Art&Antiques: The Egg chair and other design classics for auction

Distinctive chair has popped up everywhere including a Beatles movie and Big Brother diary room

It is one of the world's most instantly recognisable chairs and it will be offered for auction in Dublin next week. Arne Jacobsen's Egg chair was designed for Copenhagen's SAS Royal Hotel in 1958 and became one of the most copied chairs of all time. Its distinctive curving shape has appeared everywhere from the Beatles Help! movie to the Big Brother diary room. And on October 20th, deVeres will auction a pair of the chairs as part of its art and design auction in Dublin.

The chairs are part of a collection of original mid-century Danish and Italian furniture and lighting coming to auction, alongside a wide selection of Irish artworks from people such as Donald Teskey, Louis le Brocquy and Seán McSweeney.

Arne Jacobsen filled the lobby of the 22-storey hotel with 50 first edition Eggs as part of a commission from the SAS airline to design every element of the hotel, from the roof to the cutlery.

DeVeres is offering two red leather Jacobsen Egg chairs (lots 7 and 8) with an estimate of €2,000-€3,000 each. The sale also has a distinctive Ovalia chair (lot 28) from Scandinavian designer Henrik Thor-Larsen. The 1970s chair has an orange interior lining with a black leather seat and is wired for sound (€2,500-€3,500).


Other design classics for auction include lot 25, a pair of Mies van der Rohe Barcelona chairs (€2,000-€3,000) and a Le Corbusier LC3 armchair, guiding at €1,000-€1,500 (lot 30).

The chairs represent real value for money, according to Rory Guthrie, director at deVeres.

“So many iconic 20th-century design pieces are reproduced today that hold no merit or long-term value,” he says. “These licensed pieces hold their value in the long-term and the estimates listed are a fraction of the retail price if purchased new, so these pieces offer excellent value and quality.”

Among the art highlights on offer is lot 150, Donald Teskey’s Cork Landscape, which carries an estimate of €20,000 to €30,000. Lot 142 is the Louis le Brocquy Cúchulainn VII Aubusson tapestry, guiding €30,000-€50,000.

DeVeres also has 33 lots from the studio of Reginald Gray. The portrait artist, who was best man at Brendan Behan’s wedding, was a contemporary of Francis Bacon and Lucien Freud. His Homage to Patrick Swift (lot 224) is estimated at €3,000-€5,000. Elizabeth Taggart’s exuberant Domestic Goddesses is guiding €4,000-€6,000.

If you have an eye for the quirky, a playful Mauro Manetti pineapple-shaped champagne ice bucket might appeal (lot 45 €400-€600). Or if you have a weakness for giraffes, then lot 82 is worth a look. This life-sized carved wood mother and baby giraffe set is estimated at €400-€600.

The 290 lots are open for in-person viewing at 35 Kildare Street, Dublin 2, from tomorrow, Sunday, October 17th until October 20th when bidding begins online at 2pm.

More art, this time from Hegarty's in Cork, is for online auction until tomorrow. The auction of some 150 lots includes a screen-print of the Rolling Stones from band member Ronnie Wood (€3,300-€5,500) and a portrait of Bono from Eric Wahl (€2,500-€5,000).