The most important design auctions offer the best of collectible sideboard and cabinets designs to passionate collectors, design curators seeking to strengthen the holdings of their museums, and to architects creating some of the world’s finest homes. Usually, editions like the blockbuster fair Design Miami, the global forum for collectible design, which opens its European edition in Basel, Switzerland every June, and its American edition in Miami every December. It is these two months that fuel the market and provides the access to the best, most sought-after design available. Take a look at some of them!
Symphony Sideboard is an emblematic piece that was featured in the movie 50 Shades of Grey and auctioned by Christie’s. Sideboards by Boca do Lobo are high-end furniture handmade in Portugal.
Sotheby’s, ‘Lectori Salutem’ by Jeroen Verhoeven, 2010
Phillips, ‘Strata’ Cabinet by Mattia Bonetti, 2004
Sotheby’s offered two icons of 21st century design, the Lectori Salutem, a desk by Dutch designer Jeroen Verhoeven from 2010, offered in public auction for the first time, fetching $187K; and the BranchBookshelf prototype in bronze, by Dutch star designer Joris Laarman which, sold to a private American collector for $175K. Laarman had first garnered a worldwide attention in MoMA’s seminal exhibition Design and the Elastic Mind and has since become the most expensive designer of his generation.
Christie’s, ‘Forged-Front’ Wall-Mounted Cabinet, 1976
Christie’s offered the Pod of Drawers, which Marc Newson designed in 1987, realizing $763K. In its superbly curated sale, Phillips offered Mattia Bonetti’s Strata Cabinet, produced by David Gill Gallery in 2004.
Laffanour Galerie Downtown, Bookcase by Jean Prouvé, 1935
An item like this really ties the room together — with money. When the 18th century Florentine ebony chest inlaid with amethyst quartz, agate, lapis lazuli and other stones sold for $36 million at a 2004 Christie’s auction, it broke its own record as the most expensive piece of furniture sold at auction. The Badminton Cabinet, so named because it remained in Badminton, England, for over two centuries, had set the previous record in 1990 when Christie’s sold it to billionaire Barbara Piasecka Johnson (of the Johnson & Johnson fortune) for $16.59 million. Johnson put it up for sale in 2004, when it was bought by Prince Hans Adam II of Liechtenstein, who donated it to the Liechtenstein Museum in Austria.
Sotheby’s Paris opened a non-selling exhibition, entitled ‘Pierre Cardin Sculptures Utilitaires 1970-75,’ paying tribute to this chapter in Cardin’s career. The furniture was no less sculptural or futuristic than his space-age fashion, is a testimony to the ethos of French design of these years, and the pieces are all two-sided, meant to be placed at the center of the room, each is unique, each is crafted in lacquer, each has its own personality, and each mirrors the themes of his dresses. ‘Haute Couture’ the title of this series could not be more perfect.