‘Design Since 1860’ auction at Roseberys

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Significant decorative works of important historical interest are due to go under the hammer on Wednesday September 14, as part of Roseberys Design Since 1860 auction.

The solo stand out lot is a unique bed designed in 1935 by poet and patron Edward James together with interior decorator Norris Wakefield, for the Map Room of Monkton House, West Sussex.  James collaborated with Surrealist master Salvador Dali, architect Christopher Nicholson and Wakefield to transform the Lutyens designed Arts & Crafts Monkton House he had inherited into a three-dimensional ideal of Surrealism. The project marked a fascinating exploration of realising Surrealism as a lived experience which pervaded everyday objects and spaces. It was this redesign of Monkton House that bore Surrealist masterpieces such as Dali’s Mae West Lips Sofa and his famous Lobster Telephone. The bed is playfully dramatic and recalls the swell of waves, reflecting the exaggerated theatricality of the house itself. The lot has an estimate of £20,000 to £40,000 and is sure to garner huge interest.

Also in this sale, Rosebery’s is delighted to be able to offer a very substantial and important collection of vases by Constance Spry and other Fulham Pottery designers.  Many of the works were featured in the exhibition at the Garden Museum last year and include designs rarely seen at auction.  Most of the Fulham Pottery in this sale form part of the private collection of author and mid-century design specialist, Andrew Weaving.  Weaving has written several books on mid-century design and has amassed this important collection of Fulham Pottery over many years.  Jo Lloyd, the Head of Decorative Arts at Roseberys commented: “It’s really exciting to be able to offer so many works by Fulham Pottery in the same sale.  Constance Spry is becoming more and more popular and we probably won’t see a collection as good as this again at auction for a very long time, if ever”.

Another impressive and rare item being offered on September 14 is ‘Temple on a Rock’ vase with cover by Daisy Makeig-Jones. This is an exceptionally large and particularly unique pattern which is highly sought after and rarely seen at auction.  In her Fairyland lustre range, Makeig-Jones took some inspiration from illustrations by the likes of Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac, or the Colour Fairy Books by Andrew Lang, but interpreted them to create magical worlds all of her own.  The Temple on a Rock vase is striking in colour and stands at an impressive 48cm high.

A modestly sized yet statement octagonal table is included in the sale by designer Carlo Bugatti (Lot 51). Typical of Bugatti’s very individual style with Moorish and Oriental influences, it features his trademark use of vellum and copper sunbursts.

Lot 205 is a very scarce model ‘1935’ sofa designed by Hans J Wegner and produced by Fritz Hansen around 1950.  This piece utilises bent plywood in the seat and backrest, making it light yet durable and giving it a sleek and effortlessly modern look.

Also featured in the modern design section of the sale is a set of six ‘PK9’ dining chairs designed by the inimitable Poul Kjærholm. Revered as one of the greats of 20th Century Design, the Danish designer stood out with his material preferences and elegant minimalist designs. This early set of dining chairs (dating from the 1960s) was produced by Kjærholm’s long-term collaborator E.Kold Christiansen, each chair bearing the manufacturer’s mark.

In Post Modern design, Roseberys are pleased to offer ten ‘Gli Scacchi’ modular sections by designer Mario Bellini (for B&B Italia) which make up a modular seating system which is a real conversation piece. ‘Gli Scacchi’ sections rarely come up for auction in such high quantity and less so in all three colourways (black, red, and green).

Lot 206 is a Brutalist pendant light produced by Svend Aage Holm Sorensen for Holm Sorensen & Co, circa 1970. Although little is known about the Danish designer, his distinctive lighting designs from the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, continue to garner praise from design circles and collectors alike. This striking Brutalist work made from brass and lacquered metal measures 75cm high, and comes with a £300 to £500 estimate.

Head of Modern Design at Roseberys, Nigel Dawson-Ellis said of the sale: “I feel the sale successfully encompasses a broad and diverse cross-section of design through the decades and it has been a privilege to work on. As always we have a fantastic range of mid-century design as well as a particularly strong contemporary section with some emerging names such as Liam Flynn and Jim Partridge”.  Lot 337, is a hand-crafted, faceted and scorched oak vessel by Jim Partridge, created in 1999, and exemplifies the continued importance of craft in design at the turn of the century.