Adnet and Quinet midcentury works were in strong demand at LAMA

Jacques Adnet sideboard cabinet, estimated at $10,000-$15,000 at LAMA.

LOS ANGELES – Mid-century works by the modernist architects and interior designers Jacques Adnet (1900-1984) and Jacques Quinet (1918-1992) were in strong demand at Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA). A trio of pieces in their signature leather-clad style brought five-figure sums on February 28. Complete results are available at LiveAuctioneers.

While Adnet began his career in the heyday of Art Deco Paris, it is increasingly his post-war work — a modern take on the traditional French country house interior — that the market admires most. Particularly coveted are the range of elegant furniture designs with tubular metal frames clad in saddle-stitched leather, made between the late 1940s and late 1950s. Aimed at the very highest-end clients (Adnet’s high-profile interiors projects in this period include the renovation of French President Vincent Auriol’s private apartments at the Palais de l’Elysée), they were made in association with the luxury leather goods house Hermès.

Dated circa 1955 was a 7ft 4in (2.24m)-wide sideboard cabinet of three drawers and two doors in black leather over a steel and oak frame. Mounted in lacquered brass (a gallery, handles, and fittings to the ‘bamboo’ pillars), it was described as being ‘in good vintage condition’, with the leather refinished. Estimated at $10,000-$15,000, it took $35,000 ($45,850 with buyer’s premium) as 86 bidders ‘watched’ on LiveAuctioneers.

It was unsigned, but a similar six-shelf library book stand and ladder attributed to Jacques Adnet and dated circa 1960 hammered for $28,000 ($36,680 with buyer’s premium) against the same estimate.

Working at the same time for a similar clientele, Jacques Quinet was another proponent of functional design that married the ‘new’ of fabricated tubular steel and the warmth of organic materials such as tropical hardwood, leather, rattan, and lacquer. He also used leatherette, the then-recently available artificial fabric that was both cheaper and required less maintenance.

His series of desks that were installed in the Mobilier National and the residence of General Eisenhower at Marne-la-Coquette are prized by decorators and collectors. The February 28 LAMA sale had a circa-1950 President desk in rouge leather, brass, and oak veneer, offered in ‘very good vintage condition’, which hammered for $30,000 ($39,300 with buyer’s premium) against $10,000-$15,000.

Among the most popular American-designed pieces in the sale was a set of six enameled steel Model 132U chairs by Donald Knorr. This was the design for which Knorr shared first prize at the influential ‘Low Cost furniture Design’ competition organized by the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1948. However, it was only made by Treitel Gratz of New York for two years. The six chairs hammered well above estimate at $22,000 ($28,820 with buyer’s premium).

The top price of the sale was shared by an Alexander Calder (1898-1976) tapestry — one of two in the lineup from the series made to raise money for victims of the earthquake that afflicted Nicaragua and Guatemala in December 1972. Local workers, using traditional techniques and jute rather than wool, were paid four times their usual rate to complete the project. There are 14 different designs, with each made in an edition of 100. A Floating Circles tapestry, number 38 from the edition of 100, was the one that tied for top-lot honors, hammering at $35,000 ($45,850 with buyer’s premium), while a second Calder tapestry in the Moon design, 73 from the edition of 100, brought $22,000 ($28,820 with buyer’s premium) from a LiveAuctioneers bidder.

In November 2023, the Paris auction house Piasa offered a complete set of all 14 Calder weavings that had been owned by Kitty Meyer, the New York socialite who had first approached Calder with the earthquake fundraising idea. All numbered 53 of 100, they brought hammer prices between €30,000-€60,000 ($32,675-$65,350), with Moon selling at €32,000 ($34,850) and Floating Circle at €50,000 ($54,460).

Masters of 20th-century furniture design command attention at LAMA Feb. 28

Sam Maloof rocking chair, estimated at $20,000-$30,000 at LAMA.

VAN NUYS, Calif. — Some of the most important names in 20th-century furniture design are represented in the upcoming Design Auction at Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA) on Wednesday, February 28. The complete catalog is now available for bidding at LiveAuctioneers.

The 202-lot sale is headed by this rocking chair from Sam Maloof (1916-2009). It was acquired directly from the artist in 1989 and is marked No. 45 1989 Sam Maloof f.A.C.C. ? to the underside. Described in the lot notes as being in ‘very good vintage condition,’ the chair is estimated at $20,000-$30,000.

