20th Century and Contemporary Design 

Freeman’s is an industry leader in the sale of Pennsylvania and American studio furniture, craft, and design, in particular works by George Nakashima, Samuel Yellin, Wharton Esherick, Harry Bertoia, Phillip Lloyd Powell, and Paul Evans. Our 20th Century and Contemporary Design department presents work by both iconic and emerging designers in four to six annual sales that bring fresh-to-market property to auction.

Freeman’s international team of experts has advised private collectors, museums, corporate clients, and those working with family collections on the sale and acquisition of works ranging in date from the British Design Reform movement to postwar and contemporary design. In frequent collaboration with our sister auction house, Scotland’s Lyon & Turnbull, Freeman’s specialists are committed to the highest industry standards in the vetting and presentation of property.

Our Design auctions emphasize an impressive variety of studio furniture, ceramics, and glass; our Art and Design auctions feature selections of multiples, works on paper, and design pieces by modern and contemporary artists.

Freeman’s boasts one of the industry’s highest sell-through rates for family collections, as well as works by famed New Hope woodworker George Nakashima. Freeman’s has sold the most valuable work by George Nakashima to appear at auction in four of the last five years; single-owner sales, like the 2020 sale of a rediscovered set of seven windows by Tiffany Studios for $705,000, underscores Freeman’s strength in bringing new-to-market discoveries to international audiences.

 

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Records and Results

Works in Freeman’s sales are presented with collectors in mind and we seek rare works of iconic design with important and unique histories of ownership.

 

Freeman’s specialists are steeped in the history of Pennsylvania and American art and design, having handled family and private collections with discretion and expertise. Our relationships with living artists and their studios, leading gallerists, collectors, museum curators, and scholars ensures the highest attention to detail and exposure to the international design market. Freeman’s has a commitment to research and values authenticity, expertise, and working on behalf of sellers to achieve the highest value for their property.  

Angels Representing Seven Churches: A Rediscovered Set of Windows by Tiffany Studios 

November 10, 2020

Encompassing a rare surviving group, the set of windows were saved from demolition when the New Jerusalem Church was torn down to make way for an Interstate in 1964. Purchased by the Swedenborgian Church in southeast Pennsylvania for a planned chapel, the windows remained stored in a barn until they were “rediscovered” in the early 2000s during a sensitive restoration where it was revealed that one of them was signed by Tiffany Studios. The windows then went on a national tour to more than fifteen institutions, including the Glencairn Museum in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania, the Delaware Art Museum, the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, and the Museum of Russian Icons.

 
Sell-through rate: 100%
Pre-sale Estimate: $150,000-250,000
PRICE REALIZED: $705,000

Wharton Esherick: The Hedgerow Theatre Collection 

October 28, 2020

Building on Freeman’s long-term success selling items from its native state, Freeman's presented 12 works by Wharton Esherick from the Hedgerow Theatre Collection as a part of our 2020 Pennsylvania Sale. The collection achieved the highest-ever sale total at auction for a collection of Wharton Esherick's work.

 
Sell-Through Rate: 100%
Pre-sale Estimate: $220,000-$356,000
result: $394,375

Contact a Specialist

 

Tim Andreadis

 

Tim Andreadis

VP  |  Division Director, Decorative Arts & Design  |  Head of Department

267.414.1215

Email

michael hartman 

Michael Hartman

Client Manager I Luxury Design

215.940.9826

EMAIL

 

laura quintrell 

Laura Quintrell

Registrar | Decorative Arts

267.414.1227

EMAIL

 

 

 

Our International Partners

John Mackie

 

John Mackie

Head of Department

Lyon & Turnbull  |  Edinburgh

Email

Philip Smith

 

Philip Smith

Specialist

Lyon & Turnbull  |  London

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