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The opening of a new Paris saleroom has resulted in a shift of axis for Christie’s decorative arts sales. While the sale location of any item is decided on an individual basis, many of the fashionable and profitable examples of design from the French Art Deco and the immediate pre- and post-war periods that used to provide King Street sales with some of their top prices will now be sold in Paris where they will provide an obvious strongly national focus for Christie’s new saleroom. London’s King Street rooms, meanwhile, will be concentrating on top-end British and other higher value fields of early 20th century decorative arts. South Kensington, on the other hand, will continue to offer a much wider range and cover more experimental fields but at more affordable price levels.

So the main focuses for the May 15 sale were British Arts and Crafts, which made up the first 34 lots and a dozen lots of Danish design from 1930-60 that rounded off the event with sections devoted to Lalique glassware, Jensen silver and French Art Nouveau glass and furniture in between.

Buyers picked their way through all the sections, leaving 45 lots (39 per cent) unsold. And it was an American offering that ended up leading the day when an extensive 84-piece 12-setting flatware service by Tiffany and Co, with two-colour gilt decoration of Japanese motifs to the handles and knife blades, silver-gilt Japanesque decoration, went for £30,000. Seventy pieces dated from c.1878, making it probably Tiffany’s first design in the Japaneseque pattern, the remaining 12 knives dated from 1965, from a later reissue of the design as the Audubon pattern.

One piece of British Arts and Crafts that met with a notably keen following was an oak refectory table and a pair of benches from the cottage kitchen of Earlshall Fife, essays in Arts and Crafts style by the architect Robert Lorimer who was commissioned by RWR Mackenzie to refurbish, the 16th century Scottish castle. When Christie’s sold these pieces in Scotland in 1983, the table fetched £2200 and the benches £950. This time around the set came in at £22,000.

One of the most sought-after lots was an example of the British take on Art Deco in the form of an 11ft 4in x 9ft 3in (3.45 x 2.82m) handknotted carpet designed by Marion Dorn with linear motifs on a cream ground.

One of the pieces which captured the current decorative mood, it was pursued by around eight would-be purchasers to £21,000. There was also very keen demand for a piece of 1950s Italian design which managed a double-estimate £26,000. This last was a collaboration in the form of a mahogany-veneered cabinet designed by Osvaldo Borsani with Piero Fornasetti and Lucio Fontana featuring a pair of sliding glass doors reverse decorated by Fornasetti with his trademark array of tablewares – in this case a selection of glass goblets – and cast gilt bronze handles by Fontana.

Christie’s Simon Andrews wasn’t surprised to see this double the estimate at £21,000. “I knew it was a good piece,” he said, “and it involved the talents of three principal designer decorators of the period.”