972 creation, composed of welded, gilt and enameled steel and slate, is as visually striking as it is technologically complex (pre-sale est. $25,000-35,000).

Strong offerings are also in the Contemporary Studio Works of Art section of the sale. The jewelry work of William Harper is represented by the magical Cy’s Summer Maddness, 1996 (pre-sale est. $20,000-30,000), as well as the furniture of Albert Paley, with a superb forged mild steel and glass dining table, 1981 (pre-sale est. $60,000- 90,000). Also in this category are numerous glass works by the incomparable Dale Chihuly. Highlights include two early blown and applied Navajo Cylinders, 1975-1976 (pre-sale est. $30,000-50,000) and an exquisite blown glass Blanket Cylinder (pre-sale est. $25,000-35,000).

Bonhams New York invites you to preview the entire sale at 580 Madison, starting Saturday, December 10-13. An online video featuring Frank Maraschiello, the sale’s specialist, speaking about the sale and its highlights, as well as the illustrated auction catalog, are available online at

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