Gio Ponti, Studio Job and Ron Arad designs up for grabs at Sotheby's

Sotheby's 'Designs' auction and exhibition with picture West bench
Sotheby's 'Design' auction and exhibition goes on view on Saturday 12 November, with a host of prominent international pieces. Pictured,'West' bench, by by Amanda Levete and Future Systems, 2008, from the 'Around the Corner' collection
(Image credit: Amanda Levete and Future Systems, 2008, from the ’Around the Corner’ collection)

With the Design Museum on the verge of opening its sparkling new West London doors, there's an autumn design buzz in London at the moment. Coinciding with this is another celebration of international design in the capital, Sotheby's ‘Design’ – the second edition of the house's relaunched design-centric sale (last year's was the first in half a decade) and a preceding exhibition at its New Bond Street space.

Following editions hosted in New York and Paris earlier this year, 'Design' London takes place on Tuesday 15 November, offering up a expansive list of 173 pieces. Exhibiting the products from tomorrow, the roster features 20th century pieces that span the classic and contemporary, functional and abstract, spending significant effort honing in on postmodern Scandinavian design with highlights from Arne Jacobsen, Hans Wegner and Peder Moos.

Wall Mounted Chest

’Wall-mounted Chest’ by Gio Ponti, 1959

(Image credit: Gio Ponti)

These minimalist masterpieces stand alongside Gio Ponti silhouettes from the 1930s–60s; whimsical Ron Arad chairs; and experimental forms from Italian stalwarts Ettore Sottsass and Andrea Branzi.

'Just like the city itself, our London "Design" sale is developing its own unique character,' says Laetitia Contat-Desfontaines, Sotheby's head of 20th century design sales. 'Exciting new initiatives such as the inaugural [London] Design Biennale at Somerset House and the fantastic new home for the Design Museum are putting design at the forefront of the cultural life of the city.'

Monumental Bookcase with grey flooring

’Monumental Bookcase’ by Ico Parisi

(Image credit: Ico Parisi)

Contemporary lots include a marble table by Marc Newson, Studio Job’s playful 'Bottle Rack’, and clay sculptures by Maarten Baas, while extra special Picasso ceramics and Zaha Hadid prototypes show the team have most styles covered for discerning collectors.

‘Design’ follows an impressive display of David Bowie’s extensive art and design collection, marking a nuanced and successful stream of shows at the auction.

Five 'Klismos Model no. 5' chairs and a mirrored cabinet from Gothic

Left, five ’Klismos Model no. 5’ chairs by TH Robsjohn-Gibbings. Right, ’Gothic’ mirrored cabinet by Gabriella Crespi

(Image credit: Gabriella Crespi)

'Spade Form' vase on the left and 'Loop Loop' chair on the right

Left, monumental ’Spade Form’ vase by Hans Coper, 1970. Right, ’Loop Loop’ chair by Ron Arad, 1992

(Image credit: (L) by Hans Coper (R) by Ron Arad)

Desk by Arne Jacobsen

Desk by Arne Jacobsen, 1952

(Image credit: Arne Jacobsen)

A pair of Uncle Chairs

A pair of ’Onkel-Stühle (Uncle Chairs)’ by Franz West

(Image credit: Franz West)

A prototype of the Surface Table

'Surface Table' prototype by Terence Woodgate and John Barnard, 2008

(Image credit: Terence Woodgate and John Barnard)

Light with 9 arms for the wall or ceiling

’9 Arm Wall/Ceiling Light’ by Angelo Lelii, 1950

(Image credit: Angelo Lelii)

Wooden and Furry mattress Daybed by Peder Moos

'Daybed' by Peder Moos, 1944

(Image credit: Peder Moos)


’Design’ takes place at Sotheby’s on 15 November. For more information, visit the Sotheby’s website


34–35 New Bond Street
London W1S 2RT


Sujata Burman is a writer and editor based in London, specialising in design and culture. She was Digital Design Editor at Wallpaper* before moving to her current role of Head of Content at London Design Festival and London Design Biennale where she is expanding the content offering of the showcases. Over the past decade, Sujata has written for global design and culture publications, and has been a speaker, moderator and judge for institutions and brands including RIBA, D&AD, Design Museum and Design Miami/. In 2019, she co-authored her first book, An Opinionated Guide to London Architecture, published by Hoxton Mini Press, which was driven by her aim to make the fields of design and architecture accessible to wider audiences.