Twentieth century furniture tempts buyers

Jules Wabbe table – £6500 at Roseberys.

There’s no doubt that items from some of the ‘eureka’ moments in Victorian design are falling away from the collecting zeitgeist. The current fashion is undoubtedly towards the creative ideas of the second half of the 20th century.

Extracted from Antiques Trade Gazette | Roland Arkell

Three private collections boosted the sale entitled Design: Decorative Arts 1860 to the Present Day held at Roseberys (25% buyer’s premium) of West Norwood on June 25.

A c.1980 version of Charles and Ray Eames’ classic 670 lounger and 671 ottoman went above estimate at £2300 while Alvar Aalto’s bowfront birch plywood cabinet, model A803, designed for Finmar c.1935, went on mid-estimate at £5000.

A c.1950 floor lamp, model 1819, designed by Max Ingrand for Fontana Arte, with a 5ft 11in (1.8m) tall twin brass stem enclosing a white glass shade, went below hopes at £2300.

Dated c.1970 was a low table by Belgian designer Jules Wabbes (1919-74). The 9ft 5in (2.88m) design was of wenge, a very hard and heavy equatorial African hardwood which is now an endangered species. The table, pitched at £2000- 4000, was one of the surprises of the sale when it sold at £6500.

Bugatti top-seller

Carlo Bugatti cabinet – £11,000 at Roseberys.

Eighty per cent of the 310 lots got away. Top-seller was a walnut cabinet by Carlo Bugatti (1856-1940). Carlo, father of sculptor Rembrandt and car genius Ettore, moved much of his business from Milan to Paris in 1888.

This 3ft 2in (96cm) cabinet, featuring ebonised wood, pewter and brass inlay and hammered brass work, was dated c.1900. The condition problems included some missing and replaced veneers, but it sold just short of the top estimate in selling at £11,000.