Maria Pergay - Design New York Wednesday, June 5, 2024 | Phillips
  • “Copper is too fragile, aluminum too light, gold too symbolic, silver too weak, bronze is out of fashion, and platinum inaccessible. . . . Nothing is more beautiful than steel.”
    —Maria Pergay
    In 2012 Alice Rawsthorn, writing for The New York Times, asked Maria Pergay if her relationship with steel was the longest in her life. “Since I started everything, in 1957,” she replied, “It is my best marriage.” The designer never stopped working with her preferred material and welcomed the renewed interest in her work that manifested over fifty years after she first opened a small shop in Paris to sell trinkets and homewares. The present desk was commissioned by a private client in France in 1971 and exemplifies Pergay’s ability to remain steadfast to key motifs and her signature material while designing a grand and bespoke work for a distinguished client. 


    While it was not so long ago that we were at risk of overlooking Pergay’s important contributions to the history of design entirely, during the 1970s she took on many private commissions including works for clients such as Christian Dior, Givenchy, and Hermès. When later asked why stainless steel, she answered, “This material which looks so strong, hard and cold is sweet and not sharp, and it matches with everything.” Undoubtedly, this loyalty to one material has contributed to the timeless quality of Pergay’s designs which are as fitting in a contemporary interior as were during the 1970s.


    • Provenance

      André Terren, France, acquired directly from the designer, 1970
      DeLorenzo 1950, New York
      Acquired from the above by the present owner, 2007

Property of an Important International Collector


Rare desk

Stainless steel.
30 1/8 x 98 3/4 x 43 1/2 in. (76.5 x 250.8 x 110.5 cm)
Together with a photograph of the model signed by the designer.

Full Cataloguing

$25,000 - 35,000 

Contact Specialist

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


New York Auction 5 June 2024