Form & Function: Highlights of London Design Sale

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Launch Slideshow

Ahead of the Design auction at Sotheby's in London on 15 November, we take a closer look at items representing the very best of international 20th Century Design. Furniture, lighting and ceramics by designers such as Arne Jacobsen, Poul M. Volther, Zaha Hadid and Hans Coper all feature in the sale, with elegant, clean-lined pieces siting alongside playful Picasso ceramics, colourful Franz West Uncle Chairs and an imposing lathed marble dining table by Marc Newson. Click ahead to see highlights from the sale.

Design
15 November | London

Form & Function: Highlights of London Design Sale

  • Arne Jacobsen, Desk. Estimate £40,000–60,000.
    Executed for the American-Scandinavian Foundation in New York, this piece never in fact left Denmark from the time of its execution until now. The original owner was a close friend of Arne Jacobsen, and lived in a house designed by Jacobsen near Copenhagen. This is the first time this piece has come up for sale at auction.



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  • Poul M. Volther, Pyramid Chair. Estimate £10,000–15,000.
    The last time the Pyramid was offered for auction was in 2007 at Sotheby's London, which makes it a very rare piece. This unique modern form is offset with an organic twist.



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  • WestImage - Art Digital Studio
    Fontana Arte, Low Table, Model No. 1771. Estimate £40,000–60,000.
    A very rare example of a Fontana Arte table, making this an exciting addition to the sale. The present model is stamped and dated '20 MAR 1959'.



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  • Ico Parisi, Monumental Bookcase. Estimate £20,000–30,000.
    This striking bookcase is a collaboration between Ico Parisi and the enamel artist Paolo de Poli. This unique piece represents the curvaceous organic forms very characteristic of Parisi's work. A certificate of authenticity from the Ico Parisi Archives is provided with the lot.



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  • Marc Newson, Big Lathed Table. Estimate £70,000–90,000.
    ''I knew that a machine to do this existed and I was pretty sure that, in theory, it could be done in marble. I started to think about what else excited me about marble, apart from being able to create impossible shapes with it. It is the sheer monumental bulk of the material, its weight and robustness. When I discovered there existed a lathe big enough to turn a huge chunk of marble.'' – Mark Newson



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  • Nacho Carbonell, Evolution Bench. Estimate £12,000–18,000.
    Speaking about the Evolution Collection, Carbonell states: ''Living in an era where we are saturated with information, the Evolution Collection provides a refuge to escape and digest; the bench represents the crowds of daily life and its attached cocoon is a doorway to escape from it.''



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  • Hans Coper, Monumental Spade Form Vase. Estimate £50,000–70,000.
    Whilst the form of this stoneware vase is fairly representative of Coper's treatment of the medium, this example is comparatively large in scale, making it particularly rare. One of two lots by Coper in the sale, the other – Large Disc Form Vase – is equally as striking. 



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  • Albert Meda, Prototype Lightlight Armchair. Estimate £7,000–9,000.
    Designed in 1986, the Lightlight chair is an innovative piece: Meda has used his engineering expertise and knowledge of the properties of various materials. Lightlight is made of a composite honeycomb structure, extremely lightweight and durable, materials used in aviation.



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  • T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings, Five Klismos Chairs, Model No. 5.
    Estimate £7,000–10,000.
    These chairs come from a remarkable collection of furniture based on the classical Greek forms. Executed with true craftsmanship by Saridis of Athens.



    ''I met him in 1941. He had such great adaptability to create furniture for the setting. He is the da Vinci of furniture.''



    – Carl E. Fowler, Former Executive Vice President John Widdicom Furniture.



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  • Studio Job, Industry table. Estimate £40,000–60,000.
    This highly ornamental and beautifully crafted table from the Industry series has an immaculate finish. With a strong reference to seventeenth-century marquetry methods, this piece presents a satirical and dark vision of today's world.



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  • Zaha Hadid, Prototype Aqua table, from the Principal Collection.
    Estimate £10,000–15,000.
    Fluidity is a key characteristic of Hadid's designs, and this makes for unforgettable views of the table from every angle. An extremely dynamic, monolithic form, this piece is a classic example by the late, great architect, Zaha Hadid. 



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