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10 pieces from antiques dealer Gordon Watson’s outstanding personal collection

The London dealer and world authority on design has worked with clients including Elton John, Mick Jagger and Madonna. Here he selects highlights from his personal collection, to be offered at Christie’s on 13 October

One of London’s most respected antiques dealers, Gordon Watson has attracted clients including Elton John and Mick Jagger to his successful London gallery. Established in the 1970s, the gallery has, from the outset, offered innovative works of art and design from across the world.

Watson has himself shot to fame after appearing on the British television programme Four Rooms on Channel 4 and, more recently, in the BBC2 series The Extraordinary Collector, which saw him visit and add items to distinguished English collections. A prolific collector himself, Watson believes ‘it is each work of art’s destiny to travel from one connoisseur to another’.

Set to take place at Christie’s South Kensington on 13 October, Gordon Watson: The Collector  comprises 196 lots, carefully amassed over several years. Highlights include Indian, Japanese and European furniture and ceramics, presented alongside contemporary works by artists including Sarah Lucas and Wolfgang Tillmans — with estimates ranging from £500 to £50,000. Here, Watson selects 10 highlights.

  • 1
  • ‘Black Cat’

Studio Job (f. 2000), Black Cat, 2013. 21 in (53.5 cm) wide. Estimate £8,000-12,000. This lot is offered in Gordon Watson The Collector  on 13 October 2016 at Christie’s in London, South Kensington

Studio Job (f. 2000), 'Black Cat', 2013. 21 in (53.5 cm) wide. Estimate: £8,000-12,000. This lot is offered in Gordon Watson: The Collector on 13 October 2016 at Christie’s in London, South Kensington

‘I’m intrigued by the classical stature of this bronze cat; it makes me think of Egypt and the tombs of the pharaohs. This is juxtaposed with the playfulness of the piece — the fact that, in order to illuminate the inset glass eyes, one has to caress the shiny nether quarters. It never fails to make me laugh.’

  • 2
  • A pair of screens

Rodolfo Dordoni (b.  1954), A Davis Screen, 2000s. 63¼ in (160.5 cm) high; 95 in (241 cm) wide; 1¾ in (4 cm) deep. Estimate £7,000-10,000. This lot is offered in Gordon Watson The Collector on 13 October 2016 at Christie’s in London, South Kensington

Rodolfo Dordoni (b. 1954), A 'Davis' Screen, 2000s. 63¼ in (160.5 cm) high; 95 in (241 cm) wide; 1¾ in (4 cm) deep. Estimate: £7,000-10,000. This lot is offered in Gordon Watson: The Collector on 13 October 2016 at Christie’s in London, South Kensington

‘With their coloured Venini glass panels, these extraordinary modernist screens by Rodolfo Dordoni will transform any bedroom or salon to perfection!’

  • 3
  • A box fit for a queen

Paul Belvoir (b.  1963), A Box, 2015. 11¼ in (28.5) wide. Estimate £3,000-5,000. This lot is offered in Gordon Watson The Collector  on 13 October 2016 at Christie’s in London, South Kensington

Paul Belvoir (b. 1963), A Box, 2015. 11¼ in (28.5) wide. Estimate: £3,000-5,000. This lot is offered in Gordon Watson: The Collector on 13 October 2016 at Christie’s in London, South Kensington

‘Paul Belvoir is an artist of obsessions: with his Gloriana collection, dedicated to his beloved Elizabeth I of England, he was determined to make a jewel box fit for a queen. He has certainly succeeded.’ 

  • 4
  • A pair of ‘slipper’ chairs

T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings (1905-1976), A pair of Slipper chairs, circa 1950. 31¼ in (79.5 cm) high; 26½ in (67.5 cm) wide; 33½ in (85 cm) deep. Estimate £5,000-8,000. This lot is offered in Gordon Watson The Collector  on 13 October 2016 at Christie’s in London, South Kensington

T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings (1905-1976), A pair of 'Slipper' chairs, circa 1950. 31¼ in (79.5 cm) high; 26½ in (67.5 cm) wide; 33½ in (85 cm) deep. Estimate: £5,000-8,000. This lot is offered in Gordon Watson: The Collector on 13 October 2016 at Christie’s in London, South Kensington

‘The English fiurniture designer T.H. Robsjohn Gibbings was obsessed with style, and worked with the good and the great of American society in the 1930 and 1940s. In my opinion these chairs are the ultimate in pure elegance.’

