Christie’s need no introduction. The world’s largest Auction House had an £8.4 billion turnover in 2014 and had already sold several Andy Warhol’s and CY Twombly’s works of art. And this year, on the 10th of September, the first edition of Boca do Lobo’s Symphony Sideboard will be on auction at Christie’s “Out of the ordinary” event, a special sale that celebrates “all things unusual and unexpected”. Kate Summers, associate specialist and head of sales this year, shared with us her experience and her motivation working at Christie’s.
Regarding your academic background, can you tell us about how you found out your passion by history and arts?
Kate Summers: My interest in the arts began during my degree in History of Art and Museum and Gallery studies at Leeds University. I was fortunate enough to gain internships at the Rothschild house Waddesdon Manor and another leading auction house before an internship at Christie’s. I then left to work for an antiques dealer, gaining valuable experience on `the other side’ and in sales to the base of exclusive private clients and decorators. This eventually led to a return to Christie’s as a specialist. I am very excited to be Head of Sale for this year’s Out of the Ordinary auction.
According to your vision and your experience, what makes Christie’s one of the most famous and exclusive auction houses? What’s special about it?
Christie’s offers such a range of works of art and prices of furniture, from the quirky through to masterpieces by blue chip artists. We hold auctions in our twelve salerooms around the world, as well as regular online-only auctions at christies.com and a private sales service. Across these platforms, and all the categories that we offer, Christie’s cater for our clients all around the world, whatever their interests.
To be auctioned in this category, each piece must have “out of ordinary” features. Considering that, how do you select an item to be auctioned?
A team of specialists work together to curate this annual sale and we are looking for rare, exciting and unexpected pieces. It’s a fun sale to put together and we are always excited when the catalogue arrives so we can start sharing it with clients, new and established.
In your opinion, what’s special about “Out Of the Ordinary Sales” category?
This is the third year that Christie’s are offering an Out of the Ordinary auction, celebrating all things unusual and unexpected. The sale allows us to offer a really eclectic selection of fascinating items, it’s truly unique.
And what can bidders expect to find in this category?
The great thing about Out of the Ordinary is that it covers such a range of objects and works of art, from unusual pieces of furniture for the home, to costumes from the movies and pieces of sporting history. This year’s sale presents the running shoes worn by Sir Roger Bannister when he ran the first sub-four minute mile alongside a felt crown worn by Kate Moss on her first magazine photo shoot, aged 14, and a giant fibreglass t-rex.
Which were the most charismatic and remarkable furniture pieces ever auctioned?
At Christie’s South Kensington we hold interiors sales every month, which offer fine art, furniture and decorative objects in virtually every style from antique to contemporary. Lots are attractively priced, starting from £800 and there is a piece for every taste. Christie’s have also offered some of the finest pieces of furniture to ever come to the auction market, such as The Badminton Cabinet, which was sold in 2004 for £19 million.
One of the pieces which is on the spotlight on next Out of the Ordinary sale, is Symphony Sideboard from Boca do Lobo, which was featured in 50 Shades of Grey. How do you describe this furniture piece and what impact will it have on the auction?
The Symphony Sideboard is a dramatic piece, I can see why it was chosen for the 50 Shades of Grey film as it is has a striking cinematic quality to it. Although contemporary it is very nicely made with high quality materials and construction. It would be a show stopping addition to any interior!
The first edition of Symphony Sideboard, designed by Diogo Carvalho in 2011, can be seen at Christie’s Gallery until 10th September. You still have chances to add this luxury furniture piece to your own home or office.
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