Five fab furniture items from across the 20th century at Bonhams’ latest design auction

From a French Art Nouveau whatnot to a Philippe Stark stool, here are five items from Bonhams upcoming sale.


A what-not or étagère by Louis Majorelle estimated at £2000-3000 at Bonhams' sale.

The 20th Century Decorative Arts & Design sale on June 3 at Bonhams features nearly 300 lots of art and design from ceramics to furniture. Here is as selection of five furniture pieces.

1. Etagère


A detail of the étagère by Louis Majorelle estimated at £2000-3000.

This walnut what-not or étagère with satinwood-veneered elm from c.1900 is by French furniture designer Louis Majorelle (1859-1926).

It is estimated at £2000-3000 at Bonhams' sale.

2. Gallé nesting tables

Nesting tables

A set of three nesting tables c.1925 by Émile Gallé estimated at £4000-6000 at Bonhams.

This set of three nesting tables c.1925 with fruitwood inlay and calamander wood sides are by French artist and designer Émile Gallé. The tables had previously been sold at Sotheby's in 1988 at part of the Elton John ‘Art Nouveau and Art Deco' sale.

They each are inlaid with Gallé’s signature and the set is estimated at £4000-6000.

3. Sideboard

Walnut sideboard

This 6ft (1.8m) walnut sideboard by Edward Barnsley is estimated at £2000-3000 at Bonhams.

This 6ft (1.8m) walnut sideboard by Edward Barnsley will be offered with an accompanying signed letter from Barnsley to the original owner in 1956.

It seems the owner had been asking Barnsley’s advice on how to sell it on because the designer responds by saying: “These large pieces are not easy to ‘move’ sometimes.” He goes on to advise the owner to put an advert in The Times or Connoisseur, telling her that it would be worthwhile mentioning the sideboard was made for and exhibited in the Industrial Design Exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1935 and took 318 hours to make, requiring £17.9.3 to be paid in wages.

For whatever reason, the owner must have decided not to part with the sideboard because it has been in the same family ever since.

It is estimated at £2000-3000 in the 20th Century Decorative Arts and Design sale.

4. Stool

Painted wooden stool

A painted wooden stool attributed to Philippe Starck and estimated at £300-500 at Bonhams.

This brightly coloured stool is attributed to French industrial architect and designer Philippe Starck (b.1949) and is believed to have been made in the 1990s.

The painted wood stool is estimated at £300-500.

5. Armchair


This armchair c.1993 by Czech designer Bořek Šípek was made in Italy and is estimated at £500-700 at the Bonhams auction.

This armchair, from the 'Prosin' series from 1993 is made in cherrywood, leather and fabric upholstery and designed by Czech architect and designer Bořek Šípek (1949-2016). Made by Driade in Italy it was purchased by the present owner in the year it was made and is now estimated at £500-700 at the auction at Bonhams.

View other decorative arts and design lots at Bonhams’ 20th Century Decorative Arts & Design on June 3 here.


Tags: Furniture
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