Saturday, 18 October 2014

Christie's Announces Design Treasures auction on the 5th of November

On 5 November Christie’s will offer a broad cross-section of furniture and objects from design emporium Talisman. A glamorous intersection between antiques, interiors and fashion, Talisman champions pieces that are as much about personality as provenance. The auction comprises 277 lots and presents the opportunity to acquire objects collected by Ken Bolan, who founded Talisman in Dorset in 1982. In 2006 Bolan opened Talisman’s flagship store in London, in a converted art deco garage on the New King’s Road, followed in 2010 by a second showroom on Ebury Street. With the gradual migration of the firm’s business to London the decision was taken to close the Dorset showroom, giving the initial impetus for this sale, which includes items carefully selected from all Talisman’s stores. The sale mixes objects both old and new, bold and subtle with estimates ranging from £500 to £80,000. The auction will be on public exhibition at Christie’s South Kensington from 1 to 4 November 2014 and is expected to realise in excess of £800,000. A Public Exhibition is scheduled 1 to 4 November 2014.

SCULPTURE: The Talisman sale includes a broad selection of sculpture, for both house and garden, as well as an interesting group of cast-iron garden furniture, predominantly 19th century from the sought-after Coalbrookdale foundry. Leading the sale is the monumental Fonthill ‘Coadestone’ torso of the giant Polyphemus which dates from circa 1800 (estimate: £50,000-80,000). An immensely rare survival, this unique sculpture was purchased in 1843 by James Morrison – an exceptionally rich merchant, politician and art collector, often referred to as ‘the richest commoner in England’ – for the grounds of the great mansion he created at Fonthill, Wiltshire. This magnificent sculpture is one of very few pieces to survive from Morrison’s Fonthill, which was demolished in the early 20th century. Further highlights include
a life-size bronze sculpture of a 1930s Bugatti Type 51 by French sculptor Christian Maas (estimate: £40,000-60,000). The sculpture is modelled on the car of the famed French racing driver, Maurice Trintgnant, who is portrayed at the wheel of the car. Trintgnant won both the 1938 and 1939 Grand Prix des Frontières with his trusty Bugatti. After the Second World War he went on to drive for the Gordini team in the newly created formula One World Championships, twice winning the Monaco Grand Prix in 1955 and 1958, and was the last driver to drive a Bugatti (this time a Type 251) at a Grand Prix race in 1956.  

FURNITURE: Talisman is renowned for sourcing and commissioning furniture of exceptional quality. The sale includes a broad range of examples, from a Louis XIV oyster-veneered commode of circa 1700 (estimate: £4,000-6,000) and 18th century painted Swedish furniture, to striking 20th century design including a group of pieces by the  renowned designer Paul Evans and an important ‘Bathers’ bronze and pewter table by Philip and Kelvin Laverne, circa 1968 (estimate: £40,000-60,000) inspired by the work of Henri Matisse. The sale also includes a selection of pieces by Talisman both from their Talisman Bespoke and Talisman Edition ranges.  

LIGHTING: The sale features a strong selection of unusual and striking table and floor lamps, such as a brass and steel floor standing ‘palm tree’ lamp, in the manner of Maison Jansen (estimate: £1,200-1,800) and a set of five spherical ‘spin lamps’ (estimate: £1,500-2,500) and a large stainless steel angle-poise ‘movie’ floor lamp by Curtis Jeré (estimate: £3,000-5,000).


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