...yeah, the prices for important mid-century French furniture have skyrocketed in recent years.
This is mostly due to clever marketing and promotion by auction houses (Christies, Wright, Philips de Pury, etc) and Paris-based galleries like Jousse Entreprise, Gallerie Patrick Seguin, etc.
Design Miami/ has been quite instrumental at introducing a whole new market to mid-century and contemporary design ....and the prices have gone nuts.
Because the prices of important fine art of the 20th century is beyond the budget of all but the wealthiest collectors, 20th century design has become the new "affordable" collector market. Add to this the celebrity aspect ....when Brad Pitt was spotted buying some furniture at Design Miami/Basel, it made international news.
Meanwhile auction houses have also made a killing selling recent limited batch production furniture by important contemporary designers -- some auction houses have even commissioned designers to create special limited edition objects to satisfy this new market. Galleries like Moss and Galerie Kreo commission designers to create "Art Design" furniture to fit this new category in the market. Americans seem to be more enthusiastic about this new market than the Europeans ...but design galleries have been spreading like a virus around the world ....I can only imagine that things are getting pretty tough in the marketplace right now.
"Banquet" daybed by Maria Pergay -- $421,000 at auction in 2007.
"D" sofa by Ron Arad -- $409,000
Fernando & Humberto Campana's "Sushi" sofa sold at auction for $253,000.
Zaha Hadid sofa -- 72.000 Euros
Carlo Mollino table sold for $3.8 million