Five Exceptional Design Objects at Auction In February

There's an entire design sale dedicated to Coco Chanel.

DouDou Teddy Bear at Write Auction's Art + Design (Decorative Art) Sale, February 23.


With the help of the artnet Price Database we selected five design lots that caught our attention in upcoming February auctions in sales ranging from Chicago to Paris to Cologne. Highlights range from Chanel to Fornasetti and there’s even vintage kitchen appliances. Here are some of our top design picks for the month ahead.

Berkel, Flywheel slicer, model 10, The Netherlands, circa 1950. Courtesy Wright Auctions, Chicago.

Berkel, Flywheel slicer, model 10, The Netherlands, circa 1950. Courtesy Wright Auctions, Chicago.

1. The Berkel Flywheel Slicer at Wright, Chicago, February 9
Wright presents the first-ever auction dedicated to slicing machines, kitchen scales, and ephemera dating from 1893 to the mid 1950s. Invented in 1898 by Dutch butcher Wilhelmus Adrianus van Berkel, the Berkel slicer machine cuts cured meats into wafer-thin slices using precise engineering and an extremely sharp blade. The Flywheel slicers are crafted in enameled iron and polished steel and are a brilliant example of design, function, and elegance. The Berkel, Flywheel slicer, model 10, is from the Netherlands (circa 1950) and is estimated at $7,000—9,000.

Robert Goossens, "Byzance cross pendant" late 1960s. Courtesy Lempertz, Cologne

Robert Goossens, “Byzantine cross pendant” late 1960s. Courtesy Lempertz, Cologne

2.Robert Goosens’ “Byzantine Cross pendant” in “Hommage à Coco Chanel” at Lempertz Cologne, February 9
Luxury collectible sales are now a regular feature on the annual sales schedules of many auctions houses, offering a curated selection of items including interior design, luxury watches, bags, and fashion and costume jewelry. This time around, Lempertz is dedicating its design sale to Coco Chanel. The auction will also include 50 further selected pieces from Chanel, Hermès, Christian Dior, Emilio Pucci, and Leonard, as well as several couture pieces by Peter Keppler of Munich.

Chanel costume jewelry regularly fetches top results at auction. The collector from Berlin was a close friend of the jewelry designer Robert Goossens, who worked together with Chanel. On offer is the cross form brooch ‘Byzance’, which was originally designed as a pendant by Chanel in the 1960s, but at the consignor’s request Goossens transformed the piece into a brooch in 2002.  The cross served as inspiration for further designs by Goosens for Chanel and became a signature jewelry piece and a must-have item in the early 1990s. Just in time for fashion week!


Richard Schultz, Prototype Topiary dining chairs, set of three. Courtesy Wright Auctions, Chicago.

Richard Schultz, Prototype Topiary dining chairs, set of three. Courtesy Wright Auctions, Chicago.

3.Topiary dining chairs at “The Design Archive of Richard Schultz” at Wright, Chicago, February 16
Another well-curated design auction takes place February 16 at Wright Chicago with the sale of the archive of Richard Schultz one of America’s most talented designers. It includes outstanding and rare sculptures and furniture spanning five decades. This auction provides a unique perspective on design from prototype to the final fabricated product. One prototype for sale is a set of his famous “Topiary” dining chairs (estimate to sell for $2,000–3,000). As Schultz described it: “I wanted to design a chair that looked like a shrub pruned to look like a chair. I am fascinated by the way sunlight comes through the leaves of shrubbery, producing dappled shadows.”


Gino Sarfatti, "1063" Floor Lamp. Courtesy Quittenbaum Auctions, Munich.

Gino Sarfatti, “1063” Floor Lamp (1953-4). Courtesy Quittenbaum Auctions, Munich.

4.Gino Sarfatti’s important “1063” floor lamp for Arteluce at “Italian Design” at Quittenbaum Munich, February 21 
Quittenbaum presents rare and exceptionally beautiful pieces in their upcoming ‘Italian Design’ auction. Among the highlights is Gino Sarfatti’s important “1063” floor lamp for Arteluce, 1953/54 (estimate: €14,000–18,000). The minimalistic designer pioneered the use of fluorescent tubes in lighting design in the 1950s. Sarfatti, who wanted to be a rocket scientist but had to give up his studies due to lack of finances, started his career in design as a sales person for glass products. He met Lucio Fontana, who encouraged him to design his own products and, shortly after, he founded his company ‘Arteluce.’


DouDou Teddy Bear at Write Auction's Art + Design (Decorative Art) Sale, February 23.

DouDou Teddy Bear at Write Auction’s Art + Design (Decorative Art) Sale, February 23. Courtesy of Wright.

5. DouDou Teddy Bear at Wright, Chicago, February 23
February is the ‘Wright’ month to buy design at Wright auctioneers in Chicago! It began with a slicer but we end our top design preview on a soft and cuddly note with this adorable limited edition teddy bear, which is up for sale on February 23 in Wright’s Art and Design auction and is estimated to sell for $3,000 – $5,000. “DouDou” comes with a manufacturer’s mark on the collar tag and is number 111 in an edition of 500, made for Louis Vuitton’s Men’s Fall/Winter 2004 runway collection.


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