Vintage 1950s brass floor lamp by Gino Sarfatti (1912-1984) fetches $15,930 at Nadeau's on May 11 A vintage 1950s brass floor lamp designed by legendary Italian lighting designer Gino Sarfatti (1912-1984) sold for $15,930 at an auction held May 11 by Nadeau’s Auction Gallery in Windsor, Conn.
News-Antique.com - May 29,2013 - (WINDSOR, Conn.) – A vintage 1950s brass floor lamp designed by legendary Italian lighting designer Gino Sarfatti (1912-1984) for Arteluce, the manufacturing firm he founded in 1939, sold for $15,930 at an auction held May 11 by Nadeau’s Auction Gallery, in the firm’s gallery located at 25 Meadow Road. It is believed to be a record price paid for a Sarfatti lamp.
The 80-inch-tall lamp itself was not adjustable, but it had nine white enameled metal shades, each individually adjustable, attached to a solid brass shaft set on a white marble base, signed “Arteluce, Made in Italy” impressed in the brass ring set atop the marble base. It was in overall good condition. The lamp was the top lot of the nearly 400 items that came up for bid.
Gino Sarfatti was entirely self-taught. Between the mid-1930s to the early 1970s, he developed nearly 700 floor lamps, chandeliers, spotlights and other “light fittings,” as he called them. He experimented continuously with new types of light sources and was a pioneer in the use of halogen bulbs, utilizing them as early as 1971. His design creations are highly collectible.
“This was a good auction that was turned into a great auction because of the Sarfatti lamp,” said Ed Nadeau of Nadeau’s Auction Gallery. “We pored over records and documents and were unable to find a lamp that sold for more, so we’re saying, with some reservation, that this is a new world auction record. It certainly got a lot of bidder attention, both live and online.”
Attendance at Nadeau’s gallery numbered between 100 and 150 people, while another 232 bidders registered online, through Artfact.com. They submitted 780 online bids and were the top bidders for 88 of the 348 lots sold. Mr. Nadeau described phone bidding as “stronger than normal” and 100 absentee bidders presented bids as well. “It was a strong sale,” he remarked.
Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.
The sale was a Mid-Century and Couture Estates Auction, and vintage couture captured the fancy of the assembled throngs. A Jeanne Lanvin Castillo Paris evening gown with beadwork and embroidery hit $1,652, a Pierre Balmain dress mounted with beads and oval stones realized $708, and a Pierre Balmain velvet full-length dress with silk puffy sleeves topped out at $590.
Two Hermes silk scarves, with dogs on each, signed Poret, earned $738. The second top lot of the day wasn’t a Mid-Century or Couture item at all but an antique car – a nicely kept 1975 Mercedes-Benz 450 SL convertible with two tops (one soft and one hard) and just two owners. The silver car, with navy blue interior and 132,000 miles on the odometer, sped off for $4,313.
Two clocks by the renowned Swiss watch and clock maker Jaeger-LeCoultre (founded in 1833 by Antoine LeCoultre and today a subsidiary of the Swiss luxury group Richemont) each claimed new owners. A Hermes clock, not in working condition and with minor chips