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  • Posts Tagged ‘Eileen Gray’


    Friday, June 8th, 2018

    Eileen Gray – a transat armchair with original calfskin upholstery, ebonised lacquered work and nickel plated brass.  UPDATE: THIS MADE $1,596,500, setting a world auction record for a ‘Transat’ chair.

    Eileen Gray’s (1879-1976) ‘Transat’ chair from 1927-30 is a highlight of Christie’s design sale in New York on June 20.  It is estimated at $1-1.5 million.  The chair was conceived in the context of the furnishing of the villa E1027, the house at Roquebrune in the South of France, that Gray designed with and for her associate Jean Badovici. The radical modern villa – built on a rocky slope overlooking the sea – inspired Gray to explore new materials and possibilities in its bespoke furniture and fittings. For this iconic piece, Gray references
    the classic deck-chair, a design of pure functionalism, as she plays on the marine theme, calling to mind the contemporary
    engagement with water sports, the outdoors, and the popularity of a new generation of ocean liners.

    The auction is comprised of two private American collections and includes pieces by some of the most iconic names of French design including Pierre Chareau, Jen Dunand, Jean Michel Frank, Francois Xavier Lalanne, Pierre Legrain and Emile Jacques Ruhlmann.


    Emile Jacques Ruhlmann – a ‘granet’desk c1930  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $150,000

    Jean Dunand vases offered in separate lots  UPDATE: THESE MADE VARIOUS PRICES FROM $43,850 TO $87,500


    Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

    A  pair of William IV card tables and a pair of Coalbrookdale garden benches are feature lots at the Woodwards sale in Cork on August 26.  The auctioneers will offer contents from two estates and three house sales. There is an Eileen Gray c1027 chrome table, a Sheraton inlaid credenza as well as a commode, a bonheur du jour and a walnut desk all in the style Louis XV. There is a selection of collectible items including old comics, glass and porcelain.  The catalogue is online. Here is a small selection:

    A selection of comics and annuals

    An Eileen Gray e1027 table

    A Sheraton credenza  UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,400

    A bonheur du jour  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 1,800


    Thursday, August 13th, 2015
    Eileen Gray in a 1926 photo.

    Eileen Gray in a 1926 photo.

    The first UK exhibition of Irish designer and architect Eileen Gray (1878-1976) will be held at the Osborne Samuel Gallery in Mayfair, London from October 13 to November 7. It will feature over 60 paintings and photographs from the 1920’s to the 1960’s, personal effects and furniture and it will include some of her personal ephemera and letters.  Among these are her architect’s work table and a plan chest she designed in 1926.

    Eileen Gray is widely regarded as one of the most influential architects and designers of the 20th century.   The exhibition will coincide with the publication of Eileen Gray:  The Private Painter written by Andrew Lambirth. The exhibition is timely in that it coincides with the reopening of her E1027 villa in the south of France.  An upcoming film on Gray, The Price of Desire, is based on her relationship with Le Corbuser.  There is a permanent exhibition of Grey’s work at the Decorative Arts and History Museum at Collins Barracks in Dublin.

    A c1925 architectural plan chest by Eileen Gray

    A c1925 architectural plan chest by Eileen Gray

    Eileen Gray's Art Noir, Study for a Rug from 1922

    Eileen Gray’s Art Noir, Study for a Rug from 1922


    Saturday, April 11th, 2015
     A Sirene plate by Lalique (1,500-2,500), a Coquille plate by Lalique (400-600), an Emile Galle cameo vase (400-600) and a large Meissen group (400-600) are among the collectibles at Woodwards auction in Cork on April 15.  There is a set of Cork 11-bar chairs, a Vernis Martin display cabinet and a pair of Eileen Gray e1027 chrome tables among 300 lots of furniture, art, crystal and garden furniture. The catalogue is online. Here is a small selection:

    A Lalique Sirene plate.

    A Lalique Sirene plate.  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 4,800

    One of a pair of Eileen Gray e1027 tables.

    One of a pair of Eileen Gray e1027 tables. UPDATE: THESE MADE 1,400

    A set of Cork 11-bar chairs.

