CHRISTIE’S: Two interiors designers, 289 lots, one empty room







Find out what happened when Christie’s challenged myself and Christopher Howe to furnish an empty room in their King Street galleries, using pieces offered in their Interiors sale on 31 January which totalled, including buyer’s premium, GBP 1,753,250.


Full online story here
You can view all the results of the sale here



London-based interior designer Fabrice Bana specialises in bespoke, antique and vintage furnishings. He blogs about design and decorative arts at A-Gent of Style.

Fabrice uses (from left) Moser glass Adela Melikoff part table-service (£3,000-4,000); Charles X ormulu-mounted mother-of-pearl and micromosaic Palais Royal casket (£4,000-6,000); Victorian parcel-gilt and black japanned breakfast table (£1,500-2,500); Part-pile Veramin Ru-Khorsi (£3,000-5,000); French metal-mounted ebonised bureau (£1,200-1,800); Imperial yellow

Fabrice uses (from left): Moser glass ‘Adela Melikoff’ part table-service (£3,000-4,000); Charles X ormulu-mounted mother-of-pearl and micromosaic ‘Palais Royal’ casket (£4,000-6,000); Victorian parcel-gilt and black japanned breakfast table (£1,500-2,500); Part-pile Veramin Ru-Khorsi (£3,000-5,000); French metal-mounted ebonised bureau (£1,200-1,800); Imperial yellow glaze vase table lamps (£2,000-3,000); Ormolu-mounted Sèvres-style turquoise ground porcelain striking vase clock (£1,000-1,500); Tuschinsky-style handwoven wool carpet (£3,000-5,000); George III mahogany corner armchairs (£2,000-3,000); Chinese export Coromandel six-fold screen (£2,000-3,000)


How would you describe this look?

Fabrice Bana: ‘For this space, I created a maximalist vignette that is quite luxurious, uniting elements from a wide range of cultures and time periods. All together, it’s colourful and joyous, with lots of different textures and materials. I imagined that the person who would be living in this room would be a well-travelled aesthete, with many stories about where they picked up each of these items, and have a good sense of humour.’

How does this look reflect your design philosophy?

FB: ‘You could describe me as an emotional interior designer; there’s something very organic in the way I approach everything I do. Here I started with the Tuschinsky-style handwoven wool carpet from 1920, on the wall, and added elements that drew out its colours.


 ‘I also wanted there to be a great deal of movement in the room, so I added the smaller, square rug on the floor [a 19th-century part-pile Veramin Ru-Khorsi rug], on which I put a round table [a mid-19th-century parcel-gilt and black japanned breakfast table]. That allows you to walk through the space in a circle, so there’s a sense of fluidity.’

What’s your favourite piece in the room?

FB: ‘I would have to say Otto Pilny’s Oriental Beauty Dancing, from 1913, which was done in the Orientalist style. I love the composition and the colours — there’s an amazing orange glow in the background, and there’s a lot of movement. ‘It’s quite textural, too: you can see the embroidery in the dancer’s dress. It’s a big painting, which makes it quite striking. I imagine that every time you looked at this work, the dancer would put a smile on your face.’




Otto Pilny (Swiss, 1866-1938), An Oriental Beauty Dancing. 70½ x 47½ in (179 x 120.6 cm). Estimate £12,000-18,000. This lot is offered in Interiors Including Property from the Collection of Sir David and Lady Tang and Property from Bywell Hall, Northumberland and Property from Howe on 31 January 2018 at Christie’s in London

Otto Pilny (Swiss, 1866-1938), An Oriental Beauty Dancing. 70½ x 47½ in (179 x 120.6 cm). Estimate: £12,000-18,000.


An ormolu-mounted Sèvres-style turquoise-ground porcelain striking vase clock, pendule a cercles tournants, late 19th century. 17¾ in (45.7 cm) high overall. Estimate £1,000-1,500. This lot is offered in Interiors Including Property from the Collection of Sir David and Lady Tang and Property from Bywell Hall, Northumberland and Property from Howe on 31 January 2018 at

An ormolu-mounted Sèvres-style turquoise-ground porcelain striking vase clock, ‘pendule a cercles tournants’, late 19th century. 17¾ in (45.7 cm) high overall. Estimate: £1,000-1,500. 


