Pedigree Plus Provenance
edited by Sheila Kim-Jamet -- Interior Design, 11/1/2004 12:00:00 AM
Two impressive 20th-century design collections, embracing overlapping material, are coming up for sale almost simultaneously at Sotheby's in New York. One collection belongs to New York decorative and fine-art dealer Barry Friedman, who has consigned 250 French, Austrian, and Swedish objects dating from the early 1900's to the 1950's. (Picture André Arbus alongside Josef Hoffmann and Carl Malmsten.) The second collection, assembled by American International Group founder Robert Rubin, focuses on the furniture of four French architects from the 1930's to the 1960's. (Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret, Charlotte Perriand, Jean Prouvé.)
Similar in star power, the two sales nevertheless embody markedly different philosophies. Rubin's pieces are "more like modernist architectural artifacts," says James Zemaitis, senior vice president and director of the 20th-century design department. "Friedman's collection demonstrates the role of the interior decorator."
Decorative delights include the Friedman sale's Arbus console table in sycamore and bronze. In the architectural camp, consider Rubin's rare Perriand dining chair in ebonized bent plywood and Prouvé "porthole" doors in aluminum and glass—in June, Phillips de Pury & Company sold a similar pair of doors for over $200,000. December 17-18; 212-606-7000; sothebys.com.