In 1972, the Baron and Baroness Gourgaud made the then avant garde decision to commission Maria Pergay to design furniture and objets d’art for their summer home in Corsica. Known for her love of stainless steel, which she describes “as precious as the most precious woods,” Pergay fashioned elegantly lined pieces in her signature material that are bold yet quiet. With timeless forms, Pergay’s work remained installed at the Corsica home until 2010, where it looked as contemporary and elegant as ever.

On May 24 at Artcurial, Paris, the Gourgaud heirs offered the collection for auction, a remarkable event in the design world at a time when Pergay’s work has seen renewed interest and soaring prices since 2007. The Artcurial sale totalled just under €300,000 as aficionados picked up highlights including the iconic brushed steel Corner Sofa (€35,236), the stainless steel "Ammonite" coffee table decorated with beige, brown and red lacquered cloisonné imitating the fossil's spiral coils (€47,628), and a pair of "Ammonite Fossil" lamps (€37,714). If the prices seem expensive (and they were within their estimates) remember Pergay’s famous adage: “Nothing is more beautiful than steel.”