News-Antique.com - Dec 10,2009 - New York, NY – On 17 December 2009 at 2pm, Sotheby’s New York will hold its bi-annual sale of Important 20th Century Design beginning with works from the Art & Crafts, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and American Modern movements, and concluding with Mid-Century and Contemporary design. Highlighting the sale is an offering of 25 lots collected by Stephen Gray, one of the foremost authorities on the Arts and Crafts movement. The Important Tiffany auction will follow at approximately 3:30pm and features a topcaliber range of objects representing the diverse disciplines of Tiffany Studios. These auctions will be preceded by the estate of Robert Isabell (separate release available) at 10am and together the three sales will offer 294 lots with an estimate of $7.7/11 million.*
James Zemaitis, Senior Vice President and Director of Sotheby’s 20th Century Design Department, noted, “In our sale of Important 20th Century Design, to complement the postwar and contemporary collection of the late Robert Isabell, we have constructed a catalogue that focuses primarily on pre-war modernism and all of its different schools, from Harvey Ellis to Gerrit Rietveld to Le Corbusier. Our Tiffany sale continues our emphasis on tightly-edited selections of the absolute best works available, whether it is extremely rare archival photographs or the most stunning window to appear on the market in a decade."
Widely regarded as a connoisseur in the field of American Arts & Crafts, Stephen Gray first began collecting in 1976
when he purchased a weekend house in Columbia County, New York. He “wanted to furnish it in a way that was compatible with the architectural history of the area.” Through diligent research of the original trade material, Gray refined his collection over the last thirty years to represent the very best in furniture, lighting, ceramics, metalwork and woodcut prints. The Collection, with an emphasis on the earliest production years of Gustav Stickley was recently celebrated at the Wadsworth
Atheneum in an exhibition entitled At Home with Gustav Stickley: American Arts & Crafts from the Steven Gray Collection. The majority of works presented during the exhibition are included in the sale. Highlights include a Two-Door Bookcase (Lot 222, est. $28/36,000) and “Tokio” Plant Stand (Lot 213, est. $40/60,000) by Gustav Stickley, ceramic vessels by Marblehead Pottery and Overbeck Pottery, and a wood block print entitled “Garden Flowers” by Edna Boies Hopkins (lot 206, est. $12/18,000). Other Arts and Crafts highlights include An Important Prototype Hall Chair by Charles Rohlfs, circa 1897-1899 (lot 226, est. $50/70,000). The Hall Chair form is one of the most iconic designs of Charles Rohlfs, and this prototype conveys the form beautifully but also incorporates distinguishing elements that shed light on Rohlfs' design process. This chair presents a rare opportunity for a public or private collection to acquire an object that is at the center of Rohlfs' oeuvre but features
unique details that would appeal to the most discriminating connoisseur. Several lots of Harvey Ellis designs features An Important and Rare Desk, circa 1903 (lot 231, est. $150/200,000).