LALIQUE & CHRISTIE’S: a RARE SALE





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Today at 2pm, Christie’s South Kensington, London, presents an auction dedicated to the master glass-maker René Lalique. The sale will comprise 138 lots and offer an array of vases – in clear and frosted, opalescent, bold colours and subtle hues – alongside iconic lighting, table wares, scent bottles, clocks and car mascots. Estimates range from just £700 up to £120,000.

The calibre of this sale replete with jewel-like coloured works is a fitting tribute to the extraordinary vision and creativity of the master glass-maker René Lalique who continues to enthrall an international audience of discerning collectors nearly seven decades after his death.


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The Lalique brand is synonymous with both quality and artistry and demand for works by this important designer is testament to René Lalique’s legacy. Christie’s has been selling Lalique at auction since specialist Decorative Art & Design sales began in 1971 and has offered more Lalique at auction than any other auction house internationally.


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Joy McCall, an authority on Lalique and this sale’s specialist, kindly shared her expertise with A-Gent of Style and explained why this auction will be significant.

 

Joy McCall, Christie's Lalique specialist, at an event In May celebrating South Kensington's 40th anniversary, showing some rare and arresting pieces from the sale.

Joy McCall, Christie’s Lalique specialist, at an event In May celebrating South Kensington’s 40th anniversary, showing some rare and arresting pieces from the sale.

 

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This sale is dominated by colour vases, which remain perhaps the most sought after aspect of the market at present. There are a number of designs which we see clients collecting to form sets, for example the Formose vase (lots 130-137) is offered in 8 different colours and the Ronce vase (lots 94-98) in 5 colour versions. The sale also offers vases in rare colours, such as lot 44 in red, lot 46 in amber,  lot 47 in red, lot 98 in green and lot 114 in lime-green. It is not necessarily that the design is rare but that it appears in this colour which is remarkable.


Lot 44 A 'Perruches' Vase, No. 876 designed 1919 cased red 9 7/8 in. (25 cm.) high engraved R. Lalique France Estimate £20,000 - 30,000

Lot 44
A ‘Perruches’ Vase, No. 876
designed 1919
cased red
9 7/8 in. (25 cm.) high
engraved R. Lalique France
Estimate £20,000 – 30,000

 

Lot 46 A 'Courlis' Vase, No. 1085 designed 1931 amber 6 ¾ in. (17.2 cm.) high stencilled R. LALIQUE FRANCE Estimate £7,000 - 10,000

Lot 46
A ‘Courlis’ Vase, No. 1085
designed 1931
amber
6 ¾ in. (17.2 cm.) high
stencilled R. LALIQUE FRANCE
Estimate £7,000 – 10,000

 

Lot 47 A 'Courges' Vase, No. 900 designed 1914 cherry red and white stained 7 ¼ in. (18.4 cm.) high intaglio LALIQUE Estimate £30,000 - 50,000

Lot 47
A ‘Courges’ Vase, No. 900
designed 1914
cherry red and white stained
7 ¼ in. (18.4 cm.) high
intaglio LALIQUE
Estimate £30,000 – 50,000

 

Lot 114 A 'Sauterelles' Vase, No. 888 designed 1912 lime-green and white stained 10 ¾ in. (27.4 cm.) high wheel-engraved R. LALIQUE Estimate: £10,000 - 15,000

Lot 114
A ‘Sauterelles’ Vase, No. 888
designed 1912
lime-green and white stained
10 ¾ in. (27.4 cm.) high
wheel-engraved R. LALIQUE
Estimate: £10,000 – 15,000



One of the earliest items in the sale is lot 9, Quatre Masques vase with handle, which dates from 1911. No one can remember seeing this particular vase appear at auction previously, so it is exciting to make a fresh discovery. A version without a handle has been offered at auction in the past, but this is the first time the Quatre Masques vase has come to auction with a handle, and it is this addition which makes it so rare.

Lot 9 A Rare 'Le Jour et La Nuit' Timepiece, No. 728 designed 1926 topaz, on patinated metal base 15 in. (38 cm.) high stencilled R. LALIQUE Estimate £75,000 - 85,000

Lot 9
A Rare ‘Le Jour et La Nuit’ Timepiece, No. 728
designed 1926
topaz, on patinated metal base
15 in. (38 cm.) high
stencilled R. LALIQUE
Estimate £75,000 – 85,000

 

There are also some rare enamelled wares in this sale. Lot 4, Nimroud vase, infrequently appears at auction and lot 7 Chamois vase I have not seen in red before. The background design has a thinner wash of enamel and the animals are then highlighted in a strong red enamel.


