Design Forecast December: Highlights From Upcoming Sales

Check out what is on offer in the big December sales.

Frank Lloyd Wright, an important window from the Avery Coonley Playhouse, Riverside, Illinois (ca. 1912). Estimated to sell for $250,000-$350,000. Courtesy of Sotheby's.

The end of the year is off to its grande finale with 20th century design auctions across all the top houses. With this in mind, we put together a few highlights of what is on offer this month.

Among the top lots are rare designs by Italian designer Carlo Mollino, whose works are on the market for the first time or were recently rediscovered. A fantastic sideboard by masters Jean Dunand and Eugène Printz is also up for sale.

And if you are looking for that rare outstanding Art Deco piece to mix with your salon furniture at home, have a look at an extremely rare shagreen commode by French master Andre Groult.

Tiffany Studio, Snowball and Wisteria Window. Courtesy of Christie's

Tiffany Studio, Snowball and Wisteria Window. Courtesy of Christie’s

Christies New York Design, December 12
This sale includes over 150 lots across all Design movements of the 20th Century. Highlights include a window by Tiffany Studios (see image above), two sets of rare chairs by French Art Deco designer André Sornay, a pair of wrought iron gates by Edgar Brandt and a desk by Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann.

Tiffany’s 1902 ‘Snowball and Wisteria’ window is a masterpiece to showcase Louis Comfort Tiffany’s admiration of nature. Tiffany had an extensive knowledge of flowers, and used floral decorations in the most elaborate way throughout his work. Tiffany’s leaded glass windows were designed to create transparency between interior and exterior space. According to Tiffany’s daughter Louise Comfort Guilder, this window was a favorite of her father.

Carlo Mollino, Specchio armadio and adjustable wall light, from the Ada and Cesare Minola House (1944-1946), Estimate $250,000-$300,000. Courtesy of Phillips

Carlo Mollino, Specchio armadio and adjustable wall light, from the Ada and Cesare Minola House (1944-1946), Estimate $250,000-$300,000. Courtesy of Phillips

Phillips New York Design Evening Sale, December 13
The focus in this 47-lot sale of 20th century design lies in its showcase of French and Italian designers, mixed with very important American pieces. Highlights of the sale include works by Carlo Mollino, Gio Ponti, Marcel Coard, and Isamu Noguchi.

Two extraordinary works by Carlo Mollino lead the sale: a ‘specchio-armadio,’ a signature installation of Mollino’s consisting of a console, a mirror, and an adjustable sconce. The specchio, as well as a set of lounge chairs that are also in the sale, were commissioned by Ada Cesare for her home in Turin, Italy, between 1944 and 1946 and have remained in her home ever since. Cesare encouraged Mollino to express his artistic vision with those designs and reflect a breakthrough in his career. Also in the sale are drinks cabinet by Marcel Coard, and a sideboard by master collaborative duo Jean Dunand and Eugène Printz.

Andre Groult, Important and Rare Commode (1926-28). Courtesy of Sothebys

Andre Groult, Important and Rare Commode (1926-28). Courtesy of Sothebys

Sotheby’s New York Important Design, December 14
This sale will present a well-curated selection of European and American design. The top lot in this auction is an Art Deco green shagreen commode by André Groult. This commode is an example of an elegant fusion between modernism and tradition. Designed in a classic shape, this commode is covered with shagreen, the skin of sharks and rays, which is adorned with amazonite gemstones. Groult’s designs have influenced many contemporary furniture makers like Marc Newson. The auction also includes two masterworks by Carlo Mollino: the recently rediscovered ‘Copenhagen’ and ‘Lattes’ chairs.


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