As the warmth of summer becomes a distant memory, Christies
autumn sale of 20th Century Decorative Art & Design on Tuesday 26 October features a particularly strong array of lamps and glass inspired by the beauty of nature, which can be enjoyed in any season from the comfort of home. The top lot of the sale is a Tiffany Studios Peony Shade, circa 1900 (estimate: £70,000-90,000). Other stellar examples by masters of the media range from works by Emile Gallé, Daum Frères and Argy-Rousseau and include a single owner London collection, formed in the 1960s with guidance from legendary American collector-dealer Robert Walker. Reflecting the power of line, important design is led by the timeless chic of a Charles Rennie Mackintosh painted oak dresser from 1900 designed for Dunglass Castle, Bowling near Glasgow, which is offered to the market for the first time having passed by descent (estimate: £30,000-50,000). Spanning the 20th century, furniture, sculpture and objects showcase classics from the Aesthetic Movement; Arts & Crafts; Art Nouveau; Vienna Secession; Art Deco; Modernism; Post-War and Pop, from Britain the United States, Scandinavia, France and Italy. The auction features over 120 lots, with estimates ranging from £2,000 to £90,000.
The market for Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the Scottish master of the Arts and Crafts movement, remains consistently strong, with few examples to auction. This dresser illustrates his remarkable eye; it has a contemporary quality which effortlessly transcends time, though now over a century old. Designed for the family home of Frances and Margaret Macdonald, the designers wife, it is part of a small array of furniture which Mackintosh made for bedrooms at Dunglass Castle, few pieces of which survive. The wash-stand, designed to accompany this dresser, fetched £69,000 at Christies Designed by Architects sale in London, November 2002.
Lighting and glass examples which celebrate the beauty of nature from left to right: Emile Gallé Clematis table lamp, circa 1900 (estimate: £20,000-30,000) and butterfly vase (estimate:£6,000-8,000); Daum Frères glass, circa 1900, depicting thistles (estimate: £4,000-6,000), butterflies (estimate: £2,000-3,000) and poppies (estimate: £3,000-4,000); an autumnal lamp with conkers (estimate: £4,000-6,000) and vases circa 1910 with estimates from £5,000 to £9,000; as well as a Gallé parlante vase with honey-suckle (estimate: £3,000-4,000).
The works of art, be they objects, bronzes, or silver, illustrate the varied creativity, originality and charm of works from throughout the 20th century. Examples include: a Henning Koppel silver jug for Georg Jensen, 1952 (estimate: £8,000-12,000); Yambo, circa 1925 by Demetre Chiparus (estimate: £40,000-60,000); Claude Lalannes Pomme Bouche, from 1980 (estimate: £8,000-12,000); Snail riders, circa 1920 by Bruno Zach (estimate: £7,000-9,000) and a large fruiting vine panel, 1901, by Franz Xavier Bergamann, which is one of three sold as a single lot (estimate: £6,000-8,000).
Examples of furniture, to suit many tastes, which further illustrate the power of line and will add style and dynamism to the home include: a serpent dressing table mirror by Kunst-Erzgiesserei, circa 1900 (estimate: £3,000-4,000); a Louis Majorelle Nenuphar table, circa 1900 (estimate: £50,000-70,000); a pair of Moby Dick chaise by Alberto Rosselli, 1969 (each with an estimate of £10,000-15,000); Marcel Breuer low centre table, 1936 (estimate: £4,000-6,000); and a Fritz Henningsen armchair, circa 1935 (estimate: £4,000-6,000).