Eileen Gray - The Collector: Icons of Design New York Tuesday, December 16, 2014 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Eileen Gray, Paris
    Gladys Fabre, Paris, 1973
    Christie's, Paris, "Arts Decoratifs du 20e siècle," May 20, 2003, lot 39
    Private collection, France
    Christie's, Paris, "Les Collections du Château de Gourdon: Chefs-d'œuvre du XXème siècle," March 29, 2011, lot 28
    Artcurial, Paris, "Art Dèco," October 12, 2012, lot 94
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    Centre Georges Pompidou, "Eileen Gray," Paris, February 20 - May 20, 2013

  • Literature

    Eileen Gray, l'Éxposition, exh. cat., Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, 2013, p. 31
    Cloé Pitiot, Eileen Gray sous la direction de Cloé Pitiot, exh. cat., Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, 2013, p. 170
    L'objet D'Art, Paris, no. 487, February 2013, p. 29
    Domus, Milan, no. 968, April 2013, p. 4
    Peter Adam, Eileen Gray: Architect-Designer, London, 1987, pp. 332, 336-37
    Francois Baudot, Eileen Gray, London, 1998, p. 26
    Eileen Gray, An Architecture for all Senses, exh. cat., Deutsches Architektur-Museum, Frankfurt, 1996, pp. 128-29
    Caroline Constant, Eileen Gray, London, 2000, p. 10
    Peter Adam, Eileen Gray: Her Life and Work, Munich, 2008, p. 338

  • Catalogue Essay

    Eileen Gray is known to have produced at least five “Aéroplane” ceiling lights. Four appeared in the historic auction of Gray’s collection at Sotheby Parke Bernet, Monaco, May 25, 1980. The fifth known example, the present lot, was purchased directly from the artist by Gladys Fabre, Paris, in January 1973.

  • Artist Biography

    Eileen Gray

    Irish • 1878 - 1976

    One of the most important designers working in early twentieth-century Paris was in fact an unlikely expatriate: an extraordinary, aristocratic woman from provincial Ireland named Eileen Gray. After completing studies in painting at the Slade in London, Gray moved to Paris in 1906. There she partnered with the Japanese lacquer master Seizo Sugawara, applying the traditional technique to her original designs. She opened her gallery, Jean Désert, in 1922 and found steady work producing luxury objects for an elite clientele.

    Soon, however, she branched out to larger projects. As an interior designer, she completed apartments for Juliette Lévy and her friend Jean Badovici. Encouraged by Badovici, she learned architectural drawing and designed the villa E-1027 in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, which was completed in 1929. Gray was largely forgotten until 1968, when the architectural historian Joseph Rykwert praised her in an article for Domus. Four years later her lacquer screen "Le Destin" achieved the top price in the historic auction of couturier Jacques Doucet's collection in Paris. Recognition — in the form of scholarship, exhibitions and collecting — has gained steady momentum ever since. As curator Jennifer Goff has written, "Collectors vie to own her furniture; historians compete to document her life."

    View More Works


Rare "Aéroplane" ceiling light

circa 1930
Chromium-plated metal, rubber, cobalt blue plate glass, white plate glass.
7 3/4 x 16 1/8 x 16 3/4 in. (19.7 x 41 x 42.5 cm); variable drop
Each rubber cap molded with ETRANGER-BREVETÉ-FRANCE. Together with the original correspondence between Eileen Gray and Gladys Fabre.

$250,000 - 350,000 

Sold for $350,500

Contact Specialist
Alexander Payne
Worldwide Head of Design
+44 20 7318 4052

Alex Heminway
Director of Design
New York
+1 212 940 1268

The Collector: Icons of Design

New York Auction 16 December 2014 5pm