New York — The December 14 auction of 20th Century Decorative Arts at Bonhams illustrated strong interest in Tiffany and Art Deco design, as well as Contemporary Studio Works. There was spirited bidding across all auction categories, with absentee, telephone and internet bidders all competing with the attendees in the sale room.
Frank Maraschiello, Vice President and Director of 20th Century Decorative Arts at Bonhams, states about the sale, "The 20th Century Decorative Arts sale showed very strong activity today, with furious bidding for lots in the Arts Deco, Tiffany and Contemporary Glass areas. The market for Art Deco bronze statuary is also particularly robust at the moment, and indeed international! Even areas such as Art Nouveau, somewhat dormant in past years, showed very competitive bidding today. The Decorative Arts are alive and well."
Four top lots of the sale were all beautiful examples of Art Deco bronze figural sculptures of female dancers by Demetre H. Chiparus and Ferdinand Preiss. Taking top sale honours and selling for $98,500 was Clara, a large and rare figural sculpture by Chiparus (pre-sale est. $100,000-200,000). Three Preiss figures far surpassed their pre-sale estimates with Lighter than Air selling for $43,750 (pre-sale est. $15,000-20,000); Sun Worshipper selling for $43,750 (pre-sale est. $20,000-25,0000); and Con Brio selling for $32,500 (pre-sale est. $20,000-30,000).
Elsewhere in the sale two Tiffany lamps were actively sought after, among the several bidding Tiffany collectors in the audience and by phone, with a Dragonfly table lamp selling for $86,500, greatly surpassing the pre-sale estimate of $35,000-45,000, and a Daffodil table lamp reaching $50,000 (pre-sale estimate $30,000-50,000). Also, a rare mahogany and gilt-bronze Andre Arbus Satinwood Art Deco piano was a highlight of the top 10 lots of the sale, selling for $30,000 (pre-sale est. $20,000-30,000).
A strong highlight to the auction was a Paul Evans Sculpture Front cabinet, which is one of only 75 produced. With a pre-sale estimate of $25,000-35,000, the lot achieved $48,750, after spirited bidding.
The sale concluded with works by Contemporary Studio Artists, featuring a large number of glass works by Dale Chihuly. Among the sale highlights were two early and rare Blanket Cylinders blown by Chihuly himself from the 1970's, which sold to a private collector for $37,500 (pre-sale est. $30,000-50,000).
Julie Saunders Guinta
NOTES FOR EDITORS
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 www.bonhams.com.