Market

Review / ANNIE ET JEAN DALSACE: Les collections de la Maison de Verre

White glove sale for the collection of Annie and Jean Dalsace.

By Astrid Malingreau / 12th October 2021
Pierre Chareau, 'MB 624' desk, circa 1929. (Estimate: €200,000 – €300,000. Sold for €812,000) COURTESY: © Christie’s Images Limited

Pierre Chareau, ‘MB 624’ desk, circa 1929. (Estimate: €200,000 – €300,000. Sold for €812,000)
COURTESY: © Christie’s Images Limited

ON THE 7th of October, after nine decades in private hands – surviving two wars, countless crises and auction houses inventories – each of the 116 lots coming from the Maison de Verre found a new owner. The white glove sale at Christie’s Paris totalled more than €12 million hammer price (more than €15 million including buyer’s premium), against a total high estimate of €5.5 million.

This should not come as a surprise, as the estimates were conservative and only lightly took into consideration the outstanding provenance. The auction house’s encouraging pricing was perhaps a factor behind the strong bidding, but it has to be said that this collection ticked every box.

Every lot performed well above its estimate (on average 130% above the high estimate). The iconic ‘MF 1002’ bergère (lot 16) by Pierre Chareau, with tapestry based on a cartoon by Jean Lurçat, sold for €668,000 (with premium*) against an estimate of €30,000-€50,000. Its pendant (lot 14), which had its original upholstery (as stated in the salesroom notice, but not in the catalogue), sold for approximately half of that (€325,000) – but still five times its top estimate.

Pierre Chareau, 'MF 1002' armchair, circa 1924-1927. (Estimate: €30,000 – €50,000. Sold for €668,000) COURTESY: © Christie’s Images Limited

Pierre Chareau, ‘MF 1002’ bergère, circa 1924-1927. (Estimate: €30,000 – €50,000. Sold for €668,000)
COURTESY: © Christie’s Images Limited

The stunning illuminated mirror ‘MG 311’ (lot 2) sold for €644,000 with an estimate of €50,000- €70,000, while the ‘SN9’ table (lot 97) sold for €596,000 against an estimate of €30,000 to €50,000.

Pierre Chareau, 'MG 311' illuminated mirror, circa 1929. (Estimate: €50,000 – €70,000. Sold for €644,000) COURTESY: © Christie’s Images Limited

Pierre Chareau, ‘MG 311’ illuminated mirror, circa 1929. (Estimate: €50,000 – €70,000. Sold for €644,000)
COURTESY: © Christie’s Images Limited

Amongst the extreme prices some lucky and attentive collectors were able to buy the rare ‘porte lettre’ for €18,750 (estimate €3,000-€5,000), and a beautiful stool ‘SN 1’ (lot 61) for €27,500 (estimate €15,000-€20,000).

Pierre Chareau, 'SN1' stool, circa 1925. (Estimate: €15,000 – €20,000. Sold for €27,500 COURTESY: © Christie’s Images Limited

Pierre Chareau, ‘SN1’ stool, circa 1925. (Estimate: €15,000 – €20,000. Sold for €27,500
COURTESY: © Christie’s Images Limited

Was it a defining design market moment as promised by Christie’s? This sale can be interpreted as a sign that historical design has the power, even when anchored in a rigorous modernist aesthetic far from the current trends, to seduce collectors and make strong prices. The world record for a work by Chareau was not broken, but the desk ‘MB 624’ (circa 1929) became the new record – by far – for a desk by Chareau (€812,000, on an estimate of €200,000 – €300,000), to be placed alongside the new record for a stool by Chareau (lot 78, €137,500, against an estimate of €20,000-€30,000).

Pierre Chareau, 'SN3' stool, circa 1927. (Estimate: €20,000 – €30,000. Sold for €137,500) COURTESY: © Christie’s Images Limited

Pierre Chareau, ‘SN3’ stool, circa 1927. (Estimate: €20,000 – €30,000. Sold for €137,500)
COURTESY: © Christie’s Images Limited

Above all market considerations, however, this landmark sale gave us the chance to look at a beautiful collection, assembled with a rare love and care.

*All prices include buyer’s premium, unless stated.

ANNIE ET JEAN DALSACE: Les collections de la Maison de Verre at Christies, Paris.

 

 

Article By

Astrid Malingreau
Astrid Malingreau is an independent advisor focused on 20th century contemporary design. She previously worked for Christie's in London and New York as a specialist in decorative arts and design.