New York City Auction Houses Bring Tiffany, Lalanne, and Other Delights of 20th- and 21st-Century Design


These December shows feature live auctions and exhibitions where you’ll find enough Lalanne, Tiffany Studios, and more to gleefully redo your space. Or just fill up a brand new home, truly up to you.

Christie’s brings its Design show, with a December 9 auction plus viewing on December 2–8. The standout here is a Claude Lalanne bench from 2015 made of gilt bronze and numbered 8/8. The designer, part of a duo with her husband François-Xavier Lalanne, drew from Surrealism and Art Nouveau, and her work often suggests flora and fauna. Sure, it might be tricky to fit your shoes underneath, but you’ll figure it out. Price estimate upon request. 

Tiffany Studios, table lamp (ca. 1901). Courtesy of Sotheby’s.

For some cozy lighting with that winter hot chocolate, you can grab a Tiffany Studios at Sotheby’s Important Design event. The auction is December 8, with viewing on December 2-7. The lamp owes its look to the Impressionism and Japonesque influences that were trending at that time. The circa 1901 lamp is made of leaded glass and patinated bronze, with the shade comprising 2,000 individually cut and selected pieces of glass. It will likely fetch $500,000–$800,000. 

Terrence Harold Robsjohn-Gibbings, coffee table (1952–53). Courtesy of Phillips.

True American design comes courtesy of British creator Terrence Harold Robsjohn-Gibbings, with this “Mesa” coffee table, Model No. 1760-6. You’ll find it at Phillips’ Design show, with an auction December 7 and viewing December 1–7. The table, designed in 1952 and produced in 1953, is emblematic of the designer’s mission to develop a timeless American look for the postwar era. It’s got a curvy, warm shape and is made of walnut-veneered wood and estimated at $200,000–$300,000.

Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann, A Unique Set of Six Interior Panels from the Restaurant Drouant (ca. 1925). Courtesy of Bonhams.

You can travel to art-world Paris with a Unique Set of Six Interior Panes from the Restaurant Drouant. The circa 1925 set is by Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann and featured at Bonhams Modern Decorative Art + Design show. The auction is December 14, with viewing December 9–13. The Drouant was a popular eatery at 18 rue Gaillon, Paris, frequented by creative icons including Rodin and Renoir, and the literary organization l’Académie Goncourt announces its annual “Le Prix de Goncourt” prize from the Ruhlmann-designed bronze staircase. The panels are made of etched glass, gold and silver leaf, and expected to go for $300,000-$500,000.


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