Only Sotheby’s Hong Kong office remains open to the public (by appointment only), while Christie’s and Phillips have all shuttered their global offices until further notice. But that’s not to say there aren’t design auctions going on. With venues across the globe shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the ban on public gatherings, many auction houses are going digital.

‘Sotheby’s is technologically equipped to operate in a variety of scenarios and, based on conversations with both consignors and bidders, we are considering a number of formats to provide for sales to proceed in the most effective manner,’ Sotheby’s said on its website.

Here are the online auctions we’re watching right now.


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Sotheby’s Design
31 March 2020

Closing on 31 March, Sotheby’s Design sale brings together objects and design pieces from the 20th century’s leading names. Included are selections from the private collections of Lloyd and Barbara Macklowe, fashion designer Marc Jacobs and pioneering video game executive Ryan Brant.

Among covetable lots is Marc Jacobs’ 1958 ‘Egg’ Chair by architect Arne Jacobsen, (lot 224; estimate $5,000-$7,000) – designed as part of a hotel commission and later rolled out for a domestic setting. The designer is also parting ways with his Jean Prouvé ‘Compass’ desk (lot 214; estimate $7,000-$10,000) – an enviable spot to work from.


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Elsewhere a number of beautiful 1980s chairs and side tables by George Nakashima and Mira Nakashima (lots 248-263), and a Marcel Coard’s Cubist Armchair circa 1920, designed for Parisian couturier Jacques Doucet, is also for sale.

Architecture enthusiasts should take note of lots 78-82 – stained glass windows from five Frank Lloyd Wright homes, including the Francis W Little House in Minnesota and Joseph J Falser House in Chicago. They currently range between $3,000-$30,000 in estimates.


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Wright’s Art + Design Parts 1 & 2
9 April 2020
23 April 2020

In Chicago, a two-day sale will be held next month of 20th-century art and design pieces, including collections of works by Miguel Berrocal, Rochester-based artist William Sellers, Robert Loughlin, Cleve Gray, and Jim Dine.

Midcentury modern enthusiasts can peruse lighting from the 1950s to present, as well as modernist furniture including Eero Saarinen’s ‘Womb chair and ottoman’ (lot 242; estimate: $1,500–$2,000); and Tarō Okamoto x Comme des Garçons’s angular cardboard chair collab (lot 159; estimate: $2,000–$3,000).

Lot 243: Eero Saarinen, Womb chair and ottoman; (estimate$1,500–2,000)
Lot 158: Charlotte Perriand wall sconces, (set of eight); estimate: $4,000–6,000

And one more that’s TBD

Phillips: Design
London Auction: New Sale Date To Come

Sarfatti, Ponti and Gottardi are just three of the designers to feature in this expansive furniture sale, which includes a number of prototype designs by the Italian maestro. The sale is open for registration but bidders will need to be patient.

A statement on Phillips’ website from Global Chairwoman Cheyenne Westphal said: [Our] 20th Century & Contemporary Art sales in New York will be held the week of 22 June 2020, consolidating the New York and London sales into one week of auctions.’

Phillips’ spring auction in Hong Kong, scheduled for 31 May -2 June is due to proceed as planned.

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