Lot 4 A 'Nimroud' Vase, No. 970 designed 1926 clear and black enamelled 7 7/8 in. (20 cm.) high wheel-engraved R. LALIQUE Estimate £5,000 - 7,000

Lot 4
A ‘Nimroud’ Vase, No. 970
designed 1926
clear and black enamelled
7 7/8 in. (20 cm.) high
wheel-engraved R. LALIQUE
Estimate £5,000 – 7,000

 

Lot 7 A 'Chamois' Vase, No. 1075 designed 1931 clear, stained and red enamelled 5 in. (12.8 cm.) high stencilled R. LALIQUE FRANCE Estimate £5,000 - 7,000

Lot 7
A ‘Chamois’ Vase, No. 1075
designed 1931
clear, stained and red enamelled
5 in. (12.8 cm.) high
stencilled R. LALIQUE FRANCE
Estimate £5,000 – 7,000



Car mascots remain a highly collectible area of the market with individuals specifically seeking to complete the ‘set’. Lalique designed most of these in 1928 and 1929. In the new age of speed and the motorcar they were symbols of prestige, and remain so today.


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Below is a selection from the sale’s catalogue of A-Gent of Style‘s favourite pieces.

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– Christie’s Images Ltd. 2015 –



GABRIELLA CRESPI, TIMELESS by PIASA





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A-Gent of Style has written on the blog a couple of special features about his love affair for Gabriella Crespi, extolling the talents of the famous Milanese designer, artist and sculptress.


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In two weeks’ time, a rare and seminal event will take place in Paris for any collector and admirer of Gabriella Crespi. French auction house PIASA is offering the auction GABRIELLA CRESPI, Timeless with a selection of the most important pieces created by the designer, artist, socialite & fashion muse who has left an indelible mark on 20th century Italian design with her inimitable taste Italian high-end design.

 

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– Auction –

November 26, 2014 – 6pm

PIASA, 118 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 75008 Paris

– Viewing –

November 21, from 10am to 7pm November 22, from 11am to 7pm November 24, from 11am to 7pm November 25, from 10am to 7pm November 26, from 10am to 1pm

You can view the full catalogue here

 

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All of Crespi’s designs place as much importance on aesthetics as on functionality, or even multi-functionality: coffee-tables are raised in height, bookcases are transformed into partitions, chairs turn into beds. A fine example is provided by her ingenious, twin-opening Mr-Mme commode (€20,000-30,000). Other sale highlights include a bamboo and brass Fungo lamp from her Rising Sun series (est. €5,000-7,000), and her 1976  Tavolo Scultura coffee table (est. €20,000-30,000).


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She was born in 1922 and grew up in Tuscany, near Florence, before studying architecture at the Politecnico in Milan, where she discovered Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright. She married into one of Italy’s wealthiest families, who owned the Corriere della Sera and a textiles empire. From Rome and Milan she hired the finest craftsmen to produce her designs. Most of her works were produced in limited editions and have been rare and highly sought-after since the 1970s – and are all the more so today. Her designs are rare and were mostly the result of special commissions. Several leading personalities were passionately enthusiastic about her work, including Elizabeth Arden, Thomas Hoving (former head of New York’s Metropolitan Museum), Greek shipping magnate Georges Livanos, Princess Grace, Gunther Sachs and the Shah of Iran.


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Gabriella Crespi has always conveyed an art de vivre in tune with her times, full of freedom and pioneering ‘bohemian-chic’: a mix of 1970s aspiration and Italian tradition.

Although her style goes perfectly with materials like wood, bamboo, mirror and plexiglas, Gabriella Crespi’s most characteristic designs are in metal – notably brass. The convertible, three-part dining-table, from her celebrated Yang Yin series designed in 1979, is a perfect blend of brass and lacquered wood (est. €20,000-30,000).



