NEW YORK — Some 190 lots of Wolfgang Joop’s treasures — enough midcentury French modern furniture to fill an entire home — go on view at Sotheby’s here on Saturday with the hammer dropping on the collection on Dec. 12....
NEW YORK — Some 190 lots of Wolfgang Joop’s treasures — enough midcentury French modern furniture to fill an entire home — go on view at Sotheby’s here on Saturday with the hammer dropping on the collection on Dec. 12. While the sale is vast, it barely scratches the surface of the designer’s holdings, nor does it represent the enormous range of his taste in furniture and fine and decorative art.
“It’s the epitome of the perfect French midcentury collection,” said James Zemaitis, senior vice president and director of 20th-century design at Sotheby’s. “Joop’s design vision as a furniture collector really set the precedent for ensuing waves of collectors. It’s the seminal collection of the period.”
But if it seems as if Joop is putting a large part of his prized collection on the block, don’t worry. He still has plenty left.
“I have a very large collection of furniture from this particular period, most of which I’m keeping,” he said on Wednesday from Germany. “There are some truly outstanding examples of midcentury design in the sale. I’m always collecting, but now I’m more focused on creating.”
Joop was referring to his new fashion business, Wunderkind Couture, a luxury ready-to-wear line. He severed all ties with Joop GmbH, the umbrella for his licensed fashion business in 2001 when he sold his remaining 5 percent stake in the company.
Wunderkind, which is estimated to do between $3 million and $5 million in sales in its first year, will be presented in a Berlin church on Feb. 13. The collection will be shown in Milan during market week and then in New York.
With a new business, Joop felt that he was ready for a change of scenery.
“He’s a very curious collector,” said Cristina Grajales, the decorative arts consultant who wrote the introduction to the Joop catalog Sotheby’s produced for the sale. “He’s always looking for the next thing. It’s like freeing yourself. It’s like a spring cleaning.”
The next thing for Joop is Prussian Rococo. “That’s where my heritage, education and personal style come from,” the designer said. “I would be very bored to live with only one style. It would be like inviting only people from the same profession over for dinner. I have pieces from different periods. Everything must be mixed, otherwise it’s like living in a museum. You need tension in a room to make it interesting.”The sale from Joop’s homes in New York, Germany and Monaco is expected to bring between $2 million and $2.6 million. Highlights include a Charlotte Perriand twin-pedestal desk with an estimate of $80,000 to $120,000 and a Jean Royère Liane six-branch floor lamp, estimated to fetch $40,000 to $60,000. There’s also a rare mahogany Alexandre Noll armchair, estimated to sell at $100,000 to $150,000. “It’s one of his masterpieces,” said Joop. It’s a functioning work of art. When you sit in it, you become part of the sculpture.”
But don’t expect Joop to pine for his former possessions.
“I’m not sentimental about furniture,” he said. “I buy what I like, live with it and replace it. You won’t see me drying my eyes for a sofa.”
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