Auction 155B

International Design

03. March 2021 at 3:00 PM CEST


One of the highlights of International Design to be auctioned on 3 March is the armchair designed by Eckhard Muthesius in 1931 for the library of the Maharajah of Indore, which was re-edited in a limited edition by Vereinigte Werkstätten in 1989. The armchair is not only an eye-catcher with its red leather upholstery, but also functionally well thought-out with the milk glass lamps embedded in the headrest on both sides (estimate €10,000 - 14,000).

Inspired by a classic of modern art history is the 'Mondrian' cabinet by Koni Ochsner. The Swiss designer created the piece of furniture in 1976 for Röthlisberger, who reintroduced the cabinet into their programme in the 1980s in two re-editions of twenty numbered pieces each (estimate €4,000 - 6,000). Among the lighting on offer is Christian Dell's 'Rondella-Polo' desk light from 1929 (estimate €3,200 - 4,000). It was created in Frankfurt as the designer had decided not to move with the Bauhaus from Weimar to Dessau.

In 1989, the world-renowned designer Andrée Putman furnished the entire interior of the five-star hotel 'Wasserturm', which was housed in an old water reservoir owned by the city of Cologne. When the hotel closed its doors in November 2020, most of the furniture was disposed of, only a few objects could be salvaged. Some of them are now being auctioned at Quittenbaum; mirrors, wall and floor lamps, dressing tables and armchairs as well as small objects can be bought at moderate prices between €200 and 1,800. The name Axel Salto stands for Danish ceramics in a class of its own; two particularly beautiful examples of his rare, expressive ceramic vases (models 20810 and 20817) from 1946/47 will come up for auction on 3 March at estimated prices of €30,000 - 38,000 each.

Craftsmanship at its finest also applies to the furniture objects of the Japanese-American furniture artist George Nakashima. The important 'Minguren II' table, designed in 1974 and originally delivered to Hugh M. Blake in Florida, is being auctioned for the first time in Germany at an estimated price of €60,000 - 80,000. And if you are still looking for a special object to while away the time until the long-awaited and repeatedly postponed release of the next James Bond film, we have something special for you: the iconic desk deliberately set in many scenes in two Bond films, designed by the Danish designer Bodil Kjaer around 1959, will be offered for an estimated price of €9,000 - 12,000.

High hammer prices for George Nakashima and Axel Salto

George Nakashima's dining table 'Miguren II' from 1974 went to a Swiss collector for € 60,000, Salto's vase from 1946 went to a British collector for € 30,000.

In addition to the many sales of classic seating furniture from the 1910s and 1920s, the high knockdown for Le Corbusier and Charlotte Perriand's 'Pavillon Suisse' furniture stood out. The set of a wall and a floor shelf from 1931 sold for € 11,500. Similarly, a French bar, with a price increase from € 4,000 to € 8,000, and Eckart Muthesius’ ‚Red Armchair’, which changed hands for € 10,500.

The range of furniture and lighting design by Andrée Putman, which came from the Hotel Wasserturm in Cologne (around 1990), tripled their reserve prices and went to various collectors and galleries for a total of over € 24,000. The highest knockdown was achieved for a pair of armchairs, which was sold for € 6,800, having been called up at € 1,000.

In 1976, the Swiss artist and pupil of Willy Guhl, Koni Ochsner, provided the design for the cover lot of the catalogue, the 'Mondrian' cabinet for Röthlisberger. Several collectors fought over it when it was called up for € 4,000, the hammer only fell at € 7,000.

There were a few pleasant surprises in the arts and crafts selection. A Finnish glass vase by Timo Sarpaneva increased its price tenfold. Called up at € 900, the bidding battle only ended at € 8,200. Eight colourful vases of different sizes by Otto Brauer for Holmegaard rose from € 1,000 to € 4,000.