Rare Francis Bacon rug could fetch over $200,000 in Christie's design sale



2016-10-07 12:24:18

A highly rare rug designed by British artist Francis Bacon will be offered as part of a Christie's Design Sale in London later this month.

Bacon may be renowned as one of the most important artists of the 20th century, but it could all have been very different if his first career choice had proven successful.

Before he turned to painting full-time in the 1930s, Bacon was determined to become an interior designer and decorator.

He had been inspired by his trips to Berlin and Paris in the late 1920s, during which the 18-year-old soaked up the influences of the European avant-garde.

After returning to London he began to create a series of rugs featuring bold modernist designs, many of which were produced by Wilton as part of their ‘Wessex’ range.

However, outside his close circle of friends Bacon struggled to earn commissions, despite his work featuring in the August 1930 edition of The Studio Magazine, Britain's leading forum for progressive architecture and design.

By the early 1930s he had turned his attentions to forging a career as an artist, and the rest is history.

Nobody knows the exact number of rug designs Bacon created, or how many rugs were produced, but today they are regarded as highly rare and sought-after collector's pieces.

Just nine of Bacon's rugs are known to have survived, with one in the Victoria & Albert Museum, and three further examples on loan to Tate Britain from private collections.

The rug offered at Christie's is a previously unrecorded example, with a similar design to one that Bacon retained for his own use for years. Having previously sold at Christie's in 2011, that rug is currently owned by the Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation in Monaco.

The newly-discovered example will now cross the auction block for the first time in its history with an estimate of £120,000 - £180,000 ($152,400 - $228,600).

The Christie's Design Sale takes place in London on October 26.

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