Art Deco sets new records at Saint Laurent sale

An Art Deco armchair by Irish designer Eileen Gray smashed records and topped sales on day two of the sale of the stunning Yves Saint Laurent art collection, becoming the most expensive 20th century piece of furniture ever.
The 21.9 million euro (28.2 million dollar) bid for the one-off rounded brown leather piece -- known as the Dragons armchair because the arms feature sculptured dragon's heads -- set a record for the iconic designer as well as being the second highest price ever paid for furniture.

Art Deco sets new records at Saint Laurent sale
The highest ever was an 18th century "Badmington cabinet" sold for 36.6 million dollars (27.46 million euros) in December 2004.
Another high-flying Art Deco piece by Gray, who died in 1976, was a chest that sold for four million euros, including fees.
Among other Art Deco records from the gems that graced the homes of Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Berge was a set of 15 leaf-decorated mirrors by French designer Claude Lalanne that flew away at 1.8 million euros.
And a pair of palmwood leopard-skinned benches designed by Gustav Miklos set a record for the Hungarian at 1.5 million euros.
Two vases by Dunand too sold far higher than expected. A 1912 vase went for 220,000 euros against an estimated value of 80,000 and another sold for 270,000 euros in comparison with an estimate of 30,000 euros.
Earlier Tuesday, a 19th century oil by Theodore Gericault sold for a record nine million euros (11.6 million dollars) while two works by Ingres also set new records at the art "sale of the century".
An oil by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres fetched two million euros including fees while one of his drawings hit a record 913,000 euros for a sketch on paper.
Before the Art Deco treasures went on sale, Christie's said works by old masters and 19th century artists, as well as silver antiques, fetched 42.1 million euros (53.7 million dollars) on day two of the historic auction.
The auction of 700 works collected by Saint Laurent and Berge at its opening round on Monday smashed the world record for a private art sale with 206 million euros (261 million dollars) worth of bids.
On the first day alone, the three-day auction dubbed the "sale of the century" broke seven world records for contemporary artists.

Tuesday, February 24th 2009

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