Auction of the Week: Wright Design Sale - March 22, 2018



2018-03-14 10:23:20

Our featured auction this week is the Wright Design Sale, which takes place in Chicago on March 22. Here are 10 of our favourite lots on offer, from mid-century icons to stuffed toy sofas...

Arne Jacobsen Egg Chair and ottoman

Estimate: $5,000 - $7,000

This Egg Chair, by Danish designer Arne Jacobsen, is one of the most iconic chairs in the history of 20th century design.

Jacobsen designed the futuristic chair in 1958 for the SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen, and it remains in production to this day.

This original example, made from a single piece of cast aluminium and upholstered in leather, was produced by manufacturer Fritz Hansen in 1958, and comes with its matching ottoman.

Jean Prouve Dacytlo desk model BDM 41

Estimate: $20,000 - $30,000

This enameled steel, oak, and aluminium Dacytlo desk, model BDM 41, was created by French designer Jean Prouve in 1946.

Prouve founded his studio 'Ateliers Jean Prouvé' in 1923, and specialised in using industrial materials to produce everything from pre-fabricated houses to upmarket furniture.

His motto was "never design anything that cannot be made", but his useful designs were never utilitarian in nature, and retained a stylish aesthetic which makes them highly collectible today.

Pietro Chiesa table lamp

Estimate: $10,000 – $15,000

This striking brass, crystal, frosted glass and lacquered wood table lamp is the work of Italian designer Pietro Chiesa.

It was produced in 1942 by Fontana Arte, a celebrated Italian interior design company established in 1932, which remains in existence to this day.

Chiesa served as the company's artistic director throughout the 1930s, and many of the pieces he designed during this period remain in production to this day.

Vladimir Kagan sculpted rocking chair and ottoman

Estimate: $10,000 – $15,000

This sculpted Contour rocking chair is one of the most famous works by the German-American designer Vladimir Kagan.

Kagan's designs helped define the era of mid-century modern furniture, and he created pieces for both the Delegate’s Cocktail Lounge at the United Nations, and the Monsanto House of the Future at Disneyland.

This original walnut rocking chair was produced circa 1953 by Kagan-Dreyfuss, Inc. in New York, and is regarded as a truly iconic piece of 50s design.

Michele de Lucchi Atlantic cabinet

Estimate: $5,000 - $7,000

This Atlantic cabinet, made from laminate over wood, textured glass and enameled steel, is the work of the celebrated Italian designer and architect Michele de Lucchi.

The cabinet was produced circa 1981 by the Memphis Group, an Italian design group which specialised in postmodern furniture, textiles and ceramics.

The group operated from 1981 until 1988, drawing inspiration from art deco, pop art, 1950s kitsch and futurism to create a style which was once described as "a shotgun wedding between Bauhaus and Fisher-Price".

Today original pieces such as this cabinet are highly collectible, with fans including the late music icon David Bowie, and de Lucchi's work can be found in major museums including the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.

Gil Elvgren There's a Ford in Your Future illustration

Estimate: $5,000 - $7,000

This original painting by American artist Gil Elvgren was produced in 1944 for the advertising agency J Walter Thompson Company.

It was used as part of the company's successful campaign for the Ford Motor Company, entitled "There’s a Ford in your Future", which encouraged US consumers to imagine owning a Ford in the years to come as the motor industry slowed production on new cars during WWII.

Today Elvgren is regarded as the king of vintage pin-up art, having produced iconic calendars for 35 years, and his original artworks are highly sought-after by collectors of the genre.

Pierre Jeanneret armchairs from Chandigarh

Estimate: $20,000 - $30,000

This pair of stylish teak and leather armchairs was created by Pierre Jeanneret, the Swiss designer renowned for his collaborations with his cousin, the famed architect Le Corbusier.

In 1947 the pair received a commission to design the entire city of Chandigarh in India. Although Le Corbusier later abandoned the project, Jeanneret moved to Chandigarh and designed buildings including the Governor’s Palace, the State Library and the City Hall.

He remained in India after the project was completed, where he served as head of the architectural department at the University of the Punjab.

These chairs were part of the Chandigarh project, designed in 1953 to be used in one of the city's municipal buildings, and their provenance makes them highly collectible today.

Arman Untitled (table)

Estimate: $10,000 - $15,000

This incredible coffee table, featuring the twisted shapes of broken violins cast in bronze, is the work of the French-American artist Armand Pierre Fernandez, known simply as Arman.

Arman was a leading figure in the French pop art movement, and was renowned for using 'readymade' objects to create paintings and sculptures, particularly smashed musical instruments such as violins and saxophones.

In 1961 Arman moved from Paris to New York, where he stayed at the infamous Chelsea Hotel and befriended Andy Warhol, who became a collector of his work.

Today his works can be found in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and the Tate Museum in London.

Josef Frank Flora cabinet

Estimate: $10,000 - $15,000

This beautiful and important cabinet is the work of Josef Frank, an esteemed Austrian designer who worked in the fields of furniture, textiles, and architecture.

In the 1930s he began collaborating with the Swedish design company Svenkst Tenn, creating botanical prints and textiles inspired by his hero, the British arts and crafts originator William Morris.

This chest was part of Frank's Flora range, made by Svenskt Tenn circa 1954, and was originally shown during an exhibition of Swedish design in Caracas, Venezuela.

The exhibition was organised by Swedish diplomat Carl-Robert Borgenstierna, who later acquired the cabinet for his own collection.

Fernando and Humberto Campana Panda Banquette chair

Estimate: $20,000 - $30,000

This remarkable chair, made from a combination of stainless steel and stuffed toy pandas, is the creation of Brazilian brothers Fernando and Humberto Campana.

The duo are renowned for their groundbreaking designs which use untraditional materials, and they were presented with Design Miami's designer of the year award in 2008.

Special edition pieces by the Campanas can be found in the permanent collections of museums such as the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Museum of Modern Art in Sao Paulo.

This chair is number 14 from a limited edition of 25 examples produced by Estudio Campana in 2007.

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