Sideboard designed by Francis Bacon

An oak, black glass and chrome steel sideboard designed by Francis Bacon, SwFr58,000 (£50,875) at Koller.

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In the late 1920s and early 1930s, Bacon designed furniture and carpets in the Modernist style. He had previously worked as a part-time designer during stays on the continent, but in 1928 he established a studio in a converted garage at Queensberry Mews West in South Kensington.

He sold his first pieces in 1929 which were clearly influenced by Marcel Breuer, Le Corbusier and Eileen Gray. It is not known who actually manufactured them. Only a year later, several of his pieces were the subject of an article in the August 1930 issue of The Studio.

In spite of the publicity, Bacon’s furniture project was generally unsuccessful and he soon abandoned his efforts and devoted himself exclusively to painting.

Bought by a baron

Today’s collectors show more appreciation for the rare pieces, as can be seen by the interest in an oak, black glass and chrome steel sideboard which was sold by Koller (25/22/15% buyer’s premium) in Zurich on March 21.

The sideboard was accompanied by the original invoice from October 1930, Bacon’s business card and a pen sketch of a room, presumably also by Bacon, showing where the sideboard, possibly a commission piece, would stand.

The original purchaser was a German baron who bought it for his residence in the Swiss canton of Ticino, where it remained until the owner’s death in 2005. It was then inherited by the vendor.

After a spirited exchange of bids, the sideboard was knocked down to an international collector for SwFr58,000 (£50,875), almost five times the lower estimate.

Limoges dove

Limoges dove

A eucharistic Limoges dove sold for SwFr130,000 (£114,035) at Koller.

On a different note, the unusual 13th century eucharistic dove from Limoges previewed in ATG No 2632 found a new owner for SwFr130,000 (£114,035) slightly more than the guide.