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 Other sale highlights include a bamboo and brass Fungo lamp from her Rising Sun series (est. €5,000-7,000), and her 1976 Tavolo Scultura coffee table (est. €20,000-30,000). Crespi also designed a collection of sculpted animals in the purest tradition of de luxe Italian metalwork, embellished with eggs made from Murano glass or, in the case of her elegant, hand-chased silver plated Ostrich, with a veritable ostrich egg (est. €2,500-3,000).



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At the height of her fame, Crespi had two showrooms, one on Milan’s Via Montenapoleone, and the second one in the former Palazzo Cenci in Rome, where her furniture was set off against spectacular frescoes of Umbrian landscapes. But, in 1987, she decided to close her company and devote herself to spirituality: she would continue to spend several months each year in the most remote regions of India into her eighties. Back in Italy Gabriella Crespi remains a respected fount of inspiration, and Milan paid tribute to her with the exhibition Il Segno e lo Spirito at the Palazzo Reale in 2011: a journey through the languages of contemporary expression via Gabriella Crespi’s work and artistic output.

To mark the Gabriella Crespi sale, PIASA will be publishing Timeless – a monograph of her work by Anne Bony, authoress of numerous books on Design, retracing the career of the Italian Designer and, over and beyond her career, outlining her inspiration, spirit and style. Books published alongside major themed sales by PIASA Editions will offer a powerful record of 20th and 21st century creativity.


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– Imagery from the Gabriella Crespi archives and PIASA – 





20/21 DESIGN at CHRISTIE’S LONDON




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Alongside the auction The Collection of David Collins, reviewed here last week, at 1pm today at Christie’s, the London sales of 20/21 DESIGN will include an inaugural Evening Sale in King Street at 6pm. The sale will present a varied selection of luxury designer furniture of Post War and Contemporary Design, complemented by Pre-War avant-garde works, by the main proponents of 20th and 21st Century Design from Italy, France, Brazil, Scandinavia as well as an Important Private collection of mid-century French design featuring works by Charlotte Perriand, such as the ‘Mexique’ cabinet, circa 1953, and by Jean Royère, Jean Prouvé and André Arbus. 

The exhibition is opened today until 12pm

You can view the full catalogue here.



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MID-CENTURY FRENCH DESIGN FROM AN IMPORTANT PRIVATE COLLECTION 

The Evening Auction features a selection of mid-century design from an important private collection featuring furniture by André Arbus, Jean Royère, Jean Prouvé and Charlotte Perriand.



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NORDIC DESIGN:

The Evening Auction also features a strong group of works by leading Swedish, Finnish and Danish designers. These include a desk set from the 1970s, comprising two trays, a pen holder, a ruler, a letter opener and a magnifying glass by Henning Koppel for Gerog Jensen as well as a rare sofa produced by Danish architect Philip Arctander in 1949-1950. Further highlights from the Nordic section include a pair of ‘Mix’ club chairs, model ‘4396’, designed in 1931 by Kaare Klint, who is acknowledged as the founding father of Danish Modernism.

 

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BRAZILIAN DESIGN

The auction will also offer a selection of Brazilian design, which rarely appears in auction in Europe, and will feature works by the Campana Brothers, Oscar Niemeyer and José Zanine Caldas. The highlight of the group is a rare and early work , the Peixe bench (Estimate £80,000 – 120,000), created in 1989 by Humberto and Fernando Campana and presented by them as part of their Desconfortável (uncomfortable) collection of furniture at the Nucleon 8 Gallery in São Paulo.



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CONTEMPORARY GLASS BY YOICHI OHIRA 

A selection of works by renowned contemporary glass designer Yoichi Ohira have been carefully selected by a private collector in Milan: Mrs. Norma Cortellini. Ohira’s understanding for the tradition and history of glassmaking in Murano, combined with his distinct imagination and Far Eastern aesthetic, situates him as one of the most original and skilled glassmakers. Mrs. Cortellini collected these pieces with enthusiasm and an acute understanding of Ohira’s sensibility and skills. Ohira conveys the tensions between transparency and opacity, interior and exterior through the expert use of a vast array of techniques.



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ITALIAN AVANT-GARDE

Highlights from the Italian Avant-garde section of the sale include a significant group of vessels and vases by Ettore Sottsass, as well as an early ‘Poltrona di Proust’ armchair, designed in 1978 by Alessandro Mendini, this example executed early 1980s.




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– Photos by Christie’s and A-Gent of Style – 






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