MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. – Mid-century modern is in vogue these days and collectors will have a field day at Benefit Shop Foundation’s monthly Red Carpet auction on Wednesday, Aug. 8, at 10 a.m., which features a collection of over 100 mid-century furniture pieces and accessories. All lots open with a $1 bid and there are no reserves. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.
From the collection of John Edelman, CEO of Design Within Reach, the auction catalog includes a who’s who of mid-century designers: Milo Baughman, Eero Saarinen, Florence Knoll, Donghia for Baker, Russel Wright and Adrian Pearsall.
Mid-century is a thread that runs through Edelman’s life, whose family began Edelman Leathers. Edelman and his now-wife, Bonnie, began dating while visiting flea markets buying pieces and eventually grew a fine collection of the mid-century aesthetic. In 2008, the family sold Edelman Leathers to the Knoll Inc., renowned over four decades for its office systems, tables and seating.
“Mid-century modern is so hot on the market now. We are thrilled with this incredible donation of this wonderfully curated collection,” said the owner and founder Pam Stone. “Mid-century modern has that classic, timeless look people love in their homes and these pieces have all the quality craftsmanship and superior design you expect.”
Milo Baughman’s (1923–2003) pioneering American furniture pieces favoring clean lines embodied the vision that good design lives on. He was known for fashion-forward designs that were unique yet reasonably priced and not pretentious. His work continues to influence today’s designers.
Among a dozen of his pieces represented in the auction are a pair of Milo Baughman for Thayer Coggin Thin Line chrome armchairs (above) in a dark brown vinyl upholstery mimicking leather ($300-$600), a Milo Baughman for Thayer Coggin reclining lounge chair in red fabric upholstery on a sculpted wood frame, and a Milo Baughman chrome lounge chair with an ottoman in a multi-toned striped pattern fabric.
Also featured in this collection are works by Eero Saarinen, led by a tulip table (below) and several Eero Saarinen for Knoll Executive armchairs, having Atomic Age styling with splayed tubular chrome legs. Born in Finland, Saarinen (1910-1961) grew up in the design world. His father was a famous architect and his mother a textile artist. Saarinen assisted his father in designing furniture before studying sculpture in Paris. He then achieved his own fame as a designer.
Also on offer from Edelman’s mid-century modern collection is a set of five original Thonet barstools retaining a label on underside of seat “Thonet, American Made” ($300-$600), a 1960 motorized chaise recliner in a brown toned fabric ($200-$400), a pair of circa 1950s Viking Artline Corp. armchairs in solid blond hardwood with bottle green vinyl upholstery, and a Donghia for Baker wooden dining table having two leaves and with a plaque on underside, “Baker New World Furniture,” measuring 29 by 60 without leaves.
Among Knoll standouts is a Florence Knoll for Knoll walnut writing desk from the 1950s, 29 by 69 by 34 inches ($200-$400). Florence Marguerite Knoll Bassett (born 1917) is an American architect and furniture designer who trained under Mies van der Rohe and Eliel Saarinen.
The auction will also offer a wealth of other mid-century goods from carpets and artwork to accessories, including three Judith Leiber handbags, an Amedeo Clemente Modigliani limited edition lithograph portrait of Jeanne Hébuterne, after the original 1919 painting; and a Bitossi, Italy, fused glass, rectangular ceramic dish, circa 1950s, 7½ by 10½ by 1½ inches.
Rounding out the sale are a pair of 8¼-inch-tall ceramic foo dogs mounted on rectangular pedestals with a pierced geometric design and fine estate jewelry, including sterling silver rings set with gemstones and Mexican earrings set with natural stones in a dark red hue.
For more details contact the Benefit Shop Foundation at 914-864-0707.