From Liberty to Design
admin 20 September 2015


Auction 234 / Decorative Arts of the XX century, 17.11.2015 Auction 241 / Design, 22.12.2015

Last season closed with surprising results for both sales of the 20th-century decorative arts and design, making a total turnover that reached 2,220,000 euros, showing the best performance in this field. The 20th-century Decorative Arts sale proposed two catalogues, the first one dedicated to Liberty French glasses with an important collection of Gallé and Daum vases, the second dedicated to the whole decorative arts of the period.

French glasses sale that refer to Nancy School was preceded by a small number of furniture by Emile Gallé, among which we point out a wonderful small veneered and inlaid music cabinet, sold for 20,000 euros.

But, the top lots were the Iris vase, sold for 93,000 euros, followed by the vase Libellula (Dragonfly), sold for 62,000 euros. Among Gallé glasses, very good results were obtained by a small pink and violet vase from around 1900, which, from an estimate of 12,000-15,000 euros, was sold for nearly 40,000 euros, and a big vase decorated with elephants, made for the International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts held in 1925 in Paris, sold for 27,000 euros

Among Daum glasses, a large jug in cameo worked dubbed glass from the 1910s was sold for 13,500 euros, making the top price.
In the whole decorative arts catalogue, Gio Ponti’s ceramics made the top prices. Best in class, the porcelain urn Le passioni segrete (The Secret Passions), sold for 33,500 euros, followed by four piumati vases decorated in white and gold that, offered one by one, reached a total of 42,000 euros.

Once again, the auction of Design met the expectations, keeping the positive trend that saw a steady increase in sales since the beginning of this department in 2012. Since then, Cambi proposes two yearly dates, one in June and one in December, given the strong development this department shows either in Italy and especially abroad.

The catalogue proposed a selection of furniture, lighting and decorative pieces of work by the designers the most refined at an international level. As usual, the search of quality and the wide choice drew collectors from all over the world, and more than 70% of sales were knocked down to foreign clients.

Among the most interesting sales there are a 1950s pair of armchairs by Gio Ponti, that, offered for 10,000 euros, were sold for more than 110,000 euros; several Fontana Arte chandeliers, always highly collectible on the international market, among which a rare example from the 1938 by Pietro Chiesa in brass and circular coloured glasses, sold for more than 60,000 euros, and another one from the 1960s by Max Ingrand featured by a diffuser in opaque crystal and polished rays-shaped crystals, sold for nearly 60,000 euros. Very good results also for some lots from the 1970s by Gabriella Crespi, such as the Tavolino 2000 coated in brass, sold for 48,000 euros, and another elegant coffee table featured by shaped wooden layers, sold for 36,000 euros. Among other designers in the catalogue, Gino Sarfatti stands out, with an extremely rare floor lamp from 1951, sold for 41,000 euros; Ignazio Gardella with the sofa Digamma, sold for 31,000 euros; Gio Ponti with a bookcase in walnut and maple wood from 1945, sold for 27,000 euros.

Next auctions of these two departments are set in Genoa on 22 December 2015.

Fabio Noli