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Quantity did not equate with success, however, and it proved something of a struggle in many areas. As ever, the only predictable feature of this particular field is the unpredictability of the audience’s response, with models that soar to new heights in one sale hardly raising a bid when they next appear under the hammer.

However, Christie’s specialist Simon Andrews also felt that the marked lack of American activity materially affected the event and helped to push up the unsolds. There was a strong showing from the French, however, and this gave a boost to some of the pieces by fashionable designers, like the 121/4in (31cm) high mid-1950s polychrome glazed ceramic lamp, pictured. This is by Georges Jouve whose work, like that of Prouvé and Perriand, is currently viewed as a very hot ticket and it accordingly doubled estimate at £3800.

Among the later pieces, and in contrast to much of the rest of the sale, there was an encouragingly steady response to the work of Tom Dixon represented here by half a dozen pieces all of which found buyers.