NEW YORK—Officials of Phillips de Pury & Company said the house’s sale of design in New York on Dec. 15, including a special “Design Masters” section, was its most successful yet. The auction realized a total of $7.1million for 214 lots offered. Of these, 74 percent were sold. By value, the auction was 73 percent sold.
The top lot was an “important and monumental” chandelier, ca. 1954, by Flavio Poli from the Hotel Bristol in Merano, Italy. Estimated at $80,000/120,000, it sold for $434,500. The second-highest lot was a rare elephant-leather armchair, ca. 1926, by Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann, which sold for $290,500 on an estimate of $180,000/240,000.
Also among the top lots was the unique “Bahut” sideboard, 1965, by Charlotte Perriand, which sold for $266,500, within the estimate of $220,000/280,000. Harry Bertoia’s standing welded metal sculpture bush form, 1966–68, was sold for the same price against an estimate of $225,000/250,000.
The auction was the company’s first design sale at its new flagship headquarters, in midtown Manhattan at Park Avenue and 57th Street.
Following the sale, Phillips chairman Simon de Pury said the outcome “demonstrates that our pioneering belief in design is paying off.” Alexander Payne, Phillips’s worldwide director of design, described the sale, which highlighted important works from the past 120 years, as “tightly curated,” and added that the strong results were “realized by aggressive bidding from international clients, both in the saleroom and on the telephone.”
Phillips said a total of 16 artist records were set, including $230,500 for Serge Mouille’s unique six-arm ceiling light, ca. 1958 (estimate: $150,000/200,000), and $212,500 for Poul Henningson’s large wall light, 1955, for the Scala cinema and concert hall in the Århus Theater, Århus, Denmark.