A Sotheby’s auction last week brought a total of $4 million, the highest-ever result for an online sale of 20th century design. The sale, which was moved from live to online, pushed past its high estimate by more than 25 percent.
Highlights included a “Moorish” Twisted Wire Chandelier created by Tiffany Studios around 1895, catapulting over its high estimate 20 times to sell for $300,000.
Harry Bertoia's Untitled (Sonambient) sculpture fetched $300,000, six times over its high estimate. Across several lots, a series of windows designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, brought in $487,500 total.
Some 10 bidders competed for a Pair of "Direction" Armchairs, Model No. 352 by Jean Prouvé, driving it to sell for $175,000 – multiples of the $30,000 high estimate.
Nearly half of all lots offered sold for prices above their high estimates and six works sold for more than $100,000.
"The remarkable success of our mid-season design auction demonstrates the strong demand we continue to see from collectors worldwide for works across the full spectrum of the design markets," says Jodi Pollack, co-worldwide head of Sotheby’s 20th century design department. "Our record total also reinforces the confidence and shift we are seeing towards bidding and buying online."
The bidders were from 31 countries, with the highest competition from the United States, United Kingdom, France and Hong Kong, with one-third of the bids coming from mobile devices.
Pollack noted, "This result is an important indicator of the design market’s momentum and growth at a much-needed time."