NEW YORK.- In today’s sale of Important 20th Century Decorative Art & Design Including Property From The Collection of Dakis Joannou, a table made by Carlo Mollino in 1949 achieved a staggering $3,824,000, against a presale estimate of $150,000-200,000. The table was bought by a private collector after a protracted auction battle with another determined bidder in the saleroom at Christie’s Rockefeller. The result almost doubles the previous world auction record of $1,876,000 - also set at Christie's New York in December 2000 for ‘Tardieu’, a chromed metal and lacquer desk by Jacques-Emile Ruhlmann, designed in 1929.
Joshua Holdeman, Head of 20th Century Decorative Art & Design, New York, and Philippe Garner, International Director of 20th Century Art & Design say: “Mollino is one of a handful of highly-revered designers whose production was relatively limited, and whose pieces inspire a great respect among collectors. This table is an outstanding example of his work, combining visual surprise, great rarity and a fully documented provenance. It has survived in excellent condition. These factors combined to ignite passionate competitive bidding for this iconic masterwork, and produced this exemplary result.”
The Mollino table was part of the collection of Dakis Joannou, one of the most celebrated contemporary art collectors in the world and founder of the Deste Foundation for Contemporary Art in his native Greece. Today’s sale featured 26 lots from the Joannou Collection and together they fetched $4,932,760. The overall total of today’s 20th Century Decorative Art and Design sales at Christie’s, including Important Tiffany, was $10,737,080.