London auction house Phillips will be showing major works by leading contemporary designers in its upcoming London Design Auction, which will prominently feature furniture and lights made by the modern Italian masters. Comprising 156 lots, pieces from the sale will be available to view to the public in the days leading up to the auction at Phillips’ Berkeley Square headquarters.
Highlights of Italian design feature works by Gio Ponti, including two remarkable prototype collapsing coffee tables – at auction for the first time – , a rare glass table by Pietro Chiesa (amongst other pieces), Flavio Poli, whose spectacular ceiling light was designed for the 1958 Venice Biennale, and a unique Fornasetti chest.
There is no shortage of iconic 20th century design; the auction includes pieces by Le Corbusier, including an incredible teak-veneered desk, made for the High Court and Secrétariat buildings in Chandigarh, and furniture by his frequent collaborator, the innovative French architect and designer Charlotte Perriand. The Danish design school is also represented, with Hans J. Wegner’s ‘Chinese’ armchair taking a contemporary, functionalist approach to classical forms. The auction’s top lot is Joris Laarman’s futuristic Bone chair, a seminal work made of casting resin and Carrara marble powder to imitate the growth structure of bone.
Several pieces also come with a fascinating provenance, such as gilded bronze wall lights designed by Armand-Albert Rateau for the Parisian apartment of iconic couturier Jeanne Lanvin, or Ettore Sottsass’ bright red coffee table, designed for the architect’s own Milan apartment.
Whether a dedicated collector or simply a furniture fan, the auction is a rare opportunity to see – or purchase, if you get lucky – some excellent examples of pioneering contemporary design.
17 October, 2pm. Auction viewing from 12 October.
Phillips, 30 Berkeley Square, London, W1J 6EX