20th Century Decorative Arts Week 2013

Louis Comfort Tiffany (L.C.T.) Favrile Art Glass 

Louis Comfort Tiffany (L.C.T.) Favrile Art Glass

This upcoming week all the major Manhattan auctions will be filled with decorative art & design from the 20th century. A few of the many artist/designers that will have works at auctions this weekend are Frank Lloyd Wright, Gustav Stickley, Diego Giacometti, Rembrandt Bugatti, Demetre Chiparus, Ferdinand (Fritz) Preiss and Marcel Andre Bouraine. However, the Tiffany art glass seems to have gotten a good portion of the attention during auction previews this past weekend. All together between Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Bonhams there are more than 50 Tiffany Lamps and over 10 Tiffany Chandeliers.

Decorative Arts Auction days:

Bonhams- Monday, December 16th

Sotheby’s- Wednesday, December 18th

Christies’s- Thursday, December 19th


Overall the results were average. Between all 3 auction houses many items went unsold. In addition, many of the ones that did sell went for the low estimates. The auctions had some wonderful pieces. The issue seemed to be that the the 20th Century decorative arts market just isn’t as strong as at it once was. A few high end items did sell very well. We listed some of the highlights below:

Sotheby’s separated the Decorative Arts sale into two auctions. The first was the Important 20th Century Design auction. Sotheby’s surprisingly took the Frank Lloyd Wright cover lots out of this auction one day before the sale. The Frank Lloyd Wright desk and chair were estimated to sell for $480,000-$720,000 (between the 2 lots). They did sell a Gustav Stickley chair for $245,000, a Diego Giacometti table for $257,000 and a rare large Claude Lalanne bronze for $485,000. The second auction was Important Tiffany. The item that nearly doubled the high estimate was the Tiffany Studios “Wisteria” Table Lamp. The magnificent lamp was estimated at $600,000-$800,000. It ended up being the most valuable item sold during the 20th Century Decorative Arts Week. After a lengthy phone bidding war, the lamp sold for 1.5 million dollars.

Christie’s also separated the sale into 2 auctions. The first was the Important 20th Century Decorative Art & Design sale. Highlights included a Diego Giacometti book shelf that sold for $317,000, an Armand Albert Rateau desk that sold for $413,000 and a spectacular Rembrandt Bugatti bronze elephant that sold for $725,000. The second auction was Magnificent Tiffany. Christie’s had a beautiful Tiffany Studios window from the St. George Hotel that sold for $56,000. They also sold the Tiffany Studios Pony Wisteria table lamp (smaller version of Wistera lamp) for $221,000.

Bonhams had 2 of the largest items of the week. A pair of 6 foot tall Jun Kaneko glazed earthenware head sculptures sold for $43,000. They also sold a Ferdinand (Fritz) Preiss bronze figure for $81,000 and a Marcel Andre Bouraine bronze figure for $62,000. The biggest surprise at Bonhams was the cover lot that sold for more than double the high estimate. The William Morris glass sculpture was titled Artifact: Shard With Bone Pins. The sculpture was estimated at $20,000-$30,000 and sold for $62,500.

(please note, all prices included buyer’s premium)