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Christie's Presents a Global Array of Works of 20th Century Decorative Art & Design
Jean Dunand (1877-1942), A Lacquer and Eggshell Gueridon, circa 1930. 20 in. (50.8 cm.) high, 40 in. (101.6 cm.) diameter signed in eggshell Jean Dunand and branded Jean Dunand/72 rue Halle/Paris and Made in France on the underside. Estimate 250,000 - 350,000 U.S. dollars.

NEW YORK, NY.- Christie’s announces the sale of Important 20th Century Decorative Art & Design to take place on Thursday, June 16. Estimated to realize upwards of $3.5 million, the 208-lot sale represents a wide range of works from 20th Century masters across the world, including furniture and lighting by Jean Royère, a rare armchair by German master Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe, Art Deco works by Etienne Drian, Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann and Jean Dunand, whose Lacquer and Eggshell Gueridon, circa 1930 (estimate: $250,000 - 350,000) is the top lot in the sale. From Property of a Boston Family, the table exemplifies Dunand’s sophisticated skills as a designer and craftsman with the geometric motifs on top, meticulously inlaid in eggshell. The stark and calculated motif balances fragility with luxury.

Joshua Holdeman, International Director, 20th Century Art, Chairman’s Office, Christie’s Americas, comments: “This auction is a celebration of the global village that comprises 20th Century Decorative Arts. From prime works such as Mies’ 'Tugendhat' Cantilever Armchair to Dunand’s Lacquer and Eggshell Gueridon, this sale features extraordinary 20th Century Art from makers across the world. The market for 20th Century Design works is strong and continues to thrive, as collectors continue to seek works by premier makers with admired provenance.”

Mies’ Chromium-Plated Steel 'Tugendhat' Cantilever Armchair, 1929-1930 (estimate: $100,000 - 150,000) is the sole surviving armchair to date together with the pair of chairs retained by MoMa. The chair is one of two examples that were supplied together with other furnishings by Mies to Mildred Lange and her husband Carl Wilhelm Crous as a wedding gift. The furnishings formed part of the interior of their Berlin apartment, which was completed in 1930, a masterpiece of Modernist clarity with designs by Mies Van Der Rohe and Lilly Reich. The resilient cantilever seating in this boldly elegant Modernist form was produced contemporaneously with the famed Barcelona chair. Also created circa 1930, is Etienne Drian’s Eight-Panel Verre Eglomisé Mirrored and Painted Metal Screen, circa 1930 (estimate: $100,000 - 150,000). In this mirrored screen, Drian, a fashion illustrator in France in the 1920s and 1930s, encapsulated the jazz craze of the time. Five exuberantly animated jazz musicians are rendered on the mirrored screen. Buddy Gilmore, the famous drummer who played in La Revue Négre in Paris is based on a photograph of the musician by Berenice Abbott from the 1920s.

Additionally, there are a number of important works by Tiffany Studios, notably, a 57-lot group of Tiffany from the Property of a Midwest Collector, which is entirely fresh to the auction market. Acquired over several decades starting in the 1940s, the Midwestern couple enthusiastically sought out examples of Tiffany glass and lamps, resulting in an impressive group of works by the maker. The naturalistic and distinctive forms of the glass are rendered in bold colors and shimmering surfaces. This large group of glass is coupled with beautiful floral lamps.

Christie’s presents a prized piece from one of the most beloved and recognizable monuments in the world, The Eiffel Tower. A Helical Lacquered Iron Staircase Section from the Eiffel Tower, Paris, 1889, by Gustave Eiffel (estimate: $80,000 - 120,000) will be on display outside Christie’s New York at 20 Rockefeller Plaza. Originally conceived as a temporary 20-year structure on the occasion on the 1889 Exposition Universelle, the Eiffel Tower has become a permanent fixture in and an icon of the City of Light. In 1980 the spiral staircase was replaced due to structural concerns and the 24 sections of staircases in various lengths, a few of which were given to French Museums including Musée d’Orsay, Paris and the remaining portions were auctioned off in 1983.

This sale also includes a number of notable jewelry pieces by the likes of Line Vautrin, César, Arnaldo Pomodoro, Art Smith and Louise Nevelson, whose Painted Wood and Brass Necklace, 1980s (estimate: $8,000-12,000) is definitive of the artist’s style.

Additional Highlights from Christie’s 20th Century Decorative Art & Design sale include:

Tiffany Studios
A Turtleback Tile and Bronze
Pedestal, circa 1905
Estimate: $120,000 - 150,000

Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann
A Pair of Velvet Upholstered Amboyna Armchairs
with silvered-bronze feet, 1930s
Estimate: $200,000 - 300,000

Clement Massier
An Iridescent Glazed Two-Handled
Earthenware Vase, circa 1890
Estimate: $8,000 - 12,000

Gustave Miklos
A Carved Pear Sculpture of
Walking Female Figure, 1925
Estimate: $30,000 - 40,000

Gustave Eiffel
A Helical Lacquered Iron Staircase Section
from the Eiffel Tower, Paris, 1889
Estimate: $80,000 - 120,000

Paul Evans
An 'Argente' Lacquered Slate, Aluminum and
Enameled Steel Dining Table, circa 1970
Estimate: $30,000 - 40,000

Claude Lalanne
A Swiveling Galvanized Copper and
Bronze Chair, 1988 (Lots 172-174)
Estimate: $25,000 - 30,000
(each sold separately)

Etienne Drian
An Eight-Panel Verre Eglomisé Mirrored and
Painted Metal Screen, circa 1930
Estimate: $100,000 - 150,000

*Estimates do not include buyer's premium

Auction: Christie’s 20th Century Decorative Art & Design
Thursday, June 16, 2011 10am

Viewings: Christie’s Rockefeller Center Galleries
Saturday June 11 10:00am - 5:00pm
Sunday June 12 1:00pm - 5:00pm
Monday June 13 10:00am - 5:00pm
Tuesday June 14 10:00am - 5:00pm
Wednesday June 15 10:00am - 5:00pm

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