March 6, 2009
-- The staggering sale was just one of many in a three-day auction of the late French designer’s works of art that netted nearly half a billion dollars. Bauhaus furniture, from Eileen Gray to Le Corbusier furniture, has always been an art form, as retailers of all things Bauhaus, Livingroom24 (www.livingroom24.co.uk)
has long known.
The Gray armchair (dating from somewhere between 1917 to 1919) sold for the highest amount ever paid for a work of 20th-century design at auction, with the purchaser being the dealer who sold it to Yves Saint Laurent originally in the early 1970s. Founder and Managing Director of Livingroom24, which specialises in modernist and Bauhaus furniture that includes an extensive range from Eileen Gray, explains: “While the dealer that sold the Gray chair to Yves Saint Laurent would have known the intrinsic value of any piece of Bauhaus furniture back then, this style of furniture has become particularly revered in recent decades, with companies such as ourselves specialising in all the Bauhaus designers to meet the huge demand for the modernist styles.”
Even specialists and experts in Bauhaus were shocked at the record amount paid for this piece, however, giving rise to speculation that similar original pieces from this era may start to demand much higher figures than previously thought. Even Christies themselves did not foresee such a huge sum being raised; the item had a presale top estimate of 3 million euros. Only a short time before the “dragon armchair” (so called for its distinctively shaped arms) became the most-expensive piece of 20th-century design ever sold, another piece by Eileen Gray was due to hold that title. A sideboard dating somewhere between 1915 and 1917 was purchased by another dealer for 4 million euros. Little did anyone realise that only an hour later this record would be far outstripped by yet another Gray piece.
If you would like to see more Eileen Gray furniture, or find out what all the fuss is about when it comes to Bauhaus furniture, then visit www.livingroom24.co.uk.
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