Something Old, Something Older

As the online bids for our Design Sale start pouring in, we present a quick and last look at some of the significant lots in this auction, along with Living Traditions, the concurrent online auction of folk and tribal art. Put together, they form an unusual and charming style of art and decor for the eclectic collector.

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Six Art Deco Motifs That Will Never Go Out of Style

From angular zigzags to sweeping curves, the defining motifs of Art Deco are immortalised in the architecture of the era. We look at six that remain in vogue.

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Living Between Tradition and Modernity

Saffronart is excited to announce its April auctions dedicated to two important lifestyle defining categories.

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Closing of Elegant Design

Elizabeth Prendiville of Saffronart New York covers the results of the popular Elegant Design 24 hour sale.


New York: Tuesday March 25th marked the opening of Elegant Design, Saffronart’s premier vintage interior design sale. The sale was immediately followed by its twin auction, Works on Paper, opening on March 26th. Elegant Design featured 109 important vintage items in interior and decorative art including rugs, silver, and various furniture pieces. Each lot was carefully selected to represent the most pivotal periods in the decorative arts both in India and worldwide. An example of this can be seen in the campaign furniture, depicting the specific needs of the British army in the 18th and 19th century.


Spanning the most pivotal eras in interior design history, each lot also featured a variety of exquisite mediums and materials. The sale featured pieces made from a variety of rare woods such as rosewood, teakwood, mahogany and padauk wood. Graceful, small items such as A Rare Matched Pair of Kutch Silver Tea Cups (Lot 68) and large statement pieces such as An Indian Mother Of Pearl Door (Lot 105) all displayed a variety of excellent aesthetic detail appropriate for any space. Exhibiting equal parts beauty and function, each lot was an exceptional addition for any collection and home.



Due to the wide range of beautiful vintage pieces the sale received extremely positive media coverage from a variety of media publications including Elle India, ArtDaily and DNA India. The top ten valued items from the sale ranged from furniture to silver flatware to lighting fixtures. The highest winning lots included A Magnificent and Rare Art Deco Chandelier (Lot 25) coming in at $18,772 and A Stunning and Highly Important Ebony Sideboard (Lot 33) with a winning value of $9,447. Overall the most popular and sought after items varied greatly in materials, geography and design history. The sale concluded with sixty-six lots sold and a total winning value of $176,469. It is clear from the warm reception and enthusiasm for these beautiful items that vintage design and décor is still a lovely and timeless edition to any buyer’s collection.


To learn more about some of the items featured in Elegant Design visit Campaign Furniture: Historical Function and Design and click here for a full analysis of the overall sale.

Which should I pick anyway?

Rashmi Rajgopal turns to well-known architect and interior designer Ashiesh Shah for his take on the lots featuring in Elegant Design, Saffronart’s upcoming auction

This is not a living room

Disclaimer: This is not a dining room

If not for that disclaimer, you’d probably be conjuring a very skewed image of someone’s dining room. Probably suggested by the juxtaposition of the drinks cabinet with the James Dixon & Sons tea service on the Art Deco dining table. And those Chinese ginger jars…?

But rest assured, it’s our Saffronart gallery all spruced up for the Elegant Design auction set to take place in four days.

You’re now thinking how lovely some of these would look in your home. But how are you going to pick and choose? Will the Art Deco table go with your existing set of chairs, or should you pick up our set of six European Lacquer chairs as well? You’re loving that Chinese canopy bed, but it’s pretty much a home in itself. Should you move in there instead? Don’t fret, we’ve got Ashiesh Shah to share his thoughts on some of our pieces.

Pictured: Ashiesh Shah Source:

Pictured: Ashiesh Shah

Me: I’m going straight for the kill. Which of the lots did you fancy?

Ashiesh: I believe the set of ten art deco dining chairs are a great find. One could design a metal or marble-top table to go with these chairs. Very contemporary and chic.

Me: Now, getting specific with regards to one of our furniture pieces. Most people tend to go for sleek, compact designs when it comes to furniture, rather than the more ornate, bulky ones. How do you picture something like the Chinese bed fitting into a contemporary setting?

Ashiesh: Something as large and ornate as the daybed could very easily turn into the focal point of any home. In a traditional space, it would add an architectural scale. In a more contemporary setting though, it would become an interesting talking point. This bed could be placed in a manner that it faces a specific direction, perhaps overlooking a turf, or even a loch.

Me: How about in a city like Mumbai? How does someone negotiate around spatial constraints?

Ashiesh: It need not be in a small apartment in Mumbai. While talking about homes we often forget about larger apartments and the spacious bungalows one would find not just in the city, but in Alibaug and other vicinities. It’s very easy to achieve a de-cluttered look by placing it right in the centre of a room. But having said that, one has to obviously consider if the furniture they are choosing goes with the look and feel of their space.

Kutch silver tea cups. Yay or nay?

Kutch silver tea cups. Yay or nay?

Me: Moving on to the silverware. What would you consider when it comes to silverware?

Ashiesh: The provenance is important. I would enquire about the kind of ownership the object might have gone through before buying it. It is an affirmation for its value and appeal. Something with a premium.

Me: How important do you think polishing any piece of  silverware is? Would you prefer an aged look as testament to its appeal, or would you prefer it brand new and sparkling?

Ashiesh: If I were to speak of silverware, a patina-look would imbibe a higher sense of value and appeal.

Me: Clearly the selection process of lots in an auction is a completely different ball game for a discerning client. Thank you for chatting with me.

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