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20th Century Design

Sotheby's Autumn Design Sales

This November, Sotheby’s is delighted to present an exceptional calendar of sales dedicated to 20th-century design.

On 21 and 22 November, the remarkable collection of Henri Chwast will come to auction in Paris and London. Assembled of more than twenty years and hidden from view until now, the works were chosen for their extraordinary quality, extreme rarity and impeccable provenance. These factors all combine to produce a truly legendary Art Deco collection. The group presents a line-up of some of the most influential founding figures in the history of Art Deco: patrons, such as Madame Agnès, Madame Labourdette and the Maharajah of Indore; prominent designers, including Eileen Gray, Jean Dunand and Pierre Chareau; and some of the greatest collectors: the Galerie du Luxembourg, Félix Marcilhac, Alain Lesieutre, Maria de Beyrie, Bob and Cheska Vallois and Karl Lagerfeld.

On 22 November a rare collection bringing together a group of unique works created by Emile Gallé will be offered in Paris. These pieces perfectly demonstrate the skilled way in which the artist interpreted the natural world using different shapes and shades of glass and crystal. The highlight of the sale is 'La Nature', an impressive ‘marqueterie sur verre’ produced around 1900, whose almost abstract decoration makes it a very modern work. Gallé’s talent is further explored by La Giroflée de muraille, L’amour est plus fort que la mort, another ‘marqueterie sur verre’ wheel-carved cameo glass vase parlant with applied studs, produced in 1900 and presented at the Paris Universal Exhibition the same year.

Following theses sales, Sotheby's will hold an auction dedicated to the decorative arts of the twentieth century and Design. Led by a beautiful Modernist section, the sale will feature important pieces by Eileen Gray and the Martel Brothers but also by Chareau. The sale will also include a fine collection of Art Nouveau seating including a rare model by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Important works by the Giacometti brothers, Jean Royere and Serge Roche will also be offered. Works by Jean Prouvé, Charlotte Perriand, Georges Jouve and Serge Mouille form the 1950’s section of the sale.


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