Phillips is the one auction house which has certainly taken the leading role in developing the collectible design market, along with Wright. Under the direction of Alexander Paine, Phillips was the first auction house to introduce ‘curated’ sales in the months following 9/11, when the market was young and suffered from uncertainty, and can be credited for start promoting Italian mid-century design, when the market for French mid-century pieces has become exhausted. Now, in its last design sale of October 1st, Phillips has continued with its efforts to introduce Japanese furniture from various periods, a segment rarely included in design auctions, but one which is ought to be considered by collectors. Pieces by such Japanese designers as Junzo Sakakura (above) and Kenzo Tange, active in the mid-century; contemporary designers Toyo Ito, Shigeru Uchida, Naoto Fukasawa, and Yuya Ushida; and of course Shiro Kuramata, the leading figure of Japanese modern design, whose work has been recognized for many years, were all included in the sale, yet not always successfully sold. A great moment to enter this market.