From Tiffany to Chihuly: Bonhams 20th Century Decorative Arts sale comprises outstanding pieces from across decades

20th Century Decorative Arts
11 Dec 2012
New York

December 11, 2012 New York, NY – Bonhams 20th Century Decorative Arts sale in New York on December 11, 2012 offers a full range of 20th to 21st century decorative arts for collectors and aficionados alike. Individuals who are looking for a strong representation of decorative arts from the various categories, from Arts and Crafts through to studio works by contemporary artisans, will find treasures at all price points.

Arts and Crafts High points of the sale include a rare Rookwood Pottery electro-deposit copper plated glazed earthenware dragon vase, circa 1898 (estimate: $4,000-$6,000). This vase, designed by Kitaro Shirayamadani, who developed and perfected the electro-deposit technique, is from a short production period combining electro-plated metal and ceramic that lasted only five years for Rookwood.

Also of note is a stellar selection of Tiffany glass and metal work, including a pair of windows from Tiffany's first ecclesiastical commission in 1878 for St. Mark's church in Islip, Long Island. St. Mark's Church was Louis C. Tiffany's first commercial window commission. He provided a unified cycle of about 30 windows. These two important Tiffany Studios leaded glass bulls-eye rondel and chipped and plated glass windows ($30,000-$40,000) were saved after a suspicious 1989 fire destroyed a large part of the church. Later, a private collector acquired the windows.

The sale also includes a selection of Tiffany Studios leaded glass lamps highlighted by an exquisite Favrile glass and patinated-bronze Pony Wisteria table lamp, circa 1910, from a Chicago private collection, as well as a model not frequently seen at auction, a Favrile glass and bronze Dogwood table lamp, circa 1910, from a private Portland, Oregon family collection. Each of these pieces carries an estimate of $80,000 to $120,000.

Art Nouveau Bonhams sale has a focused Art Nouveau section that showcases a group of bronze sculptures from an Important Collection of an English Gentlemen. The selection of bronzes comprises work by some of the best sculptors of the Art Nouveau period including Louis Chalon, Max Blondat and Agathon Léonard. Of note are four iconic Art Nouveau figures of an original set of 12 dancing figures from Le Jeu de L'Echarpe series by Agathon Léonard. Each bronze depicts a dancer in a different pose and is estimated at $20,000-$30,000. Many of the pieces in this collection were exhibited in Dynamic Beauty, an important exhibition of Art Nouveau sculpture in New York City in 2011.

Also along the sculptural vein is an enchanting Art Deco figure of a Boston Terrier in patinated bronze by François Pompon (estimate: $35,000-$45,000). The figure is modelled after the favourite pet of chocolate manufacturer, George Meunier, who commissioned the work from Pompon in 1930.

Italian & Modern Design
The sale's Modern Design section has a wonderful selection of Italian glass and furniture. One of the most notable pieces among the glass is a rare example of a work by Fulvio Bianconi. Created for Venini, this figural fenicio glass vase is sensually formed and decorated as a bikini clad figure (estimate: $14,000-$18,000). The design was first produced in 1949 from an extremely limited production.

A Fontana Arte chrome, steel and glass metamorphic table (estimate: $4,000-$6,000) is another highlight. The innovative design gives the table the ability to transition or metamorphose from a cocktail table to an occasional table to a dining table -- and thus its name. A second innovatively designed table is also a stand out in the sale. The sleek, elegant ebonized fruitwood and glass console by Ico and Luisa Parisi was designed in 1954 and is estimated at $15,000-$20,000.

Contemporary Studio Works of Art
Rounding out the sale are works by contemporary studio artists including an important collection of studio glass by such artists as Dan Dailey, Richard Marquis, Lino Tagliapietra and Dale Chihuly, and a strong selection of works of forged steel by Albert Paley including a lamp (estimate: $15,000 - $20,000), a candelabra (estimate: $2,000-$3,000), and a dining table (estimate: $40,000 - $60,000).

The sale culminates with a selection of turned wood vessels by Ed and Philip Moulthrop comprising eight examples of works by two generations of America's leading family of wood turners. A great American tradition, these beautiful, sculptural forms are nature revealing its beauty through careful wood selection, creative vision and patient sculpting at the hands of an artist.

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