The Modern Chandelier Trend That’s Making Everything Else Seem Dated
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The Modern Chandelier Trend That’s Making Everything Else Seem Dated

Glitzy metal chandeliers have ruled for years. But now fixtures crafted from plaster—earthy, subtle and sensual—are emerging as a new go-to for interior designers.

By ALLISON DUNCAN
Mon, Jan 23, 2023 8:57amGrey Clock 2 min

IN THE INTERIOR DESIGN WORLD, a new kind of chandelier has taken hold: fixtures whose metal components are coated in quietly arresting, matte, white plaster. The humble material—once the darling of rococo mirror frames and highly ornamental ceiling medallions—is showing up on chandeliers with few flourishes but lots of style, making a statement without being gaudy.

“I have used plaster lighting quite extensively,” said Los Angeles designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard. The pieces “add great drama and sophistication yet don’t overpower a space.” Cate Dunning also admires their subtlety, and recently installed a six-armed version by Currey & Co in a client’s dining space to give the eye a spot to rest in a pattern-filmed room that might be characterised as grandmillennial in style. Said the partner at Atlanta interior-design firm GordonDunning, “I love that plaster chandeliers introduce a new texture without adding another metallic finish.”

When creating a line of light fixtures for furnishings retailer RH’s Contemporary collection, New York designer Ryan Korban looked to the plaster creations of European sculptors Serge Roche and Alberto and Diego Giacometti, who collaborated with French decorator Jean-Michel Frank on chandeliers in the 1920s and ’30s. “Because of the simplicity in colour and material, they add a level of architecture to a ceiling and blend beautifully within any space,” Mr. Korban said of the pasty white style.

Indeed, Mr. Bullard has installed plaster chandeliers everywhere from drag queen RuPaul’s primary bedroom, which Mr. Bullard describes as “an ode to Dorothy Draper,” to American sportswear designer Tommy Hilfiger’s Palm Beach living room. “A pair of abstract 1940s chandeliers bring a freshness to the Palm Beach palette,” said Mr. Bullard, referring to the classic tropical elements of rattan chairs and potted palm trees.

New York designer Gideon Mendelson installed a pair of 1950s vintage, French, half-moon-shaped plaster fixtures in his Sagaponack, N.Y., home and relies on the style to bring “casual sophistication and texture to a space,” he said. Indeed, the dusty organic finish can help relax a formal room. Said Ms. Dunning, “It works for us specifically because it adds a more modern or ‘off’ element to a more traditional space.”

Nashville designer Sarah Bartholomew likewise toned down the stuffiness in an “architecturally intricate” wood-panelled room with Stephen Antonson’s slightly industrial Alexander model. “The white pops against the warmth of the wood walls,” she said. In a recent project, Chicago interior designer Summer Thornton hung a plaster chandelier—in which “floral blossoms” conceal the bulbs—in her client’s family room. The clean lines and chalky texture were, she said, “a welcome contrast to the velvet-adorned, traditionally shaped furniture and antique rug.”

Then there is the matter of the light they throw. Indianapolis designer Heidi Woodman goes so far as to say that plaster chandeliers cast an “ethereal” glow when illuminated. “Because plaster seems to absorb light—as opposed to metal, which bounces light—it provides a softer hue,” she explained.



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New York Watch Auctions Record Uptick in Sales in the Face of Market Slowdown
By LAURIE KAHLE
Mon, Jun 24, 2024 4 min

Luxury watch collectors showed ongoing strong demand for Patek Philippe, growing interest in modern watches and a preference for larger case sizes and leather straps at the June watch sales in New York, according to an analysis of the major auctions.

Independent and neo-vintage categories, meanwhile, experienced declines in total sales and average prices, said the report from  EveryWatch, a global online platform for watch information. Overall, the New York auctions achieved total sales of US$52.27 million, a 9.87% increase from the previous year, on the sale of 470 lots, reflecting a 37% increase in volume. Unsold rates ticked down a few points to 5.31%, according to the platform’s analysis.

EveryWatch gathered data from official auction results for sales held in New York from June 5 to 10 at Christie’s, Phillips, and Sotheby’s. Limited to watch sales exclusively, each auction’s data was reviewed and compiled for several categories, including total lots, sales and sold rates, highest prices achieved, performance against estimates, sales trends in case materials and sizes as well as dial colors, and more. The resulting analysis provides a detailed overview of market trends and performance.

