S otheby’s is delighted to present A Celebration of Art Deco: Decorative Arts from the Collection of Dr. Stephen Kelly, a continuation of the landmark 2020 auction series of the collection of one of the most esteemed connoisseurs of Art Deco. The sale comprises many stylish and collectible items by artists such as Félix Aublet, Jean Besnard, Aristide Michel Colotte, Émile Decœur, Boris Lacroix, Claudius Linossier, and more. With a wide variety of forms and objects on offer, this sale presents a wonderful opportunity for Art Deco enthusiasts to acquire highly collectible and functional works that epitomize the elegance and modernity of the genre.
A Connoisseur’s Eye
Over the course of his decades-long career as a leading ophthalmologist on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, Dr. Stephen Kelly’s love of Art Deco flourished as he sought the highest quality works by such masters as Eileen Gray, Jean Goulden, Armand-Albert Rateau, Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann, and Jean Dunand, among others. His passion for the material suffused his life and, after retiring from his medical profession, translated into his second career as a gallerist. Beyond his success both in medicine and art, Dr. Kelly was known by all as the consummate gentleman, a philanthropist, and a true and spirited admirer of the arts. His collection celebrates both the very best of Art Deco and the story of a quintessential collector who pursued his life-long passion with great vigor, exacting standards, and integrity.
Striking metalwork abounds in the Kelly collection, with highlights including curated groupings of dinanderie by Claudius Linossier and sterling silver tableware by Danish silversmith Georg Jensen.
Works by French ceramicists Émile Decœur, Jean Besnard and Henri Simmen demonstrate how artists experimented with a wonderful variety of surface textures, colorful glazes and geometric motifs to capture the spirit of the Art Deco period.
Art Deco is not limited to design that furnishes your home — you can wear it, carry it in your pocket, and dine with it. The collection features a range of accessories and small collectibles including cufflinks, cigarette cases and a stunning beaded clutch by Boris Lacroix for the famed French fashion couturier Madeleine Vionnet.
Browse a selection of fine furniture design by French Art Deco makers, defined by their exceptional details and superb craftsmanship.
Alongside the collection of decorative arts is a refined selection of bronze busts, paintings and works on paper from the 1920s and 1930s, demonstrating the far-reaching influence of the Art Deco movement across media.