Christie’s has tapped event producers and designers Jane Schulak and David Stark to inaugurate its new bi-annual auction series, The Collectors – a triple-city auction encompassing 600 lots.
The bumper sale celebrates all things decorative arts – including 19th-century European furniture, art, ceramics, glass, and a cache of elaborately decorated gold boxes from the 16-20th century. The entire catalogue of items for auction will be available online from 30 March, while the real-life objects have been staged at Christie’s London, Paris and New York showrooms in a series of connected sets designed by Stark and Schulak.
Schulak and Stark are the creative director of the non-profit Culture Lab Detroit and founder of the eponymous studio David Stark Design and Production, respectively and recently published At the Artisan’s Table. The book is essentially a love letter to decorative objects that delves into museum collections around the world, plus contemporary artisans who reinterpret crafts and styles for a modern audience.
They’ve used treillage as the ‘visual thread’ to connect the auction sets, putting a contemporary spin on the design motif which gained popularity in 18th-century France.
‘Treillage, reinterpreted in graphic fluorescence, is the great connector between the three cities – grounded in history but reinterpreted with a pop sensibility. It works beautifully as a backdrop for all the objects in the sale irrespective of period and origin’, the pair says.
The motif is expressed in geo-specific colour schemes: yellow and brown in New York to nod to the city’s architectural stock, red and burgundy for Paris, and an ultra-modern neon pink for London.
‘It’s been great fun shining the spotlight on historical objects that are a direct path from the 18th century to the 21st century, recontextualizing them as surprisingly contemporary in an electric mix of juxtapositions,’ they add.
Among the many offerings is a lacquered chinoiserie secretaire, fungi-inspired Flora Danica dinnerware and Louis XVI chairs. Some lots have no reserve, while others have estimates up to €200,000.
The inaugural edition of The Collectors opens for bidding on 4 April and closes on 18,19 and 20 April in London, New York and Paris, respectively.