Sollo Rago Hits the Sweet Spot in the Market For Modern—Tops All Auction Houses Selling 20th Century Design in 2008

Apr. 24, 2008

American art deco drew attention in the sale, most notably in the form of a desk lamp by Donald Deskey. The lamp, one of few known and in original condition, attracted literally dozens of bidders. Collectively they drove the price from its estimate of $2,000-3,000 to $138,000.

The small selection of fine art in the sale showed exceptional strength, with a number of lots doubling and even tripling their high estimates. These include a large, untitled work on paper by Robert Morris for $19,200 Norman Carton’s “Blue Night” for $15,600, three works by George Morrison for $16,800, a Shadow Man by Richard Hambleton for $8,400 a set of two table-top sonambients by Harry Bertoia for $39,600, and the work of Keith Haring.

Overall, a notable number of lots sold in excess of $100,000. Only 16% of lots went unsold, with a number of these selling within the week. Surprisingly, foreign bidding was not a great factor in the sale, despite the strength of foreign currencies against the U.S. dollar, While over 150 bidders registered from across the E.U,, Asia, Scandinavia and South Africa, they ultimately accounted for only 5% of buyers, outdone by Americans across the board.

To view the fully illustrated auction catalog, with prices realized, please visit

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