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Designer Kirill Istomin creates vignettes for Christie’s sale
Oct 5, 2016

On October 13 and 14, the Christie’s Living With Art sale will showcase 18th- and early-19th-century English and European furniture and decoration, in addition to English and European silver and Chinese-export porcelain, with pieces across 400 lots and ranging in price estimate from $1,000 to $50,000. Moscow- and New York–based designer Kirill Istomin designed site-specific vignettes for the preview galleries, drawing contemporary inspiration from the historic works, with custom curtains he designed with Brunschwig & Fils.

Kirill Istomin vignette for the Christie’s 

Istomin chatted with EAL about his work and shared a few of his top picks from the auction block. 

Walk us through your process for designing the vignettes. Where did you start?  
I love to draw! Having worked for the iconic American decorator Albert Hadley, I did lots of sketches. My Opulence sale vignette is a tribute to the legacy of Parish-Hadley. I used their signature designs, including a thoughtful mix of historical and modern pieces. My idea for the vignette was to create a life-size sketch, a mix of imaginary and real objects. Wall-panel design inspiration came from the famed yellow room that Parish-Hadley created for the Paleys in the 1960s.  

Kirill Istomin

How did you integrate the sale objects into your design?
Parish-Hadley was known for its love of over-furnished interiors, and masterful use of custom upholstery and antique furniture. The Opulence sale at Christie’s provides lots of beautiful antique objects that fit into the concept of the vignette perfectly. 

Istomin’s favorite pieces from the sale:

A French ormolu and patinated bronze jardiniere, by Christofle & Cie., Paris, last quarter of 19th century 

A North European ormolu, painted tole and porcelain 16-light chandelier. The tole, second half of 19th century.

A pair of ormolu-mounted French faience vases mounted as oil lamps. Late 19th century, attributed to Theodore Deck. 

A French ormolu and Japanese lacquer-mounted mahogany bonheur du jour, by Emmanuel-Alfred Beurdeley, Paris, circa 1880

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