An exceptional sale for furniture

On 7 October, Christie's auction house organised the sale of part of the collection of Annie Bernheim-Dalsace and Jean Dalsace from their famous and unique house. Around sixty pieces of furniture were sold at exceptional prices by the auctioneers. The plans for the "glass house" were the fruit of the imagination and talent of the architect Pierre Chareau, at the request of the couple of collectors who were passionate about avant-garde art. 

In 1919, Annie Bernheim-Dalsace and Jean Dalsace were newlyweds and called on Pierre Chareau to design and fit out their home. The "glass house" was built at the end of 1931. It is a major building in the history of architecture, built largely with glass bricks and structured by a metal frame. The building was subsequently classified as a historical monument in 1982. 

Pierre Chareau also designed most of the furniture that adorned the interior of the house; chairs, desks, coat racks, chests of drawers, lamps, tables, etc... During this period of work, the artist studied several aspects of furniture creation, he is innovative in the field of the fusion of materials, sometimes surprising mixtures, combining iron with wood, wood with glass, and glass with iron. Playing on striking contrasts, and never forgetting the utility of his works. The artist respects the function of the work while influencing its nature, leaving the background legible on the surface of the form. Pierre Chareau is an artist who plays with matter, he creates objects that are sober in appearance, and he is concerned with harmony and beauty, an essential quality of a good interior designer. 

The sale organised by Christie's was a great success, with sale prices sometimes exceeding 10 times the auctioneers' highest estimate. For example, the 'SN 9' table, made around 1930, was estimated at between € 30,000 and € 50,000 and eventually sold for € 596,000. A wrought iron and glass coffee table, estimated at between € 20,000 and € 30,000, sold for € 450,000. The auctioneer's hammer had to be patient during this sale !