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Important 20th Century Design Sale totals $4.7 million
George Nakashima, "Minguren I" Coffee Table, signed George Nakashima Oct. 1979. Burled walnut and East Indian rosewood, 17 x 42 5/8 x 56 1/4 in. (43.2 x 108.3 x 142.9 cm), 1979. Est. $80/120,000. Sold for: $100,000. Photo: Sotheby's.
NEW YORK, NY.- Sotheby’s New York sale of Important 20th Century Design totaled a strong $4,738,940, nearly reaching its pre-sale high estimate of $5 million. American modern design led the sale with multiple, persistent bidders competing for an important and rare coffee service designed by Paul Lobel circa 1934. The sale price eventually reached $449,000, over four times the pre-sale high estimate of $100,000. A prototype of this tea set was included in the Contemporary American Industrial Art exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York in 1934. This service was presented as a wedding gift in 1938 to Frances Alice Davidson and William Charles Sonnhalter of Cleveland, Ohio, and has remarkably remained in the same family to the present date. A further highlight of the sale was “Mouton” circa 1986 by François-Xavier Lalanne, fetching $341,000, with a pre-sale estimate of $200,000 - $300,000.

Works by Tiffany Studios opened the sale and performed strongly with an Important and Rare “Dragonfly and Waterflowers” Table Lamp from the Geyer Family Collection bringing $257,000 (est. $150/200,000). The shade (circa 1898-1899), featuring Dragonflies flying amidst marsh flowers, is paired with a rare favrile mosaic glass “Arrowhead” base (circa 1905). Also exceeding expectations were the “Poppy” Table Lamp circa 1905 from the Estate of Elmer William Shigo which achieved $209,000 (est. $80/120,000) and the “Peony Border” Floor Lamp circa 1910 which sold for $221,000 (est. $150/200,000).

Estate property was also sought after today with an extensive 162 piece flatware service by Claude Lalanne coming from the Collection of David C. Copley, La Jolla, California more than doubling its high estimate and fetching $185,000 (est. $70/90,000). Harry Bertoia’s Sound Sculpture circa 1970 coming from the Collection of Milton Ginsburg sold for $106,250 (est. $60/80,000).

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