The great designers at Phillips’ Design Sale 2016 in New York
Currently, the work of pioneering French pre-War designers is in great demand among furniture collectors and graduates of design. Besides Jean Royère, who once famously signed off the interior of the Brasserie Carlton on the Champs Élysées, the Swiss architect Pierre Jeanneret and his illustrious companion Le Corbusier’s works are also commanding hefty premiums. Royère actually boasts the most significant item in the Phillips catalogue – a sofa named ‘Ours Polaire’ (est. 300,000-400,000 US dollars). From Jeanneret there is a sofa designed in collaboration with Le Corbusier (70,000-100,000 dollars) and various items of office furniture designed for the Indian metropolis of Chandigarh.
Of course, there are works from many other big names up for grabs in New York – a sculptural tea and coffee service by the late Zaha Hadid (40,000-60,000 dollars), a copy of the coveted ‘Ox’ armchair by Arne Jacobsen and various pieces by Giò Ponti, for example. Fortunately, one need not separate with the equivalent of a classic Ferrari or Porsche for all the lots on offer. At the lower end of the scale, there are fascinating objects such as the triangular desk by Frank Lloyd Wright and an early side chair by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, each estimated at 5,000-7,000 dollars), a set of eight chairs designed for the Vienna City Hall by Roland Rainer (4,000-6,000 dollars) and an elegant dining table by Alvar Aalto, estimated to fetch just 3,000-5,000 dollars.