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schools of design

Quittenbaum auction honors European schools of design Dec. 11

schools of design
Gio Ponti, dresser made by Cassina, Milan, for the Parco dei Principi Hotel in Sorrento, Italy, circa 1964. Estimate: €30,000-€40,000. Quittenbaum image

MUNICH – Quittenbaum Kunstauktionen, one of the leading international auction houses for applied arts of the 20th century, will offer 162 top-class objects that show exemplarily avant-garde tendencies and styles of the most important European design centers on Dec. 11. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

In the founding year of the Wiener Werkstätte, in 1903, Josef Hoffmann created the candlestick with matchbox holder (below) that is being offered at an estimate of €10,000-€14,000/$11,347-$15,886. It is one of 11 lots in the auction made by the Viennese Secessionists, another example among them being a grid basket vase with blue glass inset, also by Hoffmann, from 1906 (€6,000-€7,000).

schools of design
Josef Hoffmann, candlestick with matchbox holder, Wiener Werkstaette, 1903. Estimate: €10,000–€14,000. Quittenbaum image

Architect and painter Henry van de Velde often designed vessels and jugs with a sculptural quality. This becomes evident in two important silver objects in the auction: a teapot and creamer on a tray from the Service III (1904, €18,000-€24,000) and a bowl of which only one other had been previously known, from the year 1909 (€8,000-€12,000).

The idea of the designers and artists of the Bauhaus was to make attainable aesthetically rarified surroundings not only for the well-to-do. Chair and table, cutlery and plate, need not only be functional but also meet modern aesthetic demands and be ready for reasonable serial production at the same time. For all its efforts, the Bauhaus only rarely succeeded in realizing this task. Many of the Bauhaus products were still only available for well-to-do customers. Three objects, created directly at the Bauhaus, will be on offer in this auction. A wine jug of nickel silver made by Christian Dell in 1922 leads the way (€90,000-€120,000). Relatives of the consignor had bought it in the beginning of the 1920s and it has been in the family since.

schools of design
Christian Dell, wine jug, Bauhaus Weimar, 1922. Estimate: €90,000–€120,000. Quittenbaum image

A painted Model VII chess set in its original wooden box, made circa 1924 (€10,000-€15,000) was also bought in Weimar, as well as the Ti 1a wooden-slat chair, 1924, by Marcel Breuer (€25,000-€35,000).

schools of design
Marcel Breuer, Ti 1a ‘wooden-slat chair,’ Bauhaus Weimar, 1924. Estimate: €25,000–€35,000. Quittenbaum image

Created almost simultaneously, they are two antipodes of the modern seating design: Eckart Muthesius’ Red Comfortable Chair (1931) – square, upholstered and with integrated lighting, designed for the Maharaja of Indore and Alvar Aalto’s 31/42 easy chair for the Paimio sanatorium, of bent plywood and in excellent condition, which will be called up for €4,000-€5,000.

Elegant and inventive Italian lighting design will be represented with pieces by Angelo Lelli and Gino Sarfatti. The Racket chair by Helge Vestergaard Jensen stands out of the high-quality offer of Scandinavian furniture and lighting by Hans Wegner, Tapio Wirkkala and Ilmari Tapiovaara (€12,000-€15,000).

schools of design
Helge Vestergaard Jensen, Racket chair, Soeren Horn, cabinetmaker, Copenhagen, 1955. Estimate: €12.000–€15.000. Quittenbaum image

Case furniture includes a chest of drawers by architect Gio Ponti for the Parco dei Principi Hotel in Sorrento, Italy, which he designed in the early 1960s. Manufactured by Cassina, the three-drawer dresser has an elmwood case accented by turquoise-green plastic laminate, tubular brass and white plastic (€30,000-€40,000).

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