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Christie's announces 20th Century Decorative Art & Design Sale
An iconic Red Blue Chair, designed in 1919-1923 by Gerrit Thomas Rietveld and executed by Gerard van de Groenekan circa 1960, Estimate: £10,000-15,000. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2013.

LONDON.- Christie’s London announced the sale of 20th Century Decorative Art + Design, to take place on 30 October 2013. The auction will offer discerning collectors the opportunity to acquire furniture from the home of two of Britain’s most significant Post-War designers, Robin and Lucienne Day, together with avant-garde furniture designed by Gerrit Rietveld from the personal collection of his cabinetmaker. Further highlights include a strong selection of Contemporary furniture, including Marc Newson’s Chop Top Table, 2006, number 1 from the limited edition of 12, (estimate: £70,000-100,000). The sale will also feature a group of iconic chairs, bronzes, glass and lighting with significant provenance from the Art Deco, Art Nouveau and British Art & Crafts movements. Featuring over 100 lots, and with estimates ranging from £500 to £100,000, the sale is expected to realise in the region of £1,300,000 overall.

The auction will offer a selection of Modernist and Post War & Contemporary Design, which is led by the rare and important Narrow Pappardelle chair, designed by Ron Arad in 1992 and executed in 1994, (estimate: £70,000-100,000). The Pappardelle consists of a long flexible strip of woven steel which may be unfurled to create a carpet extension, or rolled to create a footrest. Examples of the Pappardelle are retained in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City.

This section of the sale is further highlighted by the following works: a pair of Zig Zag Chairs designed in 1932 by Gerrit Thomas Rietveld and executed by Gerard van de Groenekan, circa 1960 (estimate: £3,000-5,000); a pair of highback chairs, designed by Gio Ponti, circa 1950 (estimate: £10,000-15,000); Johnny Swing’s stellar Quarter Chair, 2002, from a limited edition of 25, made of welded quarter dollars and stainless steel (estimate: £12,000-18,000); an iconic Red Blue Chair, designed in 1919-1923 by Gerrit Thomas Rietveld and executed by Gerard van de Groenekan circa 1960,
(estimate: £10,000-15,000) and Karen Ryan’s pair of chairs entitled In the
Woods, (estimate: £4,000-6,000), produced in 2009.

Further rarities of 20th Century Design include important works of glass and lighting, epitomizing the Art Nouveau style, including Emile Gallé’s Fireflies: An Important Flacon and Stopper, circa 1900, (estimate: £40,000-60,000) and Hector Guimard’s Art Nouveau Ceiling Light, circa 1905, (estimate: £12,000-18,000). While the work by Gallé illustrates a distinct theme, it resembles a similar flacon which was executed in 1892 for a most illustrious client, the aesthete and poet Count Robert de Montesquiou, now in the collection of the Musée d'Orsay, Paris. Another stunning example of Art Nouveau is Guimard’s ceiling light, which features the artist’s signature style through a pierced and stylized foliate frame. The enfant terrible of Art Nouveau, Guimard is best known today for his Paris Metro station entrances.

Representing a classic manifestation of the Art Deco style, selected works by the renowned sculptors of the time will be offered in the sale. These include Bruno Zach’s The Riding Crop, circa 1925, (estimate: £40,000-60,000) and Demetre Chiparus’s Miss Kita, circa 1925 (estimate: £30,000-50,000). The market for Art Deco figures has seen consistent demand ever since the first 20th Century Decorative Art + Design sales held by Christies over 40 years ago, fuelled by a demand ranging from dedicated collectors to private buyers looking to acquire just a single iconic work. Further fuelled by an influx of buyers from established and emerging markets in the past ten years, today it remains one of the strongest sections of the London Decorative Arts market.

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