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Iconic Aalto chair leads the way

Monday, 04 February 2013


The Decorative Art and Design sale has retained an appeal across a wide spectrum of collectors, dealers and private buyers. This was also the first time Sworders used three online bidding platforms, with the specific aim of gaining further exposure to the North American market. The move proved to be a success with items worth around £18,000 going through two of the new platforms. The total sold online was just under £100,000 – accounting for 1/3 of the entire sale.
The star lot in the sale was a Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre vase and cover – the exuberant and colourful style of Daisy Makeig-Jones retains a strong following - it was no surprise when this particularly rare ‘Ghostly Wood’ Malfrey vase and cover eventually sold to a British buyer after a battle between the telephone and the internet for £29,500.
Alvar Aalto (1898-1976) was a prominent Finnish architect and designer. Renowned for his modernist style, Aalto worked with buildings, furniture and glassware. The Paimio Model chair was just one strand of his iconic works, and exceeded our expectations at £7800
The international tone of the buyers was reflected in the flavour of works from America and Europe. Starting with Art Deco, two attractive Hagenauer figures were a source of much interest. The elegant and sleek designs were typical of pieces from the Austrian studio. Indeed, the brass figure of a lady was sold to a buyer in Austria for £550, while the tennis player was sold to London trade for the same amount.
Lucie Rie’s career thrived in her adopted country, living and working in London, after leaving pre-war Vienna. She became the pre-eminent figure in British pottery and became known for her modernist styles, which was demonstrated in the bowls included in the sale. A particularly attractive example, a yellow porcelain bowl (Pictured) predictably sailed over its conservative estimate to realise £3000. The total collection of four lots fetched £10,000.
As ever, mid 20th Century furniture continues to perform well with almost a 100% sold rate - filled with good pieces of interesting design estimated between £200-£1000. We are already anticipating another good collection of Danish furniture being consigned in our September Decorative Arts sale.
Our next Decorative Art and Design sale will take place on Tuesday 10 September, 10am.
If you wish to consign or have any further enquiries, please contact John Black: 20thcentury@sworder.co.uk or Tel: 01279 817778.