André Dubreuil - Design: Online Auction New York Tuesday, February 7, 2023 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Galerie Yves Gastou, Paris
    Acquired from the above by the present owner, 1990

  • Literature

    Claire Downey, Neo Furniture, London, 1992, p. 58 for later examples
    Jean–Louis Gaillemin, André Dubreuil: Poet of Iron, Paris, 2006, figs. 46, 50, 53-54, 121, 127-28 for later examples

  • Catalogue Essay

    Phillips would like to thank Galerie Mougin for their assistance cataloguing the present lot.

    André Dubreuil created a series of works such as this candleholder — titled “Pearls” in English — that implement glass bead details. This early example is particularly rare — as the bronze component just above the four legs is pear-shaped rather than spherical, which was used in later examples. Only approximately eight of these examples were ever made.

    Lots 1 through 10 in this auction come from the collection of celebrated curator Pierre Apraxine. From 1976 to 2007 Mr. Apraxine was the art curator for the Gilman Paper Company headed by the late Howard Gilman. There he assembled several collections of contemporary painting and sculpture, visionary architectural drawings (now at The Museum of Modern Art), and photographs. In 1993 the collection of photographs was shown at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in a landmark exhibition, The Waking Dream: Photography's First Century. Over the course of his long career, Apraxine also built a small and select personal collection that includes Design objects and photographs. It is Phillips distinct pleasure to present offerings from his collection.

    Born in Estonia and educated in Belgium, Pierre Apraxine came to America in 1970 as a Fulbright Scholar to work at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. Besides The Waking Dream Apraxine has curated several exhibitions for the Metropolitan, among them La Divine Comtesse: Photographs of the Countess de Castiglione in 2000, and A Perfect Medium: Photography and the Occult in 2005. He is also the author with the master-printer Richard Benson of Photographs from the Collection of the Gilman Paper Company (1985), and Leon Tolstoi. Photographies de Sophie Tolstoi (1993). In 2001 he was curator in charge of the installation of Gustave Le Gray at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris, the first retrospective exhibition in France of this major figure of early photography.

    From 1983 to 2005, Mr. Apraxine was a member of the Board of Directors of the Howard Gilman Foundation. At the present time he is a consultant curator for the Department of Photographs at the Metropolitan Museum and a member of its Visiting Committee. He also serves on the Committee of Architecture and Design of The Museum of Modern Art. In 2005 Pierre Apraxine was made Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Republic.

Property from the Collection of Pierre Apraxine


Early and rare "Perles" candleholder

circa 1989
Patinated iron, bronze, glass.
24 1/2 in. (62.2 cm) high

$8,000 - 12,000 

Sold for $126,000

Contact Specialist

Benjamin Green
Associate Specialist
Associate Head of Sale
+1 917 207 9090

Design: Online Auction

Online Auction 7 - 14 February 2023