5 Exceptional Design Lots for March 2017

You can own the same chair as Kourtney Kardashian

Diamond sideboard by Boca Do Lobo. Courtesy Chiswick, London.

With the help of the artnet Price Database, we selected five design lots that caught our attention in upcoming March auctions that take us to auction houses in Philadelphia, Chicago, New York, London, and Vienna.

How is Kourtney Kardashian related to a Civil Officer’s chair in Chandigarh? What is the connection between a sideboard and Metamorphosis? And how can you sit comfortably on a spiky rock chair? We found the answers.

1. The Diamond sideboard by Boca Do Lobo at Chiswick Auctions, London on March 7
On March 7, London auction house Chiswick offers a rare version of the Diamond sideboard by Portuguese designer Boca Do Lobo, whose name translates to “wolf’s mouth.” The sideboard is made of lacquered silver leaf, with gold leaf interior, with sculpted wood cupboard doors, and two drawers, and stands on gold leaf applied feet. The object is from the “Metamorphosis” series, designed in 2016. Boca do Lobo says: “It all started as a funny game between designers, who could make the same look different?” The estimate is £1,000–2,000 ($1,200–2,400).

A large “Bolla” bottle vase Tapio Wirkkala. Courtesy Dorotheum, Vienna.

A large “Bolla” bottle vase Tapio Wirkkala. Courtesy Dorotheum, Vienna.


2. Vase by Tapio Wirkkala at Dorotheum, Vienna on March 16
On March 16, at Dorotheum’s Jugendstil’s and 20th Century Arts and Crafts sale, there is an eclectic collection of Art Nouveau and mid-century design objects from Europe. The vase by Tapio Wirkkala (estimate: €1,200–1,500 [$1,460–1,800]) , designed for Italian glass manufacturer Venini in the 1970s, is shaped like a vintage wine bottle and comes in a variety of color combinations. Paolo Venini was one of the leading designers at renowned Italian glass manufacturer Murano.


Judge’s table for the high court and office armchair for the administrative buildings, Chandigarh, France/India (circa 1955). Courtesy Freemans, Philadelphia.

Judge’s table for the high court and office armchair for the administrative buildings, Chandigarh, France/India (circa 1955). Courtesy Freemans, Philadelphia.

3. Judge’s Table by Pierre Jeanneret at Freemans, Philadelphia on March 19
On March 19, Philadelphia auctioneer Freemans offers a rare judge’s table, designed by Pierre Jeanneret (estimate $6,000–8,000) made of teak wood and cane for the administrative buildings in Chandigarh, India. In 1947, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru initiated a vast plan of modernization throughout newly independent India during which Chandigarh became the administrative capital of the Punjab province.

Nehru commissioned cousins Le Corbusier and Jeanneret to construct the capital from scratch, with the sole instruction that they should be expressive, experimental, and not hindered by tradition. Jeanneret coordinated the oversight teams for the monumental esplanade designed for the Capitol by Le Corbusier, notably including the Legislative Assembly, the High Court, the Secretariat, and other, more modest building such as the museum and the school of architecture. Fun fact: Kourtney Kardashian also owns one of the chairs that were designed for civil servants.

Taito OYY (circa 1950), a rare chandelier by Paavo Tynell. Courtesy Wright Auctions, Chicago.

A rare chandelier (circa 1950) by Paavo Tynell. Courtesy Wright Auctions, Chicago.

4. A rare chandelier by Paavo Tynell at Wright, Chicago, on March 23
On March 23, Wright’s Design sale presents work from across the spectrum of 20th-century décor, including French, Italian, Scandinavian, and American classics. Highlights include an early table by Wendell Castle, and a rare chandelier by Finnish designer Paavo Tynell (estimate: $50,000–70,000).

Tynell first encountered metalwork as a teenager when apprenticing to become a blacksmith. He then began working for Koru Oy, the famed Finnish metal smith company. His most renowned lighting designs reflect elaborate shapes found in nature. The chandelier at auction was created in 1950 and is made of perforated and enameled brass. The elaborate design evokes a mobile, or leaves in the wind, whose shapes are changing with the movement of the air and light. A similar chandelier achieved top results at auction with a $197,000 price tag, also at Wright, last year in November.

A "Rock" chaise from Studio Job (2007). Courtesy Sotheby's.

A “Rock” chaise from Studio Job (2007). Courtesy Sotheby’s.


5. The Rock chaise at Sotheby’s New York, March 29
On March 29, at Sotheby’s Design sale, the house is offering a wide array of objects spanning the 20th century. The sale includes a collection of important works spanning arts and crafts, Tiffany Studios, Austrian Modernism, European Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and contemporary design. Highlights include an exquisite “Peony” table lamp by Tiffany Studios and a suite of Jean-Théodore Dupas panels from the S.S. Normandie.

Studio Job designed the “Rock” furniture series in 2003. The above ‘Rock’ (estimate: $20,000–30,000), is a sought-after collectible chair. Other examples can be found in the permanent collections of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and the Groninger Museum, also in the Netherlands.

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