The Charles Frodsham Pocket watch sold at Phillips for $433,400.

“We still see a strong thirst for rare, interesting, and exceptional watches, modern and vintage alike, despite a little slow down in the market overall,” says Paul Altieri, founder and CEO of the California-based pre-owned online watch dealer BobsWatches.com, in an email. “The results show that there is still a lot of money floating around out there in the economy looking for quality assets.”

Patek Philippe came out on top with more than US$17.68 million on the sale of 122 lots. It also claimed the top lot: Sylvester Stallone’s Patek Philippe GrandMaster Chime 6300G-010, still in the sealed factory packaging, which sold at Sotheby’s for US$5.4 million, much to the dismay of the brand’s president, Thierry Stern . The London-based industry news website WatchPro estimates the flip made the actor as much as US$2 million in just a few years.

At Christie’s, the top lot was a Richard Mille Limited Edition RM56-02 AO Tourbillon Sapphire
Richard Mille

“As we have seen before and again in the recent Sotheby’s sale, provenance can really drive prices higher than market value with regards to the Sylvester Stallone Panerai watches and his standard Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1a offered,” Altieri says.

Patek Philippe claimed half of the top 10 lots, while Rolex and Richard Mille claimed two each, and Philippe Dufour claimed the No. 3 slot with a 1999 Duality, which sold at Phillips for about US$2.1 million.

“In-line with EveryWatch’s observation of the market’s strong preference for strap watches, the top lot of our auction was a Philippe Dufour Duality,” says Paul Boutros, Phillips’ deputy chairman and head of watches, Americas, in an email. “The only known example with two dials and hand sets, and presented on a leather strap, it achieved a result of over US$2 million—well above its high estimate of US$1.6 million.”

In all, four watches surpassed the US$1 million mark, down from seven in 2023. At Christie’s, the top lot was a Richard Mille Limited Edition RM56-02 AO Tourbillon Sapphire, the most expensive watch sold at Christie’s in New York. That sale also saw a Richard Mille Limited Edition RM52-01 CA-FQ Tourbillon Skull Model go for US$1.26 million to an online buyer.

Rolex expert Altieri was surprised one of the brand’s timepieces did not crack the US$1 million threshold but notes that a rare Rolex Daytona 6239 in yellow gold with a “Paul Newman John Player Special” dial came close at US$952,500 in the Phillips sale.

The Crown did rank second in terms of brand clout, achieving sales of US$8.95 million with 110 lots. However, both Patek Philippe and Rolex experienced a sales decline by 8.55% and 2.46%, respectively. The independent brand Richard Mille, with US$6.71 million in sales, marked a 912% increase from the previous year with 15 lots, up from 5 lots in 2023.

The results underscored recent reports of prices falling on the secondary market for specific coveted models from Rolex, Patek Philippe, and Audemars Piguet. The summary points out that five top models produced high sales but with a fall in average prices.

The Rolex Daytona topped the list with 42 appearances, averaging US$132,053, a 41% average price decrease. Patek Philippe’s Nautilus, with two of the top five watches, made 26 appearances with an average price of US$111,198, a 26% average price decrease. Patek Philippe’s Perpetual Calendar followed with 23 appearances and a US$231,877 average price, signifying a fall of 43%, and Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak had 22 appearances and an average price of US$105,673, a 10% decrease. The Rolex Day Date is the only watch in the top five that tracks an increase in average price, which at US$72,459 clocked a 92% increase over last year.

In terms of categories, modern watches (2005 and newer) led the market with US$30 million in total sales from 226 lots, representing a 53.54% increase in sales and a 3.78% increase in average sales price over 2023. Vintage watches (pre-1985) logged a modest 6.22% increase in total sales and an 89.89% increase in total lots to 169.

However, the average price was down across vintage, independent, and neo-vintage (1990-2005) watches. Independent brands saw sales fall 24.10% to US$8.47 million and average prices falling 42.17%, while neo-vintage watches experienced the largest decline in sales and lots, with total sales falling 44.7% to US$8.25 million, and average sales price falling 35.73% to US$111,000.

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11 ACRES ROAD, KELLYVILLE, NSW

This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

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