DECORATIVE ARTS OF THE 20th CENTURY AND DESIGN

The Decorative Arts of the 20th Century and Design Department, opened in 2013, is a leader in the sector among Italian auction houses and an important benchmark for collectors, designers, architects and enthusiasts.

The department has been facing a constant growth in revenues as well as an increase in international bidders and saleroom, phone and online participation, with awards exceeding over 80% of sold lots on average.

The careful selection of the works, the traceability of the provenance and the analysis of the historical-archival documentation, are the strategic elements on which the department focuses the selection of the lots, ranging from lighting to seating, from unique pieces to limited editions.

Among the most significant achievements, we mention the group of furniture by Carlo Mollino for Casa M. in Turin and for the “Casa del Sole” in Cervinia, which together reached a total of € 347,500, the “Connubio ferro e vetro” by Umberto Bellotto sold for € 175,000, the “Brick” screen attributed to Eileen Gray for € 93,750 and the “Scottish” vase by Flavio Bianconi sold for € 112,500. Ettore Sottsass, Gio Ponti, Franco Albini, Ignazio Gardella, Ico Parisi, BBPR and Max Ingrand are confirmed as the most valued and attractive authors.

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Auction June 24 and 25, 2021 | Decorative Arts of the 20th Century and Design

The Decorative Arts of the 20th century and Design Auction of the 2021 first semester will be held on June 24th, 25th, as usual, in via Pitteri 10, Milan.

On the first day, June 24th, an extremely important artworks selection from a collecting, historical and artistic point of view will be presented; for instance, a large section dedicated to the protagonists of the radical design who, starting from the end of the 1960s up to the beginning of the 1980s, had raised a deep cultural criticism from functionalist design, inspired by ironic provocation and desecrating fantasy.

Among Ettore Sottsass jr’s works, one of four Biedermeirer sofas designed by the architect for the Materialidea exhibition, set up at PAC, Milan, in 1983: a unique masterpiece considered as lost but recently rediscovered in a private Milanese collection and now proposed for the first time at auction. In order to complete the homage to Sottsass’ creative genius, the ceramics from the 1960s realised for Il Sestante, a mirror produced by Santambrogio and De Berti and two rare coffee tables, designed from the Rocchetto model, intended to be placed in Malpensa Airport Vip lounge, are displaced at auction.

Alongside the Safari sofa, projected in 1967-68 by Archizoom Associati group and perceived a contro-design masterpiece, we find the evocative irony of the Libro armchair by Dam Group. They are both involved in research that hovers between art and design, together with the rare Cronotopo luminous piece of furniture for Driade (1973) by Narna Vigo, the cabinet for the series Palcoscenico for Boffi (1989) by Ugo La Pietra and the ingenious Articolata armchair for Busnelli (1985). 

Alessandro Mendini, Michael Graves, Cesare Leonardi and Franca Stagi, Studio Arditi and Italo Gamberini, Superstudio, Andrea Branzi, Gaetano Pesce and Mario Ceroli are included with as many renewing and experimental significant works, often shared in groups of artists and architects, that gave life to partnerships, such as Memphis

In the sphere of the 1990s historical design, the session presents two rare armchairs by BBPR, a variation of the model realised by Piero Frigerio atelier for Z.P. house in the 1950s, diverse pieces of furniture, drawings, and ceramics by Gio Ponti, three armchairs by Carlo Mollino coming from Rai Auditorium in Turin; furniture, glasses and drawings by Carlo Scarpa, a rare rocking chaise-lounge for Ar.Ar. store designed in the 1940s by Franco Albini and Osvaldo Borsani’s precious console table with an illuminated mirror by the 1940s.

Characterised by original pieces, the lightning dedicated session includes the model 1030 floor lamp and the original model 1036 by Gino Sarfatti for Arteluce, as well as Fulvio Bianconi’s green and red glass vertical bands floor lamp for Venini and Cesare Lacca’s light published on “Domus” in 1956, which was never seen on the auction market before. Different models signed by Fontana Arte, Stilnovo, Arredoluce occupy Italian production kaleidoscopes between the 1920s and the 1980s. 

The decorative section is enriched by some artistic glasses that Flavio Poli idealised for Seguso Vetri d’Arte, among which the vase model 3908 (circa 1937) in crystal glass with bubbles and metal oxides stands out, while an exceptional vase by Ercole Barovier, dated 1925, in blue and red layered glass is the counterpart to the rare Ati 3129 from the Oriente series, which Dino Martens designed for the Aureliano Toso glassware in the 1950s. To complete this unusual Murano glassmaking overview, there is a engraved and enameled glass small collection from the Salir glassworks, some animals by Toni Zuccheri for Venini, including the majestic Upupa and various 

Amongst the artistic ceramics, the famous vase known as "delle lucertole", or "delle salamandre", glares. It was created around 1915 by Francesco Molaroni and produced in his Pesaro kiln: a work destined to become indelibly fixed in the imagination of connoisseurs and published in numerous volumes dedicated to the sector.

The auction continues with two rounds on June 25th, the result of a scrupulous collection of furniture, glass, ceramics, tapestries and lamps by Paolo Buffa, Ignazio Gardella, Mario Bellini, Luigi Caccia Dominioni, Carlo De Carli, Gianfranco Frattini, Vico Magistretti, Angelo Mangiarotti, Max Ingrand, Gastone Rinaldi, Claudio Salocchi, Piero De Martini, Gae Aulenti, Ico Parisi, Tomaso Buzzi and the major Italian and Northern European designers and manufacturers.

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Video Preview | Decorative Arts of the 20th Century and Design Auction, 24 and 25 June 2021.

A preview by Stefano Poli, Head of Department of Decorative Arts of the 20th Century and Design, presenting the intriguing proposals from the catalogue of the upcoming sale of 24 and 25 June 2021.


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