Collect Call: After a fashion;
Tuesday 16 September 1997
Montpelier Street, Knightsbridge, London SW7
Three objects that no stylist should be without: plastic sandals by Jean-Paul Gaultier, a yacht-shaped TV-radiogram and a wrought-iron pink cactus on wheels (with mechanical bird). They are all for sale at Bonhams' design sale this Saturday.
The black Gaultier sandals, circa 1982, have squidged their way into a design sale, instead of a fashion or a pop sale, because they are a marvel of industrial design - injection moulded in one piece. Watchers of the enfant terrible of French fashion will note that they date from his Black Sorceresses phase, shortly before his fancy strayed into Existentialism and Dadaist underwear. There is a market for Gaultier sandals such as these. A pair of yellow ones sold for pounds 126.50 at Bonham's design sale in June last year. These are estimated at pounds 120-pounds 160.
The truly hideous German TV-radiogram by "Comet" is a mystery. No textbook lists it. It appears to be a one-off banged together as an eye-catcher for a trade exhibition in Frankfurt, probably in the Fifties. The vendor's only provenance is a faded photocopy of it from a trade journal. At an estimated pounds 1,500-pounds 2,500 it is an expensive joke. The trompe l'oeil geometry makes the TV screen appear lop-sided. It could drive you barmy. The cactus on wheels, estimated pounds 1,000-pounds 1,500, is one of about a dozen made by 38- year-old Brighton metalworker Jon Mills. Pull a lever and the bird pecks the cactus. He tells me the cacti were inspired by the metal spikes that appear when he is welding. A version without bird or handle failed to sell atChristie's South Kensington last year. A pity, because Mills's creaking, clanking automata are in demand as public commissions - he made a coin-operated automaton of Croydon town hall and library which has 14 automated scenes, including books that open and a teapot that pours into revolving cups. Four more of his works, including a 2.5-metre tall pillar crammed with 800 cut-and-forged birds will be in Sotheby's contemporary decorative arts sale in February.
Sat 20 Sept, 2pm.
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