Luisa, Marchesa Casati Stampa di Soncino (1881-1957) was an Italian heiress, muse, and art patron — along with being something of a public eccentric. According to LAMA, the marquess commissioned this bench from furniture designer Carlo Bugatti (1856-1940). Featuring what appears to be Arabic script decorations and what remains of the original silk tassels, the underside provides the tell, with Casati marked there. The bench is estimated at $20,000-$30,000.

The Larkin family of Maple Glen, Pennsylvania made a wise choice when they ordered this cabinet from Nakashima Studios in 1957. Now debuting at auction some 67 years after purchase, the cabinet is in fine condition and comes with a digital copy of the original purchase order. It is estimated at $20,000-$30,000.

The sale includes 17 works by Jacques Adnet (1900-1984), the renowned French designer best remembered for his innovative use of leather and metal in his furniture. This sideboard cabinet is constructed of saddle-stitched leather over steel with oak and brass elements. It is dated to around 1955 and carries an estimate of $10,000-$15,000.

No 20th-century furniture sale would be complete without an example from Charles and Ray Eames. The husband-and-wife design powerhouse created La Chaise for the 1948 International Competition for Low-Cost Furniture Design at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. However, it was not actually produced for retail until the 1990s by Vitra in Switzerland. This example is from around 2000 and is made of lacquered polyester resin, chrome-plated steel, and oak and is estimated at $3,000-$5,000.

Private collection of 20th-century design debuts at Freeman’s Hindman Feb. 8

PHILADELPHIA — A private collector in New York spent decades assembling an incredibly strong collection of 20th-century design, with an emphasis on furniture from some of the biggest names in French Art Deco and Modernism. That collection heads to market at Freeman’s Hindman on Thursday, February 8 in a highly focused, 36-lot sale titled The Desire for Perfection: A New York Collection of 20th Century Design. The catalog is now open for bidding at LiveAuctioneers.

At the top spot for the sale’s estimates sits this sideboard designed by French furniture designer Jules Leleu (1883-1961). Released in 1960, just a year before his death, the sideboard’s exterior features lacquered wood, mahogany, brass, and gold leaf, while the interior consists of mahogany, five adjustable shelves, and two drawers. It is estimated at $15,000-$25,000.

One of the greats of the Art Deco period was René Prou (1887-1947), though his impact has since faded. Prou designed interiors for passenger ocean liners, the Orient Express Pullman cars, and high-end homes and banks throughout France. The sale includes three examples of his furniture line: a settee, two side chairs, and two armchairs, all clearly from the same period and patterns. The settee is estimated at $8,000-$12,000, while the two sets of chairs have identical estimates of $5,000-$7,000.

The New York collector was also a fan of Maxime Old (1910-1991), a French interior and furniture designer. Old helped lead the transition from Art Deco to modernism by employing bold colors and definitive geometry, as witnessed in the four lots by him in the sale. Old’s 1947 dining room cabinet is a clear transition away from the 1930s towards a bolder, more defined look. It is estimated at $7,000-$9,000.

Jacques Adnet (1900-1984) is considered a titan of French Modernism, who placed emphasis on luxurious design. At the young age of 28, Adnet was named director of La Compagnie des Arts Français (CAF), where he pursued his Modernist designs for decades. This pair of leather and iron armchairs date to 1960 and are indicative of his pared-down focus on functionality with minimal ornamentation. The chairs are estimated at $5,000-$7,000.

Nye & Co. presents Chic and Antique Estate Treasures auction, Jan. 19-20

Marcel Wanders for Louis Vuitton lounge chair from the Objets Nomades collection, est. $12,000-$18,000
 Marcel Wanders for Louis Vuitton lounge chair from the Objets Nomades collection, est. $12,000-$18,000

Marcel Wanders for Louis Vuitton lounge chair from the Objets Nomades collection, est. $12,000-$18,000

BLOOMFIELD, N.J. – Nye & Company Auctioneers’ two-day, online Chic and Antique Estate Treasures auction planned for Wednesday and Thursday, January 19 and 20, will offer a wide variety of fine and decorative arts, with a concentration on 17th- thru 20th-century paintings, furniture from the 18th through the 21st centuries, as well as silver and jewelry. Sales begin at 10 am Eastern time both days. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

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