Phillips’ June Design Auction Features Important 20th Century and Contemporary Works

The Sale Will Take Place on June 5th and Will Include Works by Peter Voulkos, Alberto and Diego Giacometti, John Baldessari, Fernando and Humberto Campana, and Many More

Diego Giacometti
“Berceau” low table, second version, circa 1969
Estimate $200,000 – 300,000

Phillips has announced highlights from their upcoming Design auction, set to take place on June 5th. The preview begins tomorrow on May 30th, with the full catalogue available for viewing here. The sale will showcase a diverse range of works, with top highlights including works by Alberto & Diego Giacometti, Peter Voulkos’s Rasgeado, and John Baldessari’s Ear Sofa and Nose Sconces. Notable pieces from the estates of Diana Shapiro and others will also be presented, offering collectors a unique opportunity to acquire rare and significant examples of 20th century and Contemporary design from important private collections. The works will be exhibited alongside FREESTYLE: Living with Art & Design, Property from a Private New York Collection with both sales taking place on the same day. The Design auction will commence at 11am ET, followed by FREESTYLE: Living with Art & Design at 2pm ET.

Peter Voulkos
Rasgeado“, 1958
Estimate $300,000 – 500,000

Benjamin Green, Associate Specialist, Head of Sale, notes, “We are excited to welcome collectors back to Phillips this June, as we present exceptional works that highlight the innovation and creativity of 20th Century and Contemporary designers. From Voulkos’ pioneering ceramics to Baldessari’s whimsical furniture pieces, this auction offers a chance to acquire works that not only exemplify the creators’ unique visions but also mark significant moments in design history. Additionally, we are excited to hold our Design auction alongside our FREESTYLE: Living with Art & Design, Property from a Private New York Collection sale, providing multiple opportunities for collectors to find what best suits their taste and imagination.”

John Baldessari
“Ear Sofa” and “Nose Sconces”, 2009
Estimate $150,000 – 200,000

Holding the highest two world auction records for Peter Voulkos, Phillips is proud to present Rasgeado, a sculpture by the artist titled after the Spanish guitar technique and boasting the top lot position of the sale. Created in 1958, Rasgeado marks a crucial early moment in Voulkos’ career and exemplifies his innovative approach to ceramics, combining wheel throwing, slab construction, and abstract forms. This work, which has remained in the same family since its purchase from the artist in 1959, is making its first appearance on the market, underscoring its rarity and historical significance.

The auction features five important works from the estate of Diana Shapiro, including Diego Giacometti’s “Berceau” low table, second version, Tabouret à la harpie, and Cheval, tête baissée as well as Alberto Giacometti’s “Figure” floor lamp and “Étoile” table lamp. These pieces were acquired directly from Diego Giacometti in the late 1960s and into the early 1980s by Diana and Irvin Shapiro, who would go on to be long-time friends of the artist, with Giacometti’s works being kept in the same New York City apartment decades beyond their original creation. These pieces demonstrate the artists’ mastery in creating timeless, functional art, with exquisite craftsmanship and whimsical elements making them highly sought after in the market.

John Baldessari’s Ear Sofa and Nose Sconces, created in 2009, are standout pieces that blur the lines between art and functional design. These works, part of an edition of six produced by Beyer Projects, were designed for Baldessari’s 2009 exhibition at the Museum Haus Lange in Germany and were also later installed in the Sprüth Magers Gallery in London as a performance piece involving a live actor seated on the sofa, smoking, with two white poodles on either side. The playful, yet thought-provoking, furniture pieces reflect Baldessari’s fascination with human anatomy and his ability to transform everyday objects into profound artistic statements.

More details can be read here.


Phillips is the destination for international collectors to buy and sell the world’s most important twentieth-century and contemporary works of art, design, jewels, watches, photographs and editions. By focusing specifically on the defining aesthetic movements of the last century, we have set ourselves apart as the most dynamic and forward-thinking auction house in the world. Our global presence, seasoned expertise and individualized client service lead collectors to seek our guidance on market trends and insights. The Phillips team is comprised of specialists from auction houses, museums, galleries and other leading arts institutions. In addition to conducting auctions in our New York, London, Hong Kong and Geneva salerooms, we hold private sales and curated selling exhibitions around the world. Outside of the opportunities we provide to consign or buy through auctions and private sales, we consult with museums, advise private estates and corporate clients and offer appraisals, valuations and other financial services.