What Is Collectible Design And How Are Prices For It Formed?

What Is Collectible Design And How Are Prices For It Formed?
What Is Collectible Design And How Are Prices For It Formed?

Video: What Is Collectible Design And How Are Prices For It Formed?

Отличия серверных жестких дисков от десктопных
Video: Why people are buying cartoon cats on the blockchain 2023, January
Anonim

Timeline

Collectible design can be divided into historical and modern. In the international art environment, it is customary to refer to "historical" items of furniture and decorative and applied art dating from the late 19th century to the 80s of the 20th century. Then comes a period of a kind of "timelessness": things from the 80s are already a deep vintage. Although many authors active at that time, still create something that is related to modern design. The chronology of contemporary collectible design is becoming clearer: we are talking about objects created from the late 1990s to the present day.

Historical design

In auction catalogs, historical design begins with the late 19th century Arts & Crafts creations. The founder of this art movement, which spread to Europe and America, is considered the British William Morris - an idealist and adherent of handicraft, which he contrasted with industrialization with its bad taste. Some researchers call this period proto-modern due to the "romantic" component and the appeal to organic forms. The list of Morris's most famous followers includes two architects - Scotsman Charles Rennie Mackintosh and American Frank Lloyd Wright. Next in chronology is the Art Nouveau style of the early 20th century, which in France is called Art Nouveau, in Austria and Germany - Jugendstil, and in Italy - Liberty.

Jean-Michel Franck, cabinet, 1935 (sold at Sotheby's in Paris in March 2014 for € 3,681,500)
Jean-Michel Franck, cabinet, 1935 (sold at Sotheby's in Paris in March 2014 for € 3,681,500)

Jean-Michel Franck, cabinet, 1935 (sold at Sotheby's in Paris in March 2014 for € 3,681,500) © press service

During this period, the Vienna Workshops stand out, which grew out of the Vienna Secession - an association of architects, designers and artisans that existed from 1903 to 1932 and truly reformed design.

The florid style evolved into geometric, ascetic forms, the prototype of modernist design, and to this day is considered the standard of taste. It should be noted that in the first half of the 20th century, design items were created in small quantities, although industrial production had already been mastered. Even the Bauhaus and early functionalism are just a proclaimed mass character. Therefore, they have a high collection value. Next comes Art Deco - things with complex artistic solutions, made of expensive materials. They, as a rule, were made according to individual projects and were not cheap.

Jean Dunant, part of a triptych from the Parisian salon of Madame Agnes on rue Saint-Florentin, 1926 (sold at Phillips in London in September 2013 for £ 170,500)
Jean Dunant, part of a triptych from the Parisian salon of Madame Agnes on rue Saint-Florentin, 1926 (sold at Phillips in London in September 2013 for £ 170,500)

Jean Dunant, part of a triptych from the Parisian salon of Madame Agnes on rue Saint-Florentin, 1926 (sold at the Phillips auction in London in September 2013 for £ 170,500) © press office

Development philosophy

Any great style or artistic movement exists in a historical context. Wars, colonialism, technical progress - design has always been a kind of “barometer of the era”. Cyclicity is another integral part of its development. Thus, modernism, with its simple elegance, denies the lush aesthetics of the past. Postmodernity, on the contrary, returns to excesses, loading things with symbols.

Collecting history

The first wave of passion for collectible design came in the 1960s. Then, advanced consumers were interested in Art Deco, and the main centers of trade were New York, Paris, and a little later, London. Structured markets emerged in the second half of the 90s, when auction houses began opening design departments of the 20th century. At the same time specialized galleries arose and turned into notable players.

Eileen Gray, Transat Chair, 1927-1930 (sold at Christie's New York in June 2018 for $ 1,596,500)
Eileen Gray, Transat Chair, 1927-1930 (sold at Christie's New York in June 2018 for $ 1,596,500)

Eileen Gray, Transat armchair, 1927-1930 (sold at Christie's New York in June 2018 for $ 1,596,500) © Press Office

In the 2010s, collectible design began to set auction records. For example, the Dragons armchair (1917-1919), designed by Eileen Gray, from the collection of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berger, was sold in 2009 at Christie's for € 21.9 million. It is the most expensive design item sold at public auction.

Geography

Each country has its own heroes. Scandinavian design is easily recognizable for its clean lines and natural materials. Arne Jacobsen, Finn Juhl, Hans Wegner, Poul Kierholm - the works of these stars are actively collected. The creations of Italian masters are always emotionality, elegance and dynamism of lines, zoomorphic forms, grotesque and exaggeration in the radical design of the 70s-80s. Everyone knows and loves Joe Ponti and Carlo Mollino, Achille Castiglioni and Ettore Sottsass. America is the Good Design of the mid-century, the craft movement of the 70s.

Charles and Ray Eames, Norman Cherner, George Nakashima, Paul Evans and Vladimir Kagan are great co-authors of the history of American design. Brazil - a seething immigrant cauldron - has given birth to its heroes. Oscar Niemeyer, Joaquin Tenreiro, Lina Bo Bardi and jacaranda - as the main material - quickly entered modern fashion.

