Published: July 24, 2001
On the New York Scene: Twentieth Century Decorative Arts Total $2.7 Million at Christie’s
NEW YORK CITY – On June 7, Christie’s represented well-known European and American designers in its bi-annual sale of Important Twentieth Century Decorative Arts. Fifty-two of 86 selective lots found buyers, making the auction 66 percent sold by dollar for a total of $2,756,238.
A leaded and plated glass landscape window by Louis Comfort Tiffany was among the highlights of the sale (est $200/300,000). Thomas Lynch, the son of Irish immigrants who became a general manager of the H.C Frick Coke Company, commissioned the window in 1905 for his Greenburg, Pa. residence. The main subject of the landscape window was Lynch’s grandparents’ farm near Dungarvan, Ireland. The farm cottage, with its simple thatched roof, is surrounded by a profusion of trees and flowers, including clover – a subtle reference to the Lynch family’s country of origin.
Fittingly, the winning bidder, coming in at $391,000, was the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greenburg. “The return of Tiffany’s ‘Thomas Lynch window’ to Greensburg was one of the exciting moment’s of the sale,” commented Peggy Gilges, head of Christie’s Twentieth Century Decorative Arts Department. “Two determined bidders had their mind set on the piece and the final price almost doubled the [low] estimate. We are sure the Westmoreland Museum of American Art will be a fine home for this extraordinary work of art.”
“Another public’s favorite was Jeanne Lanvin’s advisor and decorator Armand Albert Rateau,” Gilges continued. “The three pieces by Rateau caused enthusiastic bidding and all three of them fetched very solid prices.” Rateau became the director of Lanvin Décoration, created the legendary boule noire bottle for the Arpège perfume and undertook the decoration for Lanvin’s different homes.
A pair of bronze cat-form andirons by Rateau, circa 1929, sold for $270,000 to the US trade. A member of the European trade won a carved and lacquered wood mirror by Rateau for Lanvin’s residence in Vesinet, France, circa 1921, for $113,000.
Demetre Chiparus’ bronze and ivory sculpture of Miss Kita is one of his rarest models (est $100/150,000). Chiparus created this statuette around 1925 and the dancing girl’s outfit reads like a fashion magazine of those days: little tight hat, long earrings and several bracelets that adorn both her wrists. A private collector purchased “Miss Kita” for $138,000.
An additional highlight was a Tiffany Studios enameled copper vase, circa 1900, which sold to a private buyer for $94,000.
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