Marc Newson is unarguably one of the most influential designers of the past 25 years. His work – from furniture to watches, kitchenware to bicycles, yachts to aircraft – is both featured in museum collections, including MoMA, London’s Design Museum, Centre Georges Pompidou and the V&A, and sought-after by private collectors. His riveted aluminium and fibreglass Lockheed Lounge chaise was sold by Phillips in London earlier this year for £2,434,500, retaining its halo as the world’s most expensive design object by a living designer.
So, the opportunity to acquire Newson’s latest limited edition will no doubt excite design fans. Available to order now is his sterling-silver tea set (£82,000, pictured), designed for Danish firm Georg Jensen – its first significant silver collaboration in more than 25 years (the last was with Verner Panton in 1988).
The project gave Newson, who originally followed in his father’s footsteps and studied silversmithing, the chance to return to his craft-based roots – and he has brought his own inimitable style to the table. The voluptuously curvy teapot, coffee pot, creamer and sugar bowl each have mammoth-tusk handles, and the tray is wound at the edge with natural rattan.
While the forms may appear simple, the design and engineering process was fiendishly complex, combining the latest technology with meticulous handcraftsmanship, and took more than six months to develop. Rapid 3D prototyping was used in the initial phase, followed by three months of hand-hammering. Only two sets have been made so far, forged by a third-generation silversmith whose grandfather worked alongside the company’s founder. Further sets (up to a maximum of 10) will be handmade to order in the company’s Copenhagen workshop and can be ordered from Georg Jensen’s new London flagship store.