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Chair and desk owned by Lafayette family sold for $1 million at auction

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Courtesy of Sotheby's -- The Louis Majorelle chair that sold at auction Courtesy of Sotheby's -- The Louis Majorelle chair that sold at auction
An antique desk and chair combination owned by a Lafayette family sold for more than $1 million at an auction Wednesday at Sotheby's in New York.

A Sotheby's spokeswoman confirmed the sale for the "Nénuphars" chair and desk for $653,000 and $365,000 respectively. A Sotheby's appraiser valued the chair at about $30,000 to $50,000 and the desk at about $150,000 to $250,000.

However, she could not say if the same person bought both items, citing a confidentiality policy.

The desk is made of mahogany, rosewood, gilt bronze and leather, while the chair is made of mahogany, gilt bronze and leather.

The Sotheby's website said the duo were sold by the family of Merwin Hale Wilkinson, Jr.

Both chair and desk were made by Louis Majorelle around 1900, according to Sotheby's website.

"The desk and chair offered here are masterful examples of Majorelle's distinct approach to the Art Nouveau aesthetic, creating furniture inspired by the fluid and elegant lines of nature," an excerpt of Sotheby's catalogue reads. "The structural details are sculpted like plant stems and the curved lines are ornamented with voluptuous waterlilies mounts."


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