    A set of Cork 11-bar chairs.  UPDATE: THIS LOT SOLD FOR 2,100


    Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

    This screen by Eileen Gray made 1,353,000 at Christie's in Paris. (click on image to enlarge)

    The inaugural session of 20th century masterpieces from the Gourdon Collection at Christie’s in Paris brought in €24,293,400.  The top lot of the opening day of the three day sale was a chaise longue ‘on skis’ created in 1929 by Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann. It made €2,865,000.
    The visionary designs of Irish designer Eileen Gray captivated the imagination of many during the public viewings at Palais de Tokyo. Gray’s black-lacquered ‘Brick’ screen  circa 1922 made €1,353,000. Her ‘Bibendum’ armchair which clearly evokes the logo of tire-manufacturer Michelin made €709,000.
    No less than eight works of art sold made over €1 million and there were five world records for artists.  These included the Ruhlmann chaise longue, a carpet by Fernand Léger at €169,000, a carpet by Francis Bacon at €109,000 , a work by René Coulon at €85,000 and furniture by Louis Majorelle at €1,162,600.
    The remaining four sessions of the sale take place today and tomorrow.
    SEE post for December 3
    UDATE:  Overall this sale brought in 42.38 million euro over five sessions.


    Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

    Eileen Gray painted wood brick screen made $842,000 at Christie's in New York.

    Estimated at $2/$3 million, this Eileen Gray armchair failed to sell in New York.

    An Eileen Gray painted wood brick screen from 1923 made $842,500 at Christie’s in New York on December 14.  This was within the  $700,000 – $1,000,000 estimate.  Christie’s described the piece, composed of 45 large and ten small white painted wood panels on steel rods, as: “defining the key point of transition between her early engagement with the luxury of lacquer and symbolist motifs and her subsequent commitment to Modernist ideals”.

    The screen was one of a pair presented by Miss Gray at the Salon des Artistes Déorateurs in 1923.  The other one is now at the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin.
    The ‘Sirène’ armchair, a lacquered painted and beech armchair by Eileen Gray which was estimated at $2/$3 million, failed to sell.  Bidding reached $1.7 million, at which point it was withdrawn.
    See post for December 3 on


    Friday, December 3rd, 2010

    Eileen Gray's Black lacquer screen, courtesy of Christie's, estimated at up to 1.5 million euro. (click to enlarge) UPDATE: IT MADE 1,353,000

    IRISH designer Eileen Gray (1879-1976) is one of the leading names featured

    The Bibendum armchair by Eileen Gray, courtesy of Christie's images. (click to enlarge) UPDATE: IT MADE 709,000

    in an extraordinary collection to be sold at Christie’s in Paris in March 2011. Christie’s will offer the Gourdon Collection, estimated to achieve between 40 and 60 million euro, at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris on March 29, 30 and 31.

    Housed at the medieval Château de Gourdon near Grasse the collection focuses principally on the classicism of Art Deco and on the emergence of Modernism in France.  It includes an important group of works by Eileen Gray. Celebrated as a single-minded and individualistic character the County Wexford born designer managed to capture and express in her own way the prevailing spirit of the age in design through the first decades of the 20th century.
    In February 2009  her  ‘dragons’ chair, circa 1917-1919 –  see Design Record on – achieved the record sum of  €21 million at the sale of the Yves Saint Laurent-Pierre Bergé collections at the Grand Palais.
    In the early 1920s Gray choose to move away from the highly refined lacquer work of her early days to focus on more functionalist designs in metal, glass and painted wood, inspired at first by the Modernist ideas of the Dutch De Stjil movement.
    No less than 15 works by Eileen Gray featured in this sale include the black lacquered Brick’ screen (est. 1,200,000-1,500,000) developed from the panels she used in the hallway of the apartment of Suzanne Talbot on Rue de Lota, circa 1922. An example of this screen is now in the master bedroom of the Irish government mansion at Farmleigh in Dublin. The black and yellow base of her floor light (€400,000-600,000) resembles a piece of Constructivist architecture.
    Her Transatlantique armchair (€1,000,000-1,500,000) was formerly the property of her friend and collaborator architect Jean Badovici, founder of the avant-garde magazine L’Architecture Vivante, 1923 and the ‘Bibendum’ armchair (€800,000-1,200,000) is clearly evocative of the logo of tire-manufacturer Michelin.