Twentieth Century Unlimited

Skinner’s December 14 auction offers a comprehensive selection of furniture and decorative arts of the 20th century, a time span of unparalleled creativity.

George Nakashima (1905-1990) Walnut Triple Chest of Drawers, New Hope, Pennsylvania, mid-20th century (Lot 429, Estimate: $8,000-12,000)

BOSTON, MA – December 9, 2018 Skinner presents a notable sale of 20th Century Design on Friday, December 14 at 10AM. The sale of over 500 lots is rich in renowned names and objects, plus unheralded treasures by modern masters waiting to be discovered. This eclectic mix for which Skinner is well-known has appeals to adventurous collectors of free-ranging tastes as well as connoisseurs seeking a rarity to complete an established collection.

Highlights from famous artists and artisans include: an important Marblehead Pottery Vase designed by Annie Aldrich and decorated by Sarah Tutt (Lot 95, Estimate: $10,000-20,000); a Tiffany Studios bronze floor lamp with Maple Leaf shade (Lot 40, Estimate: $80,000-120,000); a Finn Juhl Model 45 settee (Lot 330, Estimate: $10,000-15,000); and a George Nakashima triple chest of drawers (Lot 441, Estimate: $8,000-12,000).

Rare Annie E. Aldrich and Sarah Tutt Marblehead Pottery Vase, Marblehead, Massachusetts, c. 1909 (Lot 95, Estimate: $10,000-20,000) 

Tiffany Studios Bronze Floor Lamp with Maple Leaf Shade, New York, early 20th century (Lot 40, Estimate: $80,000-120,000)

Other notable items are a pair of “Tête de femme” bronze figural lamps and a bronze “Console aux deux oiseaux” all attributed to Diego Giacometti; Gabriella Crespi’s brass and chrome “Magic Cube” cocktail table; a number of Nakashima chairs and tables, and many more examples of the best of the best mid-century modern. Featured is inventive furniture by Hans Wegner, Eero Saarinen, Ray and Charles Eames and Alvar Aalto.

Gabriella Crespi Brass and Chrome’Magic Cube’ Cocktail Table, Italy, c. 1970 (Lot 539, Estimate: $20,000-25,000)

Two fine collections are represented: The first is a collection of Danish modern furniture collected by MIT Professor of Theoretical Physics, Kenneth A. Johnson, during the 1950s, 60s and 70s while living in Copenhagen, and the second collection includes the original contents of a New York City penthouse designed and furnished by Associated Designers for Interiors in 1960.

Forms and media are richly varied, from glass sculpture by Harvey K. Littleton and Howard Ben Tre to studio pottery by Lucy Rie, Claude Conover and Pablo Picasso; Bianconi and Buzzi art glass and Georg Jensen tableware; a Gudrun Baudisch ceramic head and architectural drawings from the Frederick and Jean Scharff collection.

This auction presents the rich innovations of modern design from art nouveau roots to artists and artisans still active today. The items offered reflect the increasingly international tastes of a growing, and growingly confident, country. New ideas, new materials, and new lifestyles are all hallmarks of twentieth century design that abound in this sale.

Auction Previews

Previews for the auction will be held in Boston on Wednesday, December 12, 12PM-5PM and Thursday, December 13, 12PM-7PM. Free and open to the public, specialists will be on hand to answer questions. Auction lots may be viewed at

About Skinner

Skinner attracts top consignments and commands record-breaking prices in the international auction marketplace. With renowned expertise and extraordinary service, Skinner is the place for buyers, sellers and the passionately curious. Skinner appraisers are familiar faces on PBS’s 16-time Emmy Award-nominated ANTIQUES ROADSHOW. Visit us in Boston, Marlborough, New York or Miami, or online at

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