Henningsen Lights up Modern Design Auction

On Sunday October 7th 2012 Leonard Joel offered its second curated auction of Modern furnishings, objects, lighting, art and design. Almost 300 lots went under the hammer with some extraordinary results indicating the changing tastes amongst collectors that are now willing to embrace and “pay up” for quality post-war pieces. The highest price for the afternoon auction was for lot 157A, a beautifully intricate light fitting in the manner of an artichoke and designed by Poul Henningsen, that realised a staggering $13,420 (IBP) against a low estimate of just $3,600.

1The strength of interest in Featherston pieces continued with half of the top ten results for the auction going to the enigmatic mid-century Melbourne designer. Lot 98, a rare “Obo” chair designed in 1974 by Featherston that resembled a giant brown velvet tennis ball, confirmed the demand for the local designer when it realised $7,200(IBP). The result led someone at the auction to comment that “that was a hell of a price for a beanbag!”

Interest and bidding was not just reserved for the sleek and the clean – two heavily worn pairs of Newman College chairs in need of restoration (lots 15 and 16) by Walter Burley Griffin and dating from 1916 realised $6,710 (IBP) and $5,612 (IBP) respectively. International designers such as Eames, Wenger, Vodder, Bellman, Saarinen, Wikkelsoe and Bianconi were also represented and enjoyed strong interest from buyers willing to look beyond the local designers Featherston and Krimper. Amongst the interest in international lots, lot 142, a GE236/4 sofa by Hans Wenger realised $4,800 (IBP). The auction realised in excess of $250,000 (IBP) and firmly positioned Leonard Joel as the Melbourne auction house for post-war design buyers and sellers.

Eoghan Doherty, Head of Modern Design, is now accepting entries for forthcoming Modern Design auctions.

For an obligation-free market valuation of your single item or collection contact

Eoghan Doherty
t: (03) 8825 5632
e: Eoghan Doherty