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Sotheby's Important 20th Century Design & Tiffany bring $9.7 million in New York
Tiffany Studios, A Superb “Wisteria” Table Lamp. Circa 1905-10. Est. $400/600,000. Sold for: $842,500 (£544,356). Photo: Sotheby's.
NEW YORK, N.Y.- On 15 December, Sotheby’s New York sales Important 20th Century Design and Important Tiffany totaled $9,704,126, with strong prices for rare and unique works throughout the day. The morning auction of Important 20th Century Design was led by An Important and Rare “Centaure” by François-Xavier & Claude Lalanne, which sold for $542,500 above a high estimate $300,000*. Signed by both artists, the work is the only known example of the monumental size of the subject ever to be offered at auction, measuring 87 ¼ inches high. The afternoon auction of Important Tiffany was highlighted by A Superb “Wisteria” Table Lamp circa 1905-1910 whose model was designed by Clara Driscoll in 1901. The lamp achieved $842,500, well in excess of its $600,000 high estimate.

The morning sale saw strong prices across a wide range of periods and styles, with works in the Top 10 from Art Deco, European Modernism, Arts & Crafts and Postwar designers. An Important and Rare Teapot by Naum Slutzky circa 1928 more than quadrupled its high estimate of $80,000 in selling for $374,500. The present example of this important design is one of only three known to exist, and was acquired directly from the designer by Fritz Schleiffer around 1930 – it has since descended in the same family to the present owner. In addition, several works by Gustav Stickley performed well, with An Important and Rare China Cabinet, Model No. 964 bringing $242,500 (est. $200/300,000) and A Rare Chandelier achieving $224,500 above a high estimate of $100,000.

In addition to the “Wisteria” Table Lamp, the afternoon auction of Important Tiffany was led by A Highly Important Three-Panel “Magnolia” Window circa 1910 that sold for $506,500 (est. $400/600,000). As Julie L. Sloan wrote in her catalogue essay, “Careful examination of the window’s pattern reveals it to be identical to a single repeat of Tiffany’s 28-inch Magnolia shade pattern, representing an unusual and possibly unique crossover between the lampshade and window departments within the studio.” Additional top lots included A Superb and Rare “Dragonfly” Table Lamp circa 1905 that brought $350,500 above a high estimate of $200,000, and A Fine “Nasturtium” Table Lamp circa 1905 that sold for $200,500 (est. $125/175,000).

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