Freeman's October 16 Design sale featured one of the strongest selections of works from George Nakashima Woodworker studio to be offered at auction in recent years. The excellent array of pieces brought in collectors from near and far; with enthusiastic bidders from suburban Pennsylvania to Paris competing in the room, on the phone, and internet. With outstanding results for New Hope School designers George and Mira Nakashima and Paul Evans, this sale illustrates the growing international demand for Pennsylvania studio craft. Totaling $1.2 million in sales with a 92% sell-through rate, this auction is a sign of good things to come - for both Freeman's 20th Century Design department and for the studio craft market.
"I am thankful to the families and private collectors who continue to choose us for the sale of their Nakashima. If you think about it, we've been bringing Pennsylvania design to auction since Freeman's first opened its doors in 1805. I'm proud to be part of such a long and distinguished tradition," remarked 20th Century department head Tim Andreadis after the sale.
While excellent results were achieved for a number of works from George Nakashima, the stand outs were a special conoid dining table, 1984 which sold for $84,500 and an exceptional double pedestal desk, 1981 that brought $62,500. Designs by Mira Nakashima also saw robust bidding, resulting in some of the most competitive prices for her works at auction, including a special Wepman side table, which nearly tripled pre-sale estimates to bring $4,225.This speaks volumes of the growing number of new collectors looking for quality studio craft, at entry or mid-level price points.
The top lot of the day was a rare "Iris" lantern from Tiffany Studios. Opening the 50-lot sale with an impressive $370,000, this exceptional piece set the tone for a impressive day of design. An excellent result was also achieved for New Hope School designer Paul Evans, whose early 1960s side chair saw highly competitive bidding from both regional and international clients. Far surpassing its auction estimate, the rose upholstered and steel chair finally sold at $20,000 to a Parisian interior designer. Favorites of everyone who saw them, George Jouve's whimsical Oiseaux, each circa 1950, also exceeded estimates, bringing $35,000 and $32,500, respectively.
Consignments are now being welcomed for Freeman's next sale of 20th Century Design, set for the spring of 2017. Titled Craft + Design, it will be a celebration of exceptional studio craft from highly sought after designers such as Wharton Esherick, Paul Evans, George and Mira Nakashima, Philip Lloyd Powell. Freeman's 20th Century Design department has already begun work on the sale, reviewing many fine pieces by these designers and more.
Top Lots of the October 16 Design Auction
- Tiffany Studios, Rare and Important Iris Lantern, New York, Circa 1905. Sold for $370,000.
- George Nakashima, Special Conoid Dining Table, New Hope PA, 1984. Sold for $84,500.
- George Nakashima, Exceptional Double Pedestal Desk, New Hope, PA, 1981. Sold for $62,500.
- George and Mira Nakashima, Special Conoid Room Divider, New Hope, PA, 1989/1991. Sold for $59,375.
- Mira Nakashima, Holtz table and Conoid Chairs, New Hope, PA, 1992. Sold for $50,000.