Modern Design Auction Sets the Pace in Sydney


Nicholas Forrest - ArtInfo

Published 15 April 2013,

Andrew Shapiro of Shapiro Auctioneers – Australia’s go-to guy for objects of design, modernist furniture, and art glass – has once again proved the importance of provenance and quality with his April 10 Fine Jewellery 20/21C Art & Design Sale. Filled with incredible objects of the highest quality and impeccable provenance, Shapiro’s April 10 sale was, for all intents and purposes, a great success.

Top price of the sale went to a magnificent 5.1ct solitaire ring which sold for $43,200 IBP against an estimate of $40,000 - $50,000, but it was the furniture and design lots that attracted the most attention. A custom-made, Australian-sourced suite of highly desirable Schulim Krimper furniture was well received with every piece of the collection going to a new home. Also subject to competitive bidding was a fantastic cabinet produced by Pierre Cardin and designed by Italian photographer and designer Willy Rizzo, who died in February, aged 84. The cabinet sold for $6,000 IBP against an estimate of $1,500 - $2,500.

Given the demand for Fulvio Bianconi art glass it was perhaps no surprise that a Bianconi “Macchie” vase originally estimated to fetch $4,000 - $4,500 ended up selling for $16,800 IBP. Similar vases have sold in America for upwards of $50,000. Another piece of art glass in the form of a sculpture of a female figure by Picasso attracted plenty of attention, exceeding the top estimate of $4,000 several times over for a final price of $13,200 IBP.

Other highlights included a Hans Wegener “Papa Bear” chair which made a solid $8,160 IBP against an estimate, a Preben Fabricius and Jorgen Kastholm “Grasshopper” lounge chair which sold for $4,800 IBP against an estimate of $2,000 - $4,000, and a pair of Paolo Deganello “Torso” lounge chairs which sold for $5,520 IBP against an estimate of $3,000 - $5,000. The highlight of the furniture section, a wonderful George Nakashima “Conoid” dining table, disappointingly failed to sell even though the $25,000 - $35,000 estimate was very reasonable.