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Phillips Design Sale in London Yields Best Total to Date

Phillips de Pury & Company’s auction of design in London on Sept. 25 yielded £2.3 million ($4.3 million), just above the low end of the £2.3 million/3 million presale estimate.

NEW YORK—Phillips de Pury & Company’s auction of design in London on Sept. 25 yielded £2.3 million ($4.3 million), just above the low end of the £2.3 million/3 million presale estimate. Of 172 lots on offer, 124, or 72 percent, were sold. Topping the sale was a mahogany dining table, circa 1950, made by Alexandre Noll, which sold for £169,250 ($313,859) on an estimate of £115,000/125,000.

A lacquered fiberglass-reinforced polyester chandelier designed in 2005 by Zaha Hadid and Patrik Schumacher, titled “VorteXX,” number 8 in an edition of 25, surpassed its £80,000/120,000 estimate to sell for £145,250 ($269,353). A rare white metal tea and coffee service by Hadid, circa 1997, sold for £22,500 ($41,725) against an estimate of £25,000/35,000.

Works by Ron Arad (b. 1951) also figured prominently in the sale. “After Spring,” 1992, a ¬mirror-polished bronze and steel sculpture, brought £109,250 ($202,600), in the middle of its estimate of £80,000/120,000. Another of Arad’s sculptural objects, “Blo-Void 6,” 2006, made of polished and anodized aluminum and aluminum mesh (estimate: £58,000/65,000), exceeded expectations when it sold for £106,850 ($198,144).

Phillips director of design Alexander Payne said that the auction results stood out, particularly amid the current financial crisis. “The design market has continued to grow from strength to strength. In this difficult economic time, we saw buyers from all over the globe bidding today in what resulted in the company’s highest achieving Design sale to date.”

“Blobwall,” 2007, a mass of biomorphic shapes in various shades of blue by architect Greg Lynn (b. 1964) that was estimated at £14,000/17,000, sold for £23,750 ($44,000).

Along with the top lot by Noll, Payne noted strong demand for other examples of Postwar modern design, including Oscar Niemeyer’s “Rio” rocking chaise lounge, circa 1978, which fetched £15,000 ($27,800) against an estimate of £8,000/12,000, and Guy de Rougement’s stainless-steel “Cloud” dining table, circa 1970, which was estimated at £55,000/65,000 and took in £67,250 ($124,709) with premium.

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