Design of the Century 20th Century Furniture & Decorative Arts at Bonhams & Butterfields in September

. June 27, 2007

Fall sale to feature strong examples of Arts & Crafts, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Mid-Century Modern and works by Contemporary Studio artists

Bonhams & Butterfields’ fall 2007 auction of 20th Century Decorative Arts, to be held in Los Angeles on September 24, 2007, features a diverse group of works spanning a century of design. The works on offer will highlight the full range of 20th century artistic output, from the important early years through the modern period.

One highlight of the Fall sale is a selection of Ron Arad designs. Arad, a self-taught designer-maker of sculptural furniture, an artist and an architect, founded the London-based architecture and design firm One Off Limited (also called Office Cum Showroom) with Caroline Thorman in Covent Garden in 1981.

One of the first pieces of furnishings produced by Arad was a compilation of two everyday objects selected and designated as art. Assembled from a seat from a Rover 2000 auto and secured to a frame of 1930s designed Kee-Klamp scaffolding, the work titled Rover Chair paved the way for other ground breaking compilations that followed, including the iconic stereo cast in concrete. Credited with capturing the essence of 1980s London, Arad and other pieces from One Off Limited, paved the way for lost individualism in the new urban landscape that followed punk.

This September, Bonhams & Butterfields is offering a Ron Arad Rover two-seater (est. $10/15,000) and one seat (est. $4/6,000), both designed in 1981, and a concrete stereo, designed in 1983 (est. $10/15,000).

Among the artists whose works were shown at Arad’s One Off Limited is the American-born glass artist Danny Lane. Bonhams & Butterfields is offering a pair of Lane stacking glass side chairs with an estimate of $4,000 to $6,000 each.

Also included in the sale is a creation of the English-born California furniture designer, architect and wood carver Po Shun Leong. Born in 1941 after his parents emigrated from China, Leong also trained as an architect and, for a short period of time studied with pioneering architect Le Corbusier. After working in Europe, he lived in Mexico for 15-years before moving to California in 1982. The Fall sale includes a Leong carved 23_ inch Art box. The intricate and puzzle-like work is comprised of dyed mixed wood and was inscribed and dated by the artist in 1996 (est. $3/4,000).

Three unusual Aubusson tapestries will be offered. The first, Paon de Nuit (est. $3,000/5,000), is by Jean Lurcat, famed painter and carpet and tapestry designer. Lurcat’s works for Myrbor and the Aubusson weavers are highly collected — so much so that the cultural center in Aubusson bears his name. The second, by Elie Grekoff, is a vibrant landscape scene (est. $2,000/3,000) and the third is by master colorist Victor Vasarely, known for his illusionary Op-Art paintings and prints (est. $4,000/6,000).

A French Art Deco rosewood dining room suite by Lyonaise designer Christian Krass will be offered. Comprising a dining table and six chairs (est. $10/15,000) and a handsome sideboard (est.$18/25,000), this 1930s suite features sleek Modernist lines and elegant nickeled hardware.

The Modern Design section offered in Los Angeles will include furniture by Isamu Noguchi, Florence Knoll, Hans Wegner, Robert Venturi, Karl Springer, Frank Lloyd Wright for Heritage Henredon, Sami Hayek, and seminal California designers Michael Taylor, Sally Sirkin Lewis, and John Dickinson.

Additional offerings include a pair of Grosfeld House serpentine front mahogany chests of three drawers. Designed by Lorin Marsh in the 1940s, the highly sought-after pair is expected to bring as much as $6,000 at auction. A matching pair of nightstands will also be offered (est. $1,000/1,500).

Works by Contemporary Studio Artists will include ceramics by Beatrice Wood, Harrison Macintosh and Otto and Gertrude Natzler.

Los Angeles preview events are scheduled for September 21-23 in Bonhams & Butterfields’ Sunset Blvd. gallery. The auction’s illustrated catalog will be online for review and purchase in the weeks preceding the sale at

The 20th Century Furniture and Decorative Arts Department at Bonhams & Butterfields presents two auctions each year held in the firm’s Los Angeles salesrooms and two sales in the Bonhams New York galleries. Virtually every major design movement of the 20th century is well-represented in these sales with fine examples executed in the mediums of ceramics, metalwork, glass and furniture regularly offered and bringing strong prices.

Category: Auction News

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