Press Release - May 2010
The field of 20th Century Design and Contemporary Furniture is one that has seen some spectacular prices on local and international auctions recently. Appreciation for contemporary furniture is very strong in American, Asian and European centers and prices of over $1 000 000 have been reached for certain iconic pieces. The line between art and furniture is one that has blurred to such a degree that a line cannot be drawn to distinguish the two.
With antique brown furniture losing its patina of value, it is the chrome, leather and sculpted wood pieces which are shining brighter than ever. Stephan Welz and Company in Cape Town had the pleasure of selling an Arne Jacobsen ‘Egg’ Chair and Ottoman for R123 000 last year. While February saw some fantastic results for traditional furniture, it was the Contemporary Section of the Furniture Sale that had a 100% sale rate. Highlights from this section include a set of Four ‘Oxford’ Chairs, also designed by the design guru Jacobsen, which sold for R38 000 and the Japanese designed ‘Wink’ Chair, which sold for just shy of R16 000. Such chairs form important collections in Modern and Contemporary Museums around the world and this collection fever is also taking hold of local buyers. Another exciting highlight of last year in the realm of 20th Century Furniture was when a local dealer sold a pair of legendary 1929 Barcelona Chairs, by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, for over R700 000 for the pair.
“Interiors have changed so much since the 19th and early 20th centuries that it only makes sense for furniture and other decorative objects to change too. If we aren’t looking at paintings of stuffy portraits and eternally still landscapes any longer, surely we would be moving away from Victorian walnut settees and Georgian card tables. While traditional tastes and demand for quality antiques will remain, there stands to reason that the direction of furniture choices will continue to change in line with younger, contemporary tastes.” says Michael Chandler who works in the furniture department at Stephan Welz & Co. “There appears to be a move away from the ‘Brown’ market and a keen interest in Scandinavian and Modernism pieces.”
Looking to our June sale, there is a wonderful selection of 20th Century Design pieces to add to any collection or contemporary home.
Left to right
A Pair of Ebonised Armchairs, designed by Ejvind Johansson for Fdb Mobler,
Denmark, circa 1955 R 4 000 – 6 000
An Italian Rosewood Secrétaire, Model 530, designed by Gianfranco Frattini
for Bernini, circa 1957 R55 000 – 60 000
A Teak and Glass-Topped Table, after a design by Vladimir Kagan,
20th Century R 3 000 – 4 000
Left to right
A Danish Teak ‘Model 164’ Lounge Chair, by Arne Vodder,
for France and Son, circa 1960 R 6 000 – 8 000
A Danish Teak Settee, designed by Peter Hvidt and Orla Mørlgaard
Nielsen for France and Son, Denmark, 20th Century R15 000 – 20 000
A Danish Teak Armchair, designed by Peter Hvidt and Orla Mørlgaard
Nielsen for France and Son, Denmark, 20th Century R 6 000 – 8 000
A Set of Six Dining Chairs by France and Son, Denmark,
Third Quarter 20th Century R12 000 – 14 000