The Bonhams 20th Century Decorative Arts auction highlights works from a wide range of design periods

20th Century Decorative Arts
14 Dec 2011
New York

The Bonhams 20th Century Decorative Arts auction on December 14 will feature a wide range of exciting works from periods such as Art Nouveau, Post War Design and the Contemporary Studio Craft movements.

The Art Deco period is well represented by Clara, a superb figure by Demetre H. Chiparus, circa 1925 (pre-sale est. $100,000-200,000). One of the finest examples of Art Deco sculpture ever produced and only one of four known examples, Clara was conceived in response to the artist's fascination with modern women in the performing arts and the exotic orientalism of the Ballet Russes. The figure possesses great theatricality, grace, costume design and workmanship.

Additional figural highlights include Con Brio, a figure by Ferdinand Preiss, circa 1925 (pre-sale est. $20,000-30,000) and Sun Worshipper, a figure by Ferdinand Preiss, circa 1925 (pre-sale est. $20,000-25,000).

Another highlight of the Art Deco period is well represented by Gio Ponti's Le Mie Terre lamp/vase. A seminal creation for the artist, this particular lot is a very early example of no less than eight variant models. Shaped like a globe and decorated with a map of the world, this rare version is endowed with highly stylized iconography conjuring up the lore and allure of each continent and body of water, including skyscrapers, the Eiffel Tower, a native American Indian head, the hammer and sickle, camels crossing the dessert, dolphins, merchant ships and even a lumbering elephant indigenous to India (pre-sale est. $10,000-15,000).

Surging in popularity, the works of Paul Evans represent both art and design. Bonhams is pleased to offer one of the artisan's masterworks, a custom-built wall-mounted cabinet from his most sought after "Sculpture Front" series. This 1972 creation, composed of welded, gilt and enamelled steel and slate, is as visually striking as it is technologically complex (pre-sale est. $25,000-35,000).

Strong offerings are also in the Contemporary Studio Works of Art section of the sale. The jewellery work of William Harper is represented by the magical Cy's Summer Maddness, 1996 (pre-sale est. $20,000-30,000), as well as the furniture of Albert Paley, with a superb forged mild steel and glass dining table, 1981 (pre-sale est. $60,000- 90,000). Also in this category are numerous glass works by the incomparable Dale Chihuly. Highlights include two early blown and applied Navajo Cylinders, 1975-1976 (pre-sale est. $30,000-50,000) and an exquisite blown glass Blanket Cylinder (pre-sale est. $25,000-35,000).

Bonhams New York invites you to preview the entire sale at 580 Madison, starting Saturday, December 10-13. An online video featuring Frank Maraschiello, the sale's specialist, speaking about the sale and its highlights, as well as the illustrated auction catalogue, are available online at

Press Contacts:

Julie Saunders Guinta (917) 206-1681


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's oldest and largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son and Neale UK. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street, and Knightsbridge, and a further five throughout the UK. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Boston in the USA; Toronto, Canada; and France, Monaco, Hong Kong, Australia and Dubai. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 57 specialist areas. By the end of 2009, Bonhams had become UK market leaders in ten key specialist collecting areas.For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to

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