Lalique Alicante vase, £11,000 at Chiswick Auctions.

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The January 10 event in west London was led by an Alicante vase, the ever-popular form modelled in low relief with parrot heads (model No 998 in Félix Marcilhac’s Lalique catalogue raisonné).

Designed in 1927, it was made in different colourways and can accordingly bring widely differing prices. This example is double-cased with opalescent glass core and a frosted and polished outer, highlighted with a blue-grey stain. Signed R Lalique France, it was guided at £5500-7500 but sold for £11,000.

The quarterly sale included pieces from most European progressive design movements from the Arts & Crafts to the contemporary. But post-war Italian design was a particularly strong category.

The offering included seating furniture from the leather-upholstered and chrome Soriana range designed by Afra and Tobia Scarpa for Cassina in 1969. A two-seater sofa in cream buttoned upholstery and a matching easy chair and ottoman both dated from c.1970 sold at £4000 and £3200 respectively.


Cammei table lamp by Piero Fornasetti, £1300 at Chiswick Auctions.

Works by Piero Fornasetti included a set of six plates from the Tema e Variazioni series, each parcel-gilt and transfer printed with the face of Lina Cavalieri in various guises, which sold for £950 and a 1960s Cammei table lamp with gilt cameo motifs on a green ground, taking £1300.


Gabriella Crespi Kaleidoscope series table lamp, £3800 at Chiswick Auctions.

Among the best-known works of Gabriella Crespi (1922-2017) is the Kaleidoscope series of c.1970 table lamps with elongated octahedron-shaped shades (the example here sold for £3800) while a patinated bronze Hydra side table, a 2009 design by the Paris-based artist and designer Mattia Bonetti (b.1952) had expectations of £4000-6000 and realised £7000.


Patinated bronze Hydra side table by Mattia Bonetti, £7000 at Chiswick Auctions.

Another contemporary bestseller was a small crocodile skin ‘aeroplane’ coin tray by Hermes. Designed by Gilles Jonemann (b.1944), this limited model with moveable wheels and propellor was part of the ‘Petit H’ initiative, hiring with guest artists and designers to use leftover materials from already-made Hermès products to create unexpected items. Offered in its original box, it sold for £1800.


La Chaise lounge chair by Charles and Ray Eames, £2600 at Chiswick Auctions.

A rare design by Charles and Ray Eames, a La Chaise lounge chair in fibreglass, wood and tubular steel, made £2600. While this was a 1990s reissue by Vitra, the original model was among the designs created for the 1948 Low Cost Furniture Design competition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Dunhill delights


Dunhill ‘aquarium’ lighter, £2600 at Chiswick Auctions.

In the wake of an auction record for an ‘aquarium’ lighter at Chiswick Auctions set in December 2022, two more of the classic 1950s Dunhill accessories came for sale.

It’s not difficult to see how these uber-collectable lighters got their name. Not only do they resemble miniature fish tanks, but most were decorated with aquatic subjects. The thick layer of Lucite, a material developed by the American air force during the Second World War, provides an illusion of movement.

The examples here were both 4in (10cm) lighters engraved with fish. One with a front panel depicting grey and orange sweetlips fish with three angel fish to the reverse took £2600, while another decorated with three grey fish to one side and a pair of black Betta fish brought £2200.

Fourteen months ago, a lighter depicting a pair of water birds to one side and a snowy heron to the other raced away to bring £13,000 (ATG No 2574).