Tuesday 17 July 2018

Eileen Gray chair to fetch millions at NY auction

A RECESSION-proof chair by a Wexford-born furniture designer was expected to sell for many millions in an auction in New York last night (Tuesday)

The Sirene armchair by celebrated, County Wexford-born architect and designer Eileen Gray carried an estimate of around €2m, but fine art auctioneers Christie's believed the rare item could reach 'tens of millions of dollars'.

Last year, in Paris, a single chair by Gray was sold by Christie's for over €22 million.

Described as a 'lacquered and painted beech armchair', the Sirene was one of two Eileen Gray items in last night's auction at Manhattan's Rockefeller Plaza. A screen, made in 1923 from painted wood panels, also went under the hammer with a price tag of over €700,000.

Eileen Gray was born into an aristocratic family in Enniscorthy in 1878. She became an architect and lived for most of her adult life in France where she was a leading figure in the Art Deco design movement.

She died, aged 98, in Paris in 1976.

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