Shane Ferro
Art market news and commentary by the staff of Art+Auction

MARKET WATCH: Art market news and commentary by the staff of Art+Auction

$15 Million French Art Deco Collection Heads to Christie’s in December

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The late New York investor and nightlife magnate Steven A. Greenberg made a fortune operating after-dark institutions such as the Roxy, the Palladium and the Gramercy Park Hotel, and he took a similarly grand approach to building his collection of French Art Deco design from the 1920s and 1930s, hitting the block at Christie’s December 12 and 13.

Greenberg “focused with great passion on the sumptuous, luxurious and highly decorative aspect of French artistic sensibilities in the 1920s and 30s, and concentrated on the work of three emblematic creators,” Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann, Jean Dunand and Jean Dupas,” said Carina Villinger, head of Christie’s 20th century decorative art and design department, in a statement.

The 210 lots are expected to bring in around $15 million, with a coolly modernist desk by Ruhlmann leading the sale at $2 million-$3 million. Greenberg’s collection also includes a macassar ebony cabinet, a dining room set and beaded table lamps by the artist.

Lacquer furniture is in strong supply, largely from Dunand, who contributes a piano, a cabinet radio, a Suprematist-style table and several vases, and Eileen Gray, whose brown lacquer dressing screen is on offer for $1.5 million-$2.5 million. Fine art, meanwhile, takes a backseat overall, but a highlight is Dupas’ “Chariot of Poseidon” mural, part of a larger work designed for the luxury cruise ship the SS Normandie, estimated at $100,000-$150,000.

–Rachel Corbett

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