20th Century Design

20th Century Design Online Auction Soars to Record Result

By Sotheby's
This week in New York, Sotheby’s March auction of Design concluded with an outstanding total of $4 million – more than $1 million over its high estimate of $2.9 million – marking the highest-ever result for an online sale of 20th Century Design.
TIFFANY STUDIOS, "PEONY BORDER" FLOOR LAMP, circa 1910. Sold for $137,000.

A selection of works by Harry Bertoia were led by his Untitled (Sonambient) circa 1970 that fetched $300,000 – six times its high estimate of $50,000. A "Moorish" Twisted Wire Chandelier created by Tiffany Studios circa 1895, on offer from the collection of pioneering video game executive Ryan Brant, sold for $300,000 – a remarkable 20 times its high estimate of $15,000; and a collection of windows designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for celebrated residential commissions in Illinois and Minnesota performed exceptionally well, with all six examples on offer selling for a combined $487,500 – nearly seven times their high estimate of $72,000. Additionally, 10 bidders competed for a Pair of "Direction" Armchairs, Model No. 352 by Jean Prouvé, driving it to sell for $175,000 – multiples of their $30,000 high estimate.

“The remarkable success of our mid-season Design auction demonstrates the strong demand we continue to see from collectors worldwide for works across the full spectrum of the Design markets.”
Jodi Pollack, Co-Worldwide Head of Sotheby’s 20th Century Design Department

Previously scheduled to be conducted as a live auction, this result demonstrates the continued strength of Sotheby’s online auction program across our business. Nearly half of all lots offered sold for prices above their high estimates and six works sold for more than $100,000.

Sold for More than $100,000

Hundreds of bidders competed from 31 countries, with the highest level of competition from the United States, United Kingdom, France and Hong Kong – and one-third of all bids were placed on mobile devices. Our dedicated online sales have achieved $36 million to-date in 2020 – more than double the same period in 2019.

JEAN PROUVÉ, PAIR OF "DIRECTION" ARMCHAIRS, MODEL NO. 352, circa 1951. Sold for $175,000.

Jodi Pollack, Co-Worldwide Head of Sotheby’s 20th Century Design Department, commented: “The remarkable success of our mid-season Design auction demonstrates the strong demand we continue to see from collectors worldwide for works across the full spectrum of the Design markets. Our record total also reinforces the confidence and shift we are seeing towards bidding and buying online..."

"We were thrilled to meet the needs of both our buyers and sellers at this very challenging time by successfully executing an online sale strategy, and we are so very grateful to all of our clients for their strong support and making this sale a benchmark market event. This result is an important indicator of the Design market’s momentum and growth at a much-needed time.”

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