The phenomenon of French modernism

French modernism is a separate topic in collectible design. The harsh-looking and expressive things of Jean Prouvé, Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand excite the imagination of collectors today, and sometimes people far from design and art. Several Parisian galleries have played a major role in the popularization of this "orphan modernism," which some researchers jokingly call. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, most of the public interested in design looked towards glamor, that is, Art Deco or contemporary decorative designers such as Elizabeth Garoust. At the same time, Patrick Segan and his then partner Philippe Jousse were rapidly devastating lecture halls and student dormitories of universities, where furniture was made by designs by Jean Prouvé and Charlotte Perrian. They also went to Indian Chandigarh,to retrieve the masterpieces of Le Corbusier and Jeanneret from the ruins. Indeed, in the early 1950s, Jawaharlal Nehru ordered Le Corbusier to build an "ideal city" in northern India.

Pierre Charaud, Religieuse floor lamp, model SN 31, 1923 (sold at Christie's, New York in June 2018 for $ 2,172,500)
Pierre Charaud, Religieuse floor lamp, model SN 31, 1923 (sold at Christie's, New York in June 2018 for $ 2,172,500)

Pierre Charaud, Religieuse floor lamp, model SN 31, 1923 (sold at Christie's, New York in June 2018 for $ 2,172,500) © press service

Now the furniture designed by Pierre Jeanneret, Le Corbusier's cousin, is a collectible design fetish for Chandigarh and is often counterfeited. Architecturality, the ability to squeeze the most out of materials - all these are the features of "orphan modernism", beautiful and expressive. The merit of the Segan and Joussa galleries in Paris lies in their serious research work, in conveying information to the general public through numerous exhibitions and published books. Gradually, in the late 1990s, there was a steady demand for these items. And in the early 2000s, heavy artillery joined in: the international galleries Sonnabend and Gagosian began to make joint high-profile projects with the French. As a result, things that were once considered old-fashioned and gruff can now be found in the most refined collections and homes of Hollywood celebrities.Why did the stars come together so for Jean Prouvé, Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perrian - a topic for esotericists. After all, many other talents remained in little demand.

Jean Prouvet, compass table, 1950
Jean Prouvet, compass table, 1950

Jean Prouvet, compass table, 1950 © press office

Pricing

Market prices for collectible designs are classically dependent on supply and demand. Also influenced by the name of the author, the rarity of the item, circulation, historicity, provenance and, of course, marketing. Demand is generated by dealers, galleries, auction houses - exactly the same as it happens in art. According to gallery owners, there are a lot of contemporary artists, but there are much fewer modern designers.

Charlotte Perriand with Jean Prouvet atelier, Mexique bookcase, 1950
Charlotte Perriand with Jean Prouvet atelier, Mexique bookcase, 1950

Charlotte Perriand with Jean Prouvé's atelier, Mexique bookcase, 1950 © press service

There is a chance that the demand for the works of this or that author will be stable. In the recent past, the design market has seen the arrival of speculative capital, which is the only explanation for the six-figure price tags on things like Mark Newson or Joris Laarman. Effectiveness and expensive materials, a tribute to fashion - all this together costs more than a historical design. Contemporary art today can cost even more than the works of old masters.

The role of museums and fairs

The museums of London Victoria and Albert and the Museum of Design, the Parisian Museum of Decorative Arts make a great contribution to the promotion of design achievements. Exhibitions contribute to the growth of the prestige of design - for example, the grandiose exhibition dedicated to the 100th anniversary of Ettore Sottsass at the Triennale Museum in Milan has increased interest in the work of the great Italian. Major international art fairs - Art Basel, FIAC - have design sections. There are also exhibitions specialized in this topic, such as PAD (London, Paris, Geneva).

Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann, État office, 1922 (from the collection of the Metropolitan Museum, New York)
Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann, État office, 1922 (from the collection of the Metropolitan Museum, New York)

Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann, État office, 1922 (from the collection of the Metropolitan Museum, New York) © press office

Circulation, reprints, forgeries

The uniqueness of the product plays a decisive role in collectible design. The ideal variant is a prototype, a single copy. Items from the first editions are also valuable, as are lifetime editions of famous items. But design sometimes falls prey to its popularity. One of the most striking examples is Eames's Americans.

Ron Arad, Bio-Void 4 Chair, 2006, limited to 6 copies (sold at Sotheby's 2010 for $ 79,250)
Ron Arad, Bio-Void 4 Chair, 2006, limited to 6 copies (sold at Sotheby's 2010 for $ 79,250)

Ron Arad, Bio-Void 4 chair, 2006, limited to 6 copies (sold at Sotheby's in 2010 for $ 79,250) © Press Office

Mass licensed production and Asian counterfeits have virtually destroyed the market for their vintage editions. Some well-known models, such as Jean Prouvé's Standard chair, are officially produced by furniture companies. But, unlike the vintage versions, it does not become collectible. Which is obvious: these items do not have that noble patina of time, hand-made, and everything is done technologically differently.>

Popular by topic