Supermodels of the furniture world

Fascinate your guests — find a world-class modern chair, a carpet or a beautiful vase at two linked Christie's sales.

The best world-class modern furniture has the same effect as a supermodel at a party — everyone stops in their tracks to look. The designs are so exceptional, unusual and individual that they dominate as well as amaze, and can hold a room.

Two linked sales at Christie's offer a range from museum-quality art nouveau furniture designed in 1900, right through to an unusual small glass vase from 2012.

The evening sale on November 4 has the very best international items from famous designers, split into national groups with some prices estimated to soar over £100,000.

Lots 201 and 202: André Arbus's têteà-tête sofa (£40,000-£60,000) and matching chairs (£70,000-£100,000)

French architect and decorator André Arbus's exquisite 1958 tête-à-tête sofa in red leather is estimated at £40,000-£60,000. The same year, Arbus designed the French Pavilion at the International World Fair. There's a matching pair of chairs, lot 202, for £70,000-£100,000. Elsewhere in the sale are a few pieces by Pierre Jeanneret, later known as Le Corbusier. The Brazilian contingent is represented by a very rare, fish-shaped 1989 cut and welded steel bench by the Campana Brothers. Part of their Uncomfortable range, it still has a real beauty and is great fun. Yours for £80,000-£100,000, lot 234.

£40,000-£60,000: rare hand-painted Poltrona di Proust chair by Alessandro Mendini, one of only five, from 1978


There are more seats than anything else, including Italian Gaetano Pesce's weird, black Golgotha chair, from an experimental set of 10 made in 1972 from Dacron-filled, resin-soaked cloth. As much sculpture as chair, it is estimated at £20,000-£30,000. A 1978 Poltrona di Proust chair, one of only five hand-painted in Pointillism-style blobs, is priced £40,000-£60,000.


Lalique: lot 137, an amber Serpent vase (£20,000-£30,000) 


The companion sale, on October 28, offers less-costly items in the same field. Early-century gems include a fair bit of René Lalique glassware. Particularly striking are a 1919 Perruche vase in electric blue, decorated with little budgies, lot 135 for £25,000-£35,000, and a 1924 amber Serpent vase, lot 137, for £20,000-£30,000. Lot 83, a 1900 suite of art nouveau furniture by Louis Majorelle, is £5,000-£8,000, while an Emile Gallé two-tier table in walnut with marquetry is on at £3,000-£8,000, lot 88. Last, for a bit of fun, among a sparkling few lots of Fornasetti furniture, you could snap up a wastepaper basket with a cute cat on it for £400-£600.

Christie's 20/21 Design auction, South Kensington, October 28, and at Christie's King Street on November 4, in an inaugural evening sale. See


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