Sotheby’s Important Design sale presents a curated survey of outstanding Design from the last century, from exceptional examples of American Arts & Crafts and Tiffany Studios to defining icons of postwar modernism and contemporary design. Representing the very best from each movement, the auction will include masterworks by Frank Lloyd Wright, Jean Prouvé, Charlotte Perriand, Joaquim Tenreiro, Gio Ponti, Harry Bertoia, George Nakashima, Ingrid Donat and many more. Headlining the sale is a remarkable set of twelve dining chairs by Jean-Michel Frank and Christian Berard, commissioned in 1938 for the legendary collection of Nelson and Happy Rockefeller.
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Continuing the Legacy: The Rockefeller Dining Chairs by Jean-Michel Frank and Christian Bérard
These dining chairs are the product of the relationships between some of the most important figures in 20th-century patronage and design: Nelson Rockefeller, Jean-Michel Frank and Christian Bérard. They are steeped in the history of American politics and evolution of the Parisian Art Deco style. Theatrical in design, they are also synonymous with the convivial conversation and hushed government secrets they witnessed during Nelson and Happy Rockefeller’s many dinner parties.
Dreaming in Glass: Masterworks by Tiffany Studios
This chapter features a broad survey of works by the celebrated American firm, including leaded glass lighting, windows, fancy goods, and blown favrile glass. Leading the sale is a selection of naturalistic lamps, including a superlative example of the iconic “Wisteria” table lamp and an extraordinary “Snowball” Floor Lamp. Further highlights include an exemplary “Dragonfly” table lamp with a rare “Turtle-Back” base and a selection of chandeliers and sconces.
Exquisite Cameo Glass by Thomas Webb & Sons
Exquisite craftsmanship in cameo glass is synonymous with the 19th-century production of English firm Thomas Webb & Sons, represented here in the eleven lots from the unparalleled Collection of Jeep and Carla Harned.
Frank Lloyd Wright: Mastery in Stained Glass
It has been many years since a large group of windows by Frank Lloyd Wright has been available at auction, and what a magnificent group it is. Featuring selections from some of Wright’s most important stained-glass compositions, the group from a Private American Collection spans his Prairie-era stained-glass career, from the 1901 B. Harley Bradley laylight to three windows from the second Francis W. Little house of 1912.
The American Arts & Crafts Movement
The design principles of the American Arts & Crafts movement are represented by iconic and rare examples of furniture by Gustav Stickley as well as exquisite lighting with pottery bases by Grueby Faience Company and Teco Pottery.
French Art Deco
The dynamism of the French Art Deco period is showcased in lighting by Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann, furniture by Paul Dupré-Lafon and Pierre Chareau, and glassware by Rene Laliqué. Highlights include a rare and early “Serpent” vase by Jean Dunand and an expertly crafted commode by André Groult.
European Mid-Century Design
This chapter exemplifies the span of mid-century design across Europe, from the work of French designers Jean Prouvé, Jean Royère and Charlotte Perriand, to the Italian design of Gio Ponti and Gino Sarfatti, to the modern Scandinavian works of Paavo Tynell and Flemming Lassen.
American Studio Furniture
The American studio movement is best exemplified by the woodwork of George Nakashima, metalwork of Harry Bertoia and more. The chapter is headlined by the iconic “Mesa” coffee table by T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings as well as four sculptural pieces of furniture from the animalier world of Judy Kensley McKie.
The sale concludes with icons of contemporary design, including an impressive “Lumiere d’Ambre” chandelier by pre-eminent glass artist Dale Chihuly, an “Industry” Dressoir by Studio Job and a dynamic pair of “Rolling Volume” chairs by Ron Arad.