Big names feature at our first ‘Signed & Designed’ sale

Work by some of the world’s most famous and respected designers will be showcased at our first ‘Signed & Designed’ sale, taking place on Friday 5 March.

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Specialist and general valuer, Melanie Saleem, is pictured examining a René Lalique ‘Ajaccio’ vase designed in 1938, with an Arts & Crafts stained and leaded glass window in the background.

The sale is one of a number of new auctions that have been introduced for 2021 and will feature the decorative arts from the Gothic Revival to the present day. It includes the popular Arts & Crafts Movements, the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods, as well as the Studio Ceramics and Modern Design of the post-war decades.  

Stars of the sale include pieces by René Lalique, Archibald Knox, Moorcroft, Georg Jensen, Tiffany, Cartier and Louis Vuitton, and embrace the full artistic spectrum from paintings and ceramics to furniture and jewellery. 

Central to the sale is a large collection of Artist’s Proof prints from the family of Chris Prater (1924-1996), co-founder of the world-famous Kelpra Studio.

The 26 prints offered for sale feature work by a number of leading modern artists such as Joe Tilson, Gordon House and Brian Clarke, and include an Artist’s Proof from Victor Pasmore (1908-1998) entitled Blue Movement and Green (initialled and dated 1980) that carries a guide price of £1,200 - £1,800 and an Artist’s Proof by Sir Terry Frost RA (1915-2003) Yellow, Red and Black for Lorca (signed and dated 1987) valued between £700 and £900.

Other stars of the sale come from the renowned French designer René Lalique (1860-1945), whose work is consistently popular with collectors across the globe. A particularly fine example is an ‘Ajaccio’ vase from 1938, which is expected to reach between £600 and £800.

Classic Scandinavian design is represented by several pieces from the Danish design house of Georg Jensen – renowned for combining quality craftsmanship with graceful creativity. Lots range from a sterling silver lidded vegetable tureen valued at £5,000-£7,000 to more modest examples of the Jensen brand such as a silver ring with an estimate of £70-£90.

Closer to home, there are almost 30 examples – ranging from nut bowls and cheeseboards to large pieces of furniture – from the workshop of Yorkshire-born Robert ‘Mouseman’ Thompson (1876–1955). Influenced by the Arts & Crafts Movement, Thompson inspired a generation of craftsmen who developed a distinctive style of furniture making that has become highly collectible.

The jewellery section of the sale also provides plenty of showstoppers with a stunning Art Nouveau opal, diamond and enamel brooch by George Fouquet – designed as a sea nymph emerging from scrolling waves – set to reach £10,000 to £15,000; a 1960’s sapphire and enamel bird brooch designed by Georges Braque, with a price estimate of £3,000 to £5,000; and a 1930’s diamond-set minaudiere by Cartier valued between £20,000 and £30,000.

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