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Sotheby's sale in New York sets a record at auction for a Tiffany Studios Wisteria table lamp
The top lot of the sale was a magnificent “Wisteria” table lamp, whose price was driven to $1,565,000. Photo: Sotheby's.

NEW YORK, NY.- Sotheby's sales of Important 20th Century Design, Important Tiffany and Modern Visionaries: The Yurcik Collection achieved a strong total of $10,313,500 on 18 December 2013 in New York. Important 20th Century Design brought $5,145,500, nearly reaching the pre-sale high estimate. Leading the auction was Claude Lalanne’s monumental bronze, “L’Enlèvement d’Europe,” which sold above estimate at $485,000 (est. $250/350,000). Diego Giacometti’s “Torsade” Table brought $257,000 (est. $200/300,000) while an important and rare “Eastwood” Armchair designed by Gustav Stickley from the collection of Gregg Seibert achieved $245,000 (est. $220/280,000). The armchair is an iconic, defining model by Stickley, and examples of this design are in the collections of the Wolfsonian-FIU, the Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms and Crab Tree Farm. Ahead of the auction, the two cover lots, an important and rare desk and armchair designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for the S.C. Johnson and Son Administration Building, Racine, WI, were withdrawn from the auction and sold privately.*

Sotheby’s afternoon sale of Important Tiffany brought $3,675,625, within pre-sale expectations (est. $2.9/4.2 million). The top lot of the sale was a magnificent “Wisteria” table lamp, whose price was driven to $1,565,000 by two determined bidders, setting an auction record for any Tiffany Studios “Wisteria” table lamp** (est. $600/800,000). Further highlights of the sale included a "Double Poinsettia" table lamp which achieved $220,000 (est. $120/180,000) and a "Daffodil and Narcissus" table lamp with a rare and elaborate twisted base which reached $191,000 (est. $100/150,000).

Modern Visionaries: The Yurcik Collection, a dedicated auction of modern and contemporary design assembled by Joseph and Sheila Yurcik, exceeded pre-sale estimates, bringing $1,492,375 (est. $830,000/1,227,000) with over 86% of lots sold. Strong results were achieved for American design legends, Paul Evans, George Nakashima and Harry Bertoia. Paul Evans’ “Sculpture Front” Cabinet reached almost double its estimate with a sale price of $269,000, achieving a record at auction for the artist. The cover lot of the catalogue, a Paul Evans “Sculpture Front” Wall Panel, doubled estimate, selling for $149,000 (est. $50/70,000) while his “Wavy Front” Cabinet brought $155,000 (est. $60/80,000). A magnificent free-form “Minguren II” coffee table by George Nakashima sold over estimate at $197,000 (est. $100/150,000) and a large-scale “Sound Sculpture” by Harry Bertoia fetched $100,000.

*The desk and chair were withdrawn from the auction pending a conditional private sale whereby Sotheby’s will maintain possession of the items pending resolution of the litigation.

**Previous auction record for a Tiffany Studios “Wisteria” table lamp was $881,000, achieved at Sotheby’s New York in 2007.

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