D esign is all around us, it has been a constant in the development of mankind since the earliest of days, forms adapted, modified, re-imagined and improved in all aspects of the world we inhabit. In few areas is this more evident than in the traditionally-named field of Decorative Arts where the forms of furniture, clocks, silver, ceramics and objects of vertu have been the subject of constantly changing design over the past half-millennium, reflecting the tastes, styles and fashions of the period simultaneously shaped by the influences of trade and travel, war and peace and enabled by technological advances.
Since antiquity, generations have designed their homes in order to express their individual tastes and passions, their power, wealth and position. The past has nearly continuously informed the present, the ‘Grand Tourists’ of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries studying the great sites of ancient Greece and those of the Roman Empire has had an enduring influence on the design of architecture and interiors ever since. So too the strong aesthetic of the East, the trade routes delivering luxurious and exotic wares to a hungry European market, the designs of the lacquer, porcelain and silk continues to enthrall, inspire and entice designers and collectors alike.
This autumn, Sotheby’s will launch a new series of sales in London, Paris and New York as part of a newly-created Classic Design Week. This will encompass two categories of auction in each location focused on these collecting areas. The first, Classic Design, will showcase British and European furniture, clocks, silver and ceramics in a tightly-curated sale celebrating the inventiveness of the designers and makers largely from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.
The work and inspiration of titans in the furniture world such as Andre-Charles Boulle, Jacques Caffieri, William Kent, Thomas Chippendale will be represented alongside celebrated silversmiths Paul Storr, George Wickes, Robert Garrard, Jean-Baptiste-Claude Odiot and Thomas Heming. The renowned porcelain factories of Meissen and Sevres, and their brilliant designers and craftsmen, will also be represented across these sales, along with others.
The second sale in the series, Design 17/20, will take a broader view of works from the 17th to 20th centuries, with many lots at affordable levels, to encourage the next generation of collectors to discover an array of Classic Design from this period.
Both sales, we hope, will encourage buyers to discover beautifully-designed works for their homes, drawing attention to the wonderful combination of form and function. Additionally, each season will partner with a selected designer, who will select some of their favourite works from the sales. For the inaugural 2022 seasin, we are honoured to have Martina Mondadori, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Cabana Magazine collaborating with Sotheby’s.
Mondadori’s commitment to the conservation of craft traditions defines the mission of Casa Cabana, a line of homewares and furnishings which preserves the skills of a global network of artisans. Her exclusive wallpapers by Schumacher are beautiful decorative statements that will enhance our exhibition spaces. We greatly look forward to welcoming you to view the property for sale in this rich, new context.