Collections from the magnificent Château de Gourdon wer the focus of a three-day sale organised by Christie’s at the spectacular Paris Trocadero. Between 29 – 31 March, 875 items went under the hammer, achieving sales of almost £32m. Among them was an Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann 1920s antique desk. Lancashire collectors had been quoted an estimate of £175,000 – 262,000. Together with its matching swivel chair, it was sold to a private collector for £2.5m.
Over 2/3 of the sale was devoted to French decorative arts and design pieces amassed by collector Laurent Negro, who set himself the task of tracing the history of French furniture from the Art Nouveau to the post-Modernist periods. Star of the show was French designer Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann (1879 – 1933). His stark, modernist “Skis” chaise longue realised £2.5m – the highest selling piece in the auction. However, this was against an upper estimate of £1.7 – 2.6m.
Many pieces were recent acquisitions by top-selling names, for which Negro paid highly. Accordingly, estimates were also on the steep side, with several items, including a Dunand games table priced at £2.6m, failing to find a buyer. Nonetheless 13 auction records were set, with a number of lots exceeding £2.5m.
Modernist furniture is often not regarded as “antique enough” by buyers in Lancashire. However, a small antique chest – also by Ruhlman but of early Art Deco design – certainly hit the target, realising £1.6m (estimate £436,000 – 611,000). £305,000, three times the upper estimate, was achieved for a circular antique dining table .
In Preston, you can find high quality Art Deco antique desks and cabinets at most good antique dealers.
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