Rare, important works in Wright’s design auction Dec. 15
CHICAGO – Wright will conduct an auction of Important Design on Thursday, Dec. 15, composed of exceptional forms by the 20th century’s leading artists and designers, as well as works from prominent collectors and distinguished interiors.
“This is our best auction in several years,” said Michael Jefferson, senior specialist in 20th Century Design at Wright. “It’s the biggest and best selection of high-quality works we’re had in some time.”
LiveAuctioneers.com will provide Internet live bidding for the 270-lot auction, which will begin at noon Central.
The sale includes more than two dozen sculptures by Harry Bertoia, including a large and excellent gong of hand-hammered copper, 95 1/2 inches wide by 53 inches high. This untitled piece executed in 1965 comes with the mallet from the Bertoia Studio and a title of authentication. Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner, it carries an estimate of $200,000-$300,000.
Another untitled Bertoia work is described as “Multi-Plane Construction” of copper and brass and stands 49 inches high, 24 inches wide and 12 3/4 inches deep. Jefferson said this work is early in Bertoia’s career—mid-’50s—and is from a rare series. Acquired directly from the artist by Edward and Maria Durell Stone, the work carries a $70,000-$90,000 estimate.
Italian master, Gio Ponti features prominently in this sale with a selection of works designed for Villa Arreaza, Caracas, in 1956, one of two complete residential commissions completed by the designer in Venezuela. One of the items is a console of lacquered wood, laminate, Italian walnut and brass, which was designed for the entry hall. It measures 59 1/4 inches wide, 17 inches deep and 37 1/2 inches high. With a certificate of authenticity from the Gio Ponti Archives, it has a $25,000-$35,000 estimate.
A signed Wendell Castle two-seat sofa of stack-laminated and carved walnut from 1967 is considered an import piece because it represents the designer’s defining style. Found in the museum collections, this sofa is estimated to bring $70,000-$90,000.
A George Nakashima double pedestal desk built in 1967 is described as “super rare.”
“For Nakashima, it has all the bells and whistle, that is it has two free edges, overhangs and butterflies joining a fissure,” said Jefferson. The large, early desk, acquired directly from the artist by the present owner, is expected to sell for $30,000-$50,000.
Another rare piece, probably unique, is a circa 1950 Isamu Noguchi cast-iron bowl, 5 3/4 inches wide by 5 1/2 inches deep by 2.5 inches high.
“It’s the first time this form has ever been seen on the market,” said Jefferson. Signed with the manufacturer’s cast mark on the concave underside, “Bonniers Japan,” the thick-sided bowl has a $20,000-$30,000 estimate.
Italian Modernist Ettore Sottsass is represented with a large collection of rare glass forms, each from a small edition. And finally, a great collection of beautifully crafted works from the Henry R. Levy House, an interior designed by Samuel Marx, will be introduced to the market for the first time.
For details visit the Wright website at www.wright20.cm or call 312-563-0020.
View the fully illustrated catalog and register to bid absentee or live via the Internet as the sale is taking place by logging on to www.LiveAuctioneers.com.
ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE