PIASA AUCTIONS: SCANDINAVIAN vs BRAZILIAN vs AMERICAN DESIGN





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Over the last couple of years, A-Gent of Style has covered many a sale specialising on 20th C design on this blog, and the relevance and importance today of this speciality is showing no sign of dwindling. On the contrary.

So when you think the auction design market could not get anymore saturated with antique and vintage pieces, cometh a new (-ish) player on the scene who comes up trump with new acquisitions and collectibles.


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Enters Paris-based auction house Piasa Auctions who is currently dedicating a sale and accompanying exhibiton in its Left Bank space to an important selection of objets by Scandinavian masters in dialogue with equally iconic American and Brazilian designers. This group of architects and designers frequently collaborated and merged the modernist vernacular popular in Europe and the USA with traditional Brazilian techniques and indigenous materials such as rosewood.

Today’s auction focuses on the relationship between these three important regions in furniture design gathering stellar designers such as George Nakashima, Flemming Lassen, Arne Jacobsen, T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings, Kaare Klint, Poul Henningsen, Hans Wegner, Axel-Einar Hjorth, Edward Wormley, Paul Evans, Jorge Zalszupin, Joaquim Tenreiro, Sergio Rodrigues, José Zanine Caldas.

After considerable success in 2013 and 2014, this evening’s sale will be Piasa’s fifth in this genre and will be grouped under 294 different lots showcasing a selection of sought-after pieces with a pre-estimate of 1.5 million euros.



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Piasa will concurrently offer a large section of the sale focusing on 40 important pieces by Axel Salto with important private provenance such as Raf Simon’s private collection. 


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In preparation for the imminent and eminent sale, 
A-Gent of Style  spoke to Cédric Morisset, Head of the Design Department at Piasa.


Morisset




Why the timing of this sale? why is it relevant today?

We anticipate the general international auction schedule. It is important for us to open the new season.

What do you attribute the importance and relevance of these designers to today?

Scandinavian design can be seen as the most looked-after design by high level collectors. Brazilian and American design are the next big thing according to me, although the rarity of Brazilian design doesn’t allow the market to bloom. I have more hopes on American design by Paul Laszlo, Paul Frankl, Paul Evans,
G. Nakashima,T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings etc…


Is there a mix of provenance? do the pieces come from private collectors, antique dealers, museums? 

It’s always a mix of provenances. Always a lot of private collectors.

Is there a common denominator between these designers and these pieces?

There are a lot of historical and style connections between Brazilian, American and Scandinavian design. A few examples:  a lot of Scandinavian designers have worked in the USA (Eero Saarinen for instance for Herman Miller). Also, most of the Brazilian designers were migrants coming from Europe and inspired by the Scandinavian taste that they have adapted to local materials and workshops. Finally, most of the Danish and Swedish designers were using a lot of precious Brazilian woods such as rosewood.

What makes a piece ‘timeless’ or ‘iconic’?

It’s a tough question to answer, but a ‘design classic’ is a  manufactured object with timeless aesthetic value. It serves as a standard of its kind and, despite the year in which it was designed, is still up to date. What makes it timeless is its innovation, its simple elegant shapes, balanced and pure. Maybe also its perfect conception.

Are there any pieces in the sale that are rare and that have not been ‘seen’ in any sale in a long time?

Several vases by Axel Salto, rare and unseen, notably big with a beautiful enamel. Also a fantastic desk by Larsen and Bender Madsen (lot 83), only piece of this time known so far. A rare Hans Wegner “Crocodile” cabinet produced to a few copies only.

Which pieces do you think will generate the most interest and why?

Probably all the Axel Salto pieces. Because gathering such a collection is really hard and the quality is exceptional.



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You can view the full catalogue of the sale here


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– photos by PIASA –





PRICKLY SUBJECT: THE PINEAPPLE EXTRAVAGANZA





Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler

from Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler



The pineapple has long been a symbol of hospitality in design and architecture and is still trending today. So what better way to start the new year with a token of welcome, friendliness and graciousness and a compilation of images celebrating the now universal exotic and prickly fruit.

A-Gent of Style started compiling images of pineapples represented in interior design about six months ago and this feature wouldn’t have been possible partly without the help of the treasure trove of inspiration that is Instagram, so a big thank-you first and foremost to all my follow Instagramers from whom some of these images are borrowed.



"Pineapple" wallpaper by Adelphi Paper Hangings

“Pineapple” wallpaper by Adelphi Paper Hangings

 

Lyford Cay Club, Tom Scherrer

Lyford Cay Club, by Tom Scheerer

 

Lyford Cay Club, by Tom Scheerer

Lyford Cay Club, by Tom Scheerer

 

Christopher Columbus discovered the pineapple, or ananas colossus, when he landed in Guadeloupe in 1493 and introduced it to the west on his return as “pine of the Indians”. This beautiful exotic fruit was given as a gift to promote hospitality and welcome. Pineapples were then extremely expensive (sugar and sweets were very uncommon) and were considered as a sign of prestige and affluence, first adorning homes and tables; much prized, the pineapple was often the centrepiece of table displays. In fact, people who could not afford to serve pineapples could rent them, use them as a centerpiece, and give them back after their banquet was over. By the 18th century, architects in Europe introduced the fruit in their work, carved in wood and stone, because of their novelty and value.

The Dunmore Pineapple, Scotland, a folly and summerhouse built for the fourth Earl of Dunmore in 1761 on the ground of Dunmore House, Scotland, featuring a 14 metre high carved stone pineapple on the top of the building.

The Dunmore Pineapple, Scotland, a folly and summerhouse built for the fourth Earl of Dunmore in 1761 on the ground of Dunmore House, Scotland, featuring a 14 metre high carved stone pineapple on the top of the building.

 

The pineapple folly at Dunmore Estate, Scotland

The pineapple folly at Dunmore Estate, Scotland

 

A seventeenth-century painting of King Charles II receiving the first pineapple ever to be grown in Britain from his gardener. The depiction of the scene is a reflection of just how important an event it was.

A seventeenth-century painting of King Charles II receiving from his gardener the first pineapple ever to be grown in Britain. The depiction of the scene is a reflection of just how important an event it was.



Today, we see pineapples not only on facades and on the framework of historical edifices such as stately homes, churches or government buildings, doorways but also on fabric, wallpaper, tableware, lighting, ornaments, furniture and accessories.

Pineapples – Not just one of your five a day…

 

'The Isis Chair' & 'Pineapple Frond' fabric by Soane Britain

 


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from Irving & Morrison

from Irving & Morrison



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By Rifle Paper Co.

By Rifle Paper Co.

 

Chez Laura Slatkin, screenshot of video by Quintessence & with Susanna Salk

Chez Laura Slatkin, screenshot of video by Quintessence with Susanna Salk



An American painted tole chandelier, 1940s, from Ebury Trading

An American painted tole chandelier, 1940s, from Ebury Trading

 

via Paolo Moschino instagram

via Paolo Moschino instagram

 

Leaf wallpaper by Katie Ridder

Leaf wallpaper by Katie Ridder

 

by Philip Hewat Jaboor

by Philip Hewat-Jaboor

 

by Anthony Hail via Margaret Russell's instagram

by Anthony Hail via Margaret Russell’s instagram



via Michael Bargo instagram

via Michael Bargo instagram



via Joudran682 instagram

via jourdan682 instagram

 

from Brown Rigg antiques

from Brown Rigg antiques

 

Cressida Bell

fabric by Cressida Bell

 

Set of two metal table lamps with glass pineapple adornments from Joss & Main

Set of two metal table lamps with glass pineapple adornments from Joss & Main

 

Carolyne Roehm

Carolyne Roehm

 

Carolyne Roehm via Mark D Sikes instagram

Carolyne Roehm via Mark D Sikes instagram



via Joudran682 instagram

via jourdan682 instagram



Pineapple silk damask by De Gournay

Pineapple silk damask by De Gournay

 

De Gournay silk damask

De Gournay silk damask

 

via Pigotts Store instragram

via Pigotts Store instagram



Console table by Chelsea Textiles at Ham Yard Hotel

Console table by Chelsea Textiles at Ham Yard Hotel



Talbot Green Brocatelle. An original design by A W N Pugin taken from a set of vestments at Pugin's own church St Augustine's Ramsgate and rewoven for St Chad's Metropolitan Cathedral, Birmingham. Watts and Co. Church Fabric Supplier

Talbot Green Brocatelle. An original design by A W N Pugin represented by Watts & Co taken from a set of vestments at Pugin’s own church St Augustine’s Ramsgate and rewoven for St Chad’s Metropolitan Cathedral, Birmingham. Watts and Co. Church Fabric Supplier

 

by Cressida Bell

by Cressida Bell

 

Studio Printworks pineapple wallpaper or fabric

Studio Printworks Pineapple wallpaper or fabric

 

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The Rug Company

from The Rug Company

 

via Piggots Store instagram

via Piggots Store instagram

 

Chelsea Textiles

by Chelsea Textiles

 Julie Tinton

photograph by Julie Tinton

via Joudran682 instagram

via jourdan682 instagram



via Alessandra Branca instagram

Interior by and via Alessandra Branca instagram

 

 

Rose & Grey

Wisteria by Rose Tarlow

Wisteria by Rose Tarlow

 

sulia.com

PINEAPPLE WHITE PALM WG


Muriel Brandolini

by Muriel Brandolini

 

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Tinto wools by Zoffany

Tinto wools by Zoffany

 

from Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler. A 1940s six branch tole chandelier in the form of a pineapple, French

from Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler. A 1940s six branch tole chandelier in the form of a pineapple, French





King's Head, Vanderhurd

King’s Head, fabric by Vanderhurd

 

from 1stDibs

from 1stDibs



 Julie Tinton

photograph by Julie Tinton

 

By Henri fitzwilliam lay, H&G Dec 2013

By Henri fitzwilliam lay, H&G Dec 2013

 

KRISHNAJI HOWLAJI ARA (1914-1985) UNTITLED (STILL LIFE); UNTITLED (BALLARD PIER)

by Krishna Howlaji Ara, Untitled (still life)

 

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by smallable.com via madabouthehouse.com

by smallable.com via madabouthehouse.com




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via A Decorative Affair instagram

via adecorativeaffair instagram

 

Atelier d'Offard

fabric by Atelier d’Offard

 

Greg Kinsella

wallpaper by Greg Kinsella

 

Marie Helene de Taillac, NYC

Interior of Marie Helene de Taillac, NYC

 

The Pineapple Frond wallpaper by Soane Britain

The Pineapple Frond wallpaper by Soane Britain

 

Rose & Grey

by Rose & Grey

 

Nicky Haslam Design for OKA

Nicky Haslam Design for OKA

 

via Piggots Store instagram

via Piggots Store instagram

 

by House of Hackney

by House of Hackney

 

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via A Decorative Affair instagram

via adecorativeaffair instagram

 

Abigail Ahern

by Abigail Ahern

 

Pineapple fabric - Waverly Fabric Collection: Island Life

Pineapple fabric – Waverly Fabric Collection: Island Life

 

Maison CHARLES -Pair of Pineapple Motif Table Lamps from 1stdibs.com |

Maison CHARLES -Pair of Pineapple Motif Table Lamps from 1stdibs.com

 

Dorothy Draper framed Pineapple fabric, panel signed from 1stdibs.com |

Dorothy Draper framed Pineapple fabric, panel signed from 1stdibs.com



via Joudran682 instagram

via jourdan682 instagram



Furnishing fabric, Pugin from the V&A

Furnishing fabric by Pugin from the V&A

 

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from Paolo Moschino's Instagram

via paolomoschino instagram

 

chad-barrett-artist-s-pineapple_i-G-27-2753-4R7TD00Z

House of Hackney

by House of Hackney



Edward, Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII) visited Queensland in 1920 on behalf of his father, King George V, to thank Australians for the part they had played in World War I. The banquet at Finney’s Cafe was gaily printed in the shape of a pineapple, and it is one of the earliest menus in the ‘royal visits’ collection.

Edward, Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII) visited Queensland in 1920 on behalf of his father, King George V, to thank Australians for the part they had played in World War I. The banquet at Finney’s Cafe was gaily printed in the shape of a pineapple, and it is one of the earliest menus in the ‘royal visits’ collection.



Rose & Grey

by Rose & Grey

 

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Pentreath Hall

by Pentreath Hall

 

By Hannah Rampley

by Hannah Rampley

 

Staircase finial at Durham Castle

Staircase finial at Durham Castle

 

Little Greene

by Little Greene

 

Thornback & Peel

by Thornback & Peel

 

A German silver pineapple cup and cover, 1610, that belonged to Michael Inchbald. Christie's auction 2014

A German silver pineapple cup and cover, 1610, that belonged to Michael Inchbald. Christie’s auction 2014

 

 

By Timourous beasties

by Timourous Beasties

 

from www.Bungalow1a.com

from www.Bungalow1a.com

 

 

Mariette Himes Gomez. Architectural Digest

Interior by Mariette Himes Gomez. Architectural Digest

 

Veronese in raspberry & silvery gold, Fortuny

Veronese in raspberry & silvery gold, by Fortuny

 

Rocket St George

by Rockett St George



'Pineapple' by Studio Printworks

‘Pineapple’ by Studio Printworks

 

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Male Fashion Trends: Michael Bastian Spring/Summer 2014

Male Fashion Trends: Michael Bastian Spring/Summer 2014



'The Pineapple Lamp' by Soane Britain

‘The Pineapple Lamp’ by Soane Britain



A-Gent of Style camouflaging amongst Pineapple by Adephi Paper Hangings

A-Gent of Style camouflaging amongst ‘Pineapple’ by Adephi Paper Hangings





 

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 – 





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