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    Monday, November 9th, 2020

    There was a record for any work of Italian design at Sotheby’s contemporary art sale in New York when a unique dining table by Carlo Mollino sold for $6.2 million.  This was more than double the $3 million high estimate. From the Brooklyn Museum it was designed in 1949 and executed by Appelli and Varesio in Turin for the travelling exhibition Italy at Work: Her Renaissance in Design Today. This groundbreaking event, hosted initially by the Brooklyn Museum in 1950, set out to expose Italian art and design to an international audience in an attempt to stimulate Italy’s economy after World War II. Carlo Mollino (1905-1973) was an architect pushing the boundaries of design whose passions included skiing, poetry, racecar driving, photography and flying stunt planes.  He developed the technique of bending and moulding plywood and his name became synonymous with complex, sinuous lines and forms.


    Thursday, September 15th, 2016

    The Famille Rose "Hui Mountain Retreat " Teapot and Cover.

    The Famille Rose “Hui Mountain Retreat ” Teapot and Cover.

    A rare Turquoise-Ground Famille-Rose ‘Hui Mountain Retreat’ Teapot and Cover sold for $3,490,000 over a top estimate of $500,000 at Sotheby’s Chinese art sales in New York.  The  Qianlong Seal Mark and Period teapot was chased by multiple clients in the room and on the telephone. Bidding began at $250,000 before quickly jumping to $1 million. This wonderful work of art, one of only two known, is an ode to Emperor Qianlong’s adoration of tea; the front features a figure, possibly the Qianlong Emperor, being served tea while admiring an open handscroll. The reverse is an imperial poem, entitled Jihuiquan peng zhulu ge (Brewing Tea by Hui Swing), written by the Emperor himself following a visit to the Hui Spring during his Southern Inspection Tour.

    This pair of Wucai and Doucai Dragon and Phoenix bowls sold for $874,000 over a top estimate of $80.000.

    This pair of Wucai and Doucai Dragon and Phoenix bowls sold for $874,000 over a top estimate of $80.000.

    Angela McAteer, Head of Sotheby’s Chinese Works of Art Department, New York noted: “The contest amongst more than ten bidders that pushed a 250 year-old teapot to $3.5 million reminded us of auction’s unique magic. The piece, having been enjoyed by an American collector for decades, was just one of a number of works that soared over pre-sale expectations after drawing bidding from determined collectors. As we saw throughout our two days of sales, the Chinese Art market remains robust, with major collectors deeply engaged in owning the finest examples of the country’s artist heritage.”

    Over the course of two days, Sotheby’s New York sales of Chinese Art brought a total of $14,748,350 – well over the $7.4/10.8 million estimate.