What’s your advice for someone decorating a blank space?

FB: ‘‘Go with your gut. I often like to start with an antique or bespoke rug and then decorate with colours and textures that complement it. But the end result has to be comfortable — there’s no point living somewhere that looks like a museum, where you can’t touch anything. Above all, a room should reflect who you are and how you live. When I design a space, I always think about who will be living in it. I think a bit of wit, a bit of humour, and having stories to tell are important, too.’
























 

A-GENT of STYLE CURATES for CHRISTIE’S LATES: THE LIFESTYLE EDITION










Please come and join me at Christie’s King Street on Monday 15 January 6-8.30pm for Christie’s Latex: The Lifestyle Edition where I will be showing the space I have curated and styled for their forthcoming interiors sale including the collection of Sir David Tang, Bywell Hall and Howe, London.

 I will be in conversation with Andy Waters, Christie’s Curatorial Director, at 8pm in the Gallery Viewing Room (the small room I am styling on the left at the top of the main staircase)




You can view the full catalogue here




Discover the art of living well at Christie’s first London Late of 2018. King Street galleries will be packed with home and health inspiration alongside exquisite pieces from our upcoming interiors and contemporary art auctions.

Wellness activities include a seismic sound bath by experience innovators Bompas & Parr, yoga classes led by top instructor Julie Montagu and a pop-up wardrobe including activewear from THE OUTNET.COM. Decorating inspiration will come courtesy of the designers Christopher Howe and myself, who will be styling rooms within the galleries, whilst award-winning interior designer Alidad will be hosting an exclusive talk.





Combining art, music and specialist talks, Christie’s Lates in London and New York are the perfect opportunity to mix with like-minded art lovers after hours. With free entry, each curated evening in this new series of events aims to bring art to life and inspire conversation, showcasing highlights from our upcoming auctions alongside interactive activities, talks by guest experts and enticing food and drink.



Sale information

 

AUCTION

AN EDUCATED EYE: RATEAU for JEANNE LANVIN and other CHEFS d’OEUVRE





 




Tomorrow afternoon in Paris, Christie’s will be auctioning from a private collection some important and striking pieces of the 20th C and 21st C by design maestros such as Rulhmann, Printz, Anthonioz and Jean-Michel Frank. First and foremost is a selection below of collectibles that grabbed A-Gent of Style‘s attention. 






























 














You can view the full catalogue here



But most importantly, there will also be twelve wonderful objets for sale by ones of France’s greatest Art Deco designers, Armand Albert Rateau, created for his friend, the legendary couturier Jeanne Lanvin. 









Rateau and Lanvin met through the couturier Paul Poiret in the early 1920s and she became one of Rateau’s most important clients. These two remarkable, strong and independent figures of the time started a regular collaboration from 1921, when Jeanne Lanvin established her Lanvin Decoration department, headed by Rateau. They collaborated on prestigious commissions such as the Daunou theatre in Paris, inaugurated in 1921, the interior decoration and furnishings of Lanvin’s villa in Le Vesinet, near Paris, and her townhouse in rue Barbet de Jouy. Furnishings from this scheme were shown alongside the Pavillion de l’Elegance  at the 1925 Paris International Exhibition.

Rateau’s singular and striking style is instantly recognisable to the trained eye and you will see below some of the sophisticated and extremely refined pieces of furniture, lighting, and objects he produced for Lanvin. In noble and pure materials ranging from bronze furniture to carved wood, Rateau’s genius and craft transformed designs influenced by his strong relationship with classical antiquity and Egyptology into the modern language of the time.

This sale is proving to be a great and timely opportunity to revisit and appreciate one of the 20th C ‘s notable design relationships.






































Today, you can see Lanvin’s now iconic private apartment at rue Barbet-de-Jouyat which Rateau designed between 1924 and 1925 re-created at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. Simply divine
















 

 

– All images by Christie’s –


 

 

 

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