Thursday, February 17, 2011

Scrumptious Screens

As I look through the upcoming auctions, a number of decorative screens caught my eye, so I thought this would be a good time to revisit the versatile screen. It may not be the first decorative element you might think of as you plan your room decor, but think again!

In this example of a room designed by the firm Mrs. Howard, a beautiful screen is mounted on the wall and defines this dining area within a larger room.

In this sitting area designed by Suzanne Kasler a wood screen  makes an interesting decoration along the wall, and gives it additional architectural interest. 

In this room designed by Darren Henault, a see through screen is used as a smart looking space divider which can be moved around depending on how the room is being used.

Doyle New York is holding an auction February 23rd of the Estate of Lena Horne. This beautiful Japanese painted silk screen is Lot 1044. It measures 34.5" tall and 70" long. It has an auction estimate of $150 - $250. This would fabulous mounted on a wall. 

I was taken by this Indian wood four panel screen. It is so interesting and delicate. This is also in the Doyle New York Lena Horne sale (Lot 1015). It has an auction estimate of $200 - $300, and measures 6'2" tall, and each panel is 20" wide.  This would make a great room divider, entry hall decor, or placed in a corner to add an architectural element.

The next Christie's Interiors sale in New York March 1st and 2nd includes this late Victorian faux bamboo and etched glass 3 panel screen. It's 70" tall and each panel is 27.75" wide. It's Lot 434 and has an auction estimate of $2,000 - $3,000. This would make a great room divider. It would allow the light to come through, and think how beautiful the shadow would be with sun shining through the etched glass. 

This is a very decorative Chinese style screen! It would brighten up a room, and might be good for a dark corner. Or think of this mounted on a wall for a fantastic effect. This is Lot 747 in the Christie's sale and measures 84.25" tall and has 6 panels each measuring 20". It has an auction estimate of $1,000 - $1,500.

For the Hollywood style look, this Italian limed oak and engraved mirrored screen is very glamorous. This would look great anywhere, and would add drama as it reflects light from your lamps. This is in the Christie's sale (Lot 843) with and auction estimate of $800 - $1,200. It has three panels measuring 72" tall and each panel is 18".

To give an idea of actual sale prices I picked two examples from New Orleans Auction. This very smart Louis XVI style 2 panel screen is decorated with gilt brass mounted on mahogany with marquetry and glass. It measures 61" x 47".  It sold for $2,460 off an auction estimate of $2,500 - $4,000. This is quite classic in style and the 2 panels make it very easy to squeeze in to a corner in any room.

This striking Chinese gold ground polychromed lacquer screen has 4 panels measuring 72" tall and each panel is 16". It sold for $400 off an auction estimate of $300 - $500. The flying cranes on the gold ground just jump off the screen. I think this is absolutely beautiful, and wouldn't bust your budget. This would be a fabulous statement.

House Beautiful - Designer: Jonathan Adler

Think of a decorative screen as a way to add art to your decor in a big way, or to define a space within a space. They can be an investment piece, or a bold statement on a budget. Auctions have lots of options to consider.

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