  • 5
  • A ‘Flor’ chair

Sharon Sides, a Flor chair, 2015. 37 in (94 cm) high; 27½ in (70 cm) wide. Estimate £4,000-6,000. This lot is offered in Gordon Watson The Collector on 13 October 2016 at Christie’s in London, South Kensington

Sharon Sides, a 'Flor' chair, 2015. 37 in (94 cm) high; 27½ in (70 cm) wide. Estimate: £4,000-6,000. This lot is offered in Gordon Watson: The Collector on 13 October 2016 at Christie’s in London, South Kensington

‘I love the botanical detail in the legs and seat of this incredible chair. It was created by the wonderful Israeli designer, Sharon Sides.’ 

  • 6
  • Takashi Murakami wool rug

Takashi Murakami (b.  1962), Pink Time. 78 in x 78 in (198 x 198 cm). Estimate £8,000-12,000. This lot is offered in Gordon Watson The Collector  on 13 October 2016 at Christie’s in London, South Kensington

Takashi Murakami (b. 1962), Pink Time. 78 in x 78 in (198 x 198 cm). Estimate: £8,000-12,000. This lot is offered in Gordon Watson: The Collector on 13 October 2016 at Christie’s in London, South Kensington

‘The extraordinary colours of this rug and its bold subject will give any room an instant injection of contemporary elan. In my opinion it stands up to the artist’s remarkable works on canvas.’ 

  • 7
  • Hervé Van der Straeten chandelier

Herve Van Der Straeten (b.  1965), a Lustre chandelier, designed 1996. 72 in (183 cm) high; 29½ in (75 cm) diameter. Estimate £15,000-25,000. This lot is offered in Gordon Watson The Collector on 13 October 2016 at Christie’s in London, South Kensington

Herve Van Der Straeten (b. 1965), a 'Lustre' chandelier, designed 1996. 72 in (183 cm) high; 29½ in (75 cm) diameter. Estimate: £15,000-25,000. This lot is offered in Gordon Watson: The Collector on 13 October 2016 at Christie’s in London, South Kensington

‘The monumental scale of this chandelier is breathtaking — it is one of the French designer Hervé van der Straeten’s most iconic designs.’ 

  • 8
  • A Persian masterpiece

An Isfahan rug, central Persia, second half 17th century. 7 ft 4 in x 4 ft 5 in (224 cm x 135 cm). Estimate £12,000-18,000. This lot is offered in Gordon Watson The Collector on 13 October 2016 at Christie’s in London, South Kensington

An Isfahan rug, central Persia, second half 17th century. 7 ft 4 in x 4 ft 5 in (224 cm x 135 cm). Estimate: £12,000-18,000. This lot is offered in Gordon Watson: The Collector on 13 October 2016 at Christie’s in London, South Kensington

‘Thirty years ago, on a visit to the palaces of Jaipur in India, I was enthralled at seeing an Isfahan 17th-century palace carpet. They are, for me, the nonpareil in carpet design.’ 

  • 9
  • Sterling silver and rock crystal

Paul Belvoir (b.  1963), A pair of table lamps, 2014. 19½ in (50 cm) high, including shade. Estimate £5,000-8,000. This lot is offered in Gordon Watson The Collector  on 13 October 2016 at Christie’s in London, South Kensington

Paul Belvoir (b. 1963), A pair of table lamps, 2014. 19½ in (50 cm) high, including shade. Estimate: £5,000-8,000. This lot is offered in Gordon Watson: The Collector on 13 October 2016 at Christie’s in London, South Kensington

‘Paul Belvoir once said, “What I love about designing in silver is imagining my works becoming beloved family treasures.” He has surpassed himself with this amazing pair of uncompromising rock-crystal and sterling-silver lamps.’

  • 10
  • An Aldo Bakker stool

Aldo Bakker (b.  1971), a stool, 2006. 13½ in (34.3 cm) high; 15 in (38 cm) diameter. Estimate £5,000-7,000. This lot is offered in Gordon Watson The Collector on 13 October 2016 at Christie’s in London, South Kensington

Aldo Bakker (b. 1971), a stool, 2006. 13½ in (34.3 cm) high; 15 in (38 cm) diameter. Estimate: £5,000-7,000. This lot is offered in Gordon Watson: The Collector on 13 October 2016 at Christie’s in London, South Kensington

‘Japan and its treasures are one of my newer interests. I love Aldo Bakker’s genius for referencing the past by turning endless layers of lovingly applied lacquer into a contemporary sculptural form. A stool is a stool is a stool — or is it?’