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June 5, 2006

Auction: Modern Design, Murano Glass, Tribal Art in Munich

Quittenbaum Art Auctions, Munich

Modern Design - Murano Glass - Tribal Art 

May 29, 2006

Quittenbaum Art Auctions is pleased about obtaining a sales rate of 45% in its Modern Design auction. The total sum of hammer prices went up to 360,000€ already on auction’s day. Above all, it was design from the Sixties that raised the interest of German and international collectors.

Classics from the 'Bauhaus' era were the most sought after in Quittenbaum's head-office in Hohenstaufenstrasse, Munich. A New York Museum secured itself a telephone designed at Dessau in 1929 for 2,000€. Four 'Barcelona' chairs and a 'Tugendhat' table by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe were sold to a German collector for 5,000€. Also the 'B282' writing desk by Bruno Weill for Thonet France went to a Munich-based afficionado who paid 1,400€ (estimate: 1,000€).

Most of the highlights in this auction surpassed their estimates. The pair of elegant armchairs, designed by Gio Ponti for the 'Parco dei Principi' Hotel in Rome, 1964, beginning at a moderate 15,000€ was eventually bought by a Briton for 25,000€. The unique gaudy folding chair by Alessandro Guerriero, founder of 'Alchimia’ in 1974, was worth 10,500€ to a German collector. After a long bidding combat with participants in the room and on several telephones, the price for the leather-covered three-seater sofa by Florence Knoll went up to 8,500€ from an estimated 3,000€. A minimalistic writing desk in rosewood by Bodil Kjaer, 1959, received the most outstanding price of 12,000€ offered by a Munich-based collector. The 'Zink' newspaper stand by Jonas Bohlin, 1984, brought 1,300€. One of his earliest designs, the 'Concrete chair', from 1981, unfortunately was bought in.

All in all, Scandinavian design received excellent results. The 'X' chair, by Peter Hvidt and Orla Mölgaard-Nielsen, 1961, went to a Swiss dealer for 3,000€. The '223' three-seater sofa by Börge Mogensen stayed in Germany for 3,200€. Eero Saarinen’s 'Pedelstal' set, dinner table and five chairs, doubled its estimate to 3,300€. Two 'Tulip' highback chairs by Jörgen Kastholm and Preben Fabricius had a similar succes and went from 1,400 up to 2,800€.

Also Italian lighting design was favoured by the international clientele. A Swiss collector bought the 'Calla' floor lamp by Arredoluce for 2,800€, twice its estimate. The 'Amalassunta' standard lamp by the Italian architect Vittorio Gregotti,1968, stayed at 3,600€, a little lower than its estimate of 3,800€.

Traditionally, Ingo Maurer’s humourous-poetic lighting designs found their buyers, too.

The most unusual results were attained by two screens by Robert Crowder who used to decorate the houses of Hollywood celebrities with his handpainted and/ or printed wallpapers. Both screens were bought by an English dealer, who paid 8,000€.

In the Murano glass section the most expensive items sold best. An American collector bought the 'siderale' object by Flavio Poli for 5,600€. Ermanno Toso’s 'Nerox' bottle vase went also to the US for 4,200€, as did his 'San Nicolo’ vase for 3,400€.

The most coveted item of the Tribal Art section was a relic figurine of the Mbete/ Congo. Estimated at 2,400€, a Belgian dealer secured it for himself for 3,700€. Two German collectors bought the Antelope dance accessory of the Mali and a Lobi figurine from Burkina Faso for 2,600€ each. The highest prices were attained by a monkey fetish of the Baule (Ivory Coast) that went to an American collection for 6,000€ and a Maternité of the Lulua (Congo), sold for 5,500€ to a German enthusiast.

The unsold lots can be viewed from May 30 to June 23, 2006 in Quittenbaum Art Auctions' new showroom at Theresienstrasse 60 in Munich Schwabing.

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