Phillips de Pury & Company to Auction Historic Brough Superior SS100

The Prototype Brough Superior SS100 “Alpine Grand Sport” built in 1925
The Prototype Brough Superior SS100 “Alpine Grand Sport” built in 1925

(New York) Design Masters will be held December 15th at 6 pm at 450 Park Avenue and will be on view there December 9th–14th from 10 am to 6 pm each day. 450 Park Avenue, Phillips de Pury & Company’s new uptown gallery, was inaugurated November 8th with the company’s most successful ever auction of contemporary art, which included Philippe Segalot’s Carte Blanche sale and totaled $137,028,000.

Phillips de Pury & Company will follow up that tremendous result with its first Design Masters auction, a curated evening sale of important avant-garde design from the 20th and 21st centuries with a low estimate of $4,550,000 and a high estimate of $5,960,000.

Phillips de Pury & Company are delighted to offer The Prototype Brough Superior SS100 “Alpine Grand Sport” built in 1925 by legendary motorcycle racer and manufacturer George Brough in the Design Masters auction. Owned and raced by Brough himself, this historic motorcycle will be sold December 15th with a pre-sale estimate of  $600,000-700,000.

Brough Superiors, among the most highly regarded and coveted motorcycles of all time, were built between 1919 and 1940 by pioneering manufacturer George Brough at his Brough Superior Works, Nottingham, UK. Brough insisted every SS100 be tested for a quarter mile at 100 mph, hence the model number.

Phillips de Pury & Company’s Design department is universally acclaimed for the quality of its consignments and its pioneering vision. Design Masters will take the innovative vision of the company a step further by curating George Brough’s Superior SS100 amongst other iconic modernist works from the 1920s, illustrating the vision and language of Design of this period and recontextualizing the motorcycle as design, at a time when architects and designers were creating design and architecture as machine.

Brough’s Superior SS100 is celebrated in the context of Design Masters and we are delighted to bring it to the forefront of our inaugural Design Masters auction.

Design Masters will include 56 other highly important works by pioneering 20th and 21st century designers including Carlo Bugatti, Archibald Knox, Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann, Jacques Le Chevallier, Le Corbusier, Charlotte Perriand, Serge Mouille, Philippe Starck, The Campana Brothers, Zaha Hadid, and Marc Newson, among others.

“Our relentless ambition for speed and progress is embodied in this motorcycle, a design icon of the modern age. Eighty-five years later, it’s still one of the fastest, most stylish machines on the road. We are thrilled to offer this significant example in our Design Masters sale.” Alexander Payne, Worldwide Director of Design, Phillips de Pury & Company.

In preparation for the 1925 Austrian Alpine Trial, an 8-day race, Brough designed the present lot, his own personal bike and the first “Alpine Grand Sport” (AGS), a modified SS100. Chief Engineer Harold Karslake, who assembled the machine in early 1925, made critical adjustments to account for the demands of the Alpine trial which included distance runs, hill climbs, and speed sections. The fruits of his labor? An Austrian speed award for Brough and a gold medal later that year during the London to Exeter trial.

Brough Superiors comprised the best-made components of the day: engines by J.A. Prestwich; gearboxes from Sturmey Archer; Bonniksen speedometers; and the famous sculpted “Bulbous Nose Saddle Tank”. Given its maker’s attention to detail as well as the marque’s unparalleled repair and replacement service, the Brough Superior lived up to its name. Reporter H.D. Teague dubbed it “The Rolls-Royce of Motor Cycles.”

The Design auction will be held 6 pm December 15 at: Phillips de Pury & Company, 450 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10022 USA, T. + 1 212 940-1200

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