Bauhaus Furniture by Franz Ehrlich for Rago Auction

Bauhaus enthusiasts and lovers of Modernism will have a shot at rare postwar Bauhaus furniture from an East Berlin estate offered by Authentics, in Lambertville, NJ, one hour from Manhattan.

The two Bauhaus sideboard sets are being shown at the Rago Arts Modern Design Auction this Saturday February 5, 2011. The sale begins at noon. The pieces were designed by Franz Ehrlich, who studied and worked at the Bauhaus in Dessau, Germany before it was shut down by the Nazis in 1933.

The Ehrlich group consists of two lowboard/highboard sets, a total of four pieces. (Only one of the two sets is pictured.) They have sliding glass doors, drawers, shelves and generous storage space. The original hardware and keys are included. The Ehrlich lot is 836. A companion midcentury lot, 837 features a pair of upholstered cocktail chairs from East Germany and a glass-top table from Czechoslovakia.

The Ehrlich sideboards show every bit of the functionality and all the clean lines you expect from Bauhaus design, but they also radiate a warmth that is sometimes missing from other Bauhaus furniture.

“Work by Bauhaus superstars is well known. But it’s not always easy to find furniture designed by lesser known, under-the-radar Bauhaus artists such as Franz Ehrlich,” said Authentics owner Tom Conrad. Re-issued versions of Bauhaus classics and “Bauhaus-inspired” pieces are common. But “people are definitely interested in the real thing when it comes along,” he added.

Designed by Ehrlich in 1956 and manufactured at the venerable Deutsche Werkstaetten, Hellerau in 1963, the sideboards have a sleek “Bauhaus Meets Mad Men“ look.

The Rago Modern Auction begins at noon, Saturday, February 5 at the Rago Auction Center Annex, 204 North Union Street, Lambertville, NJ 08530. Phone (609) 397-9374. Email [email protected] Preview January 29-February 2 Noon to 5:00 PM. February 3 Noon to 7:00 PM. Doors open at 9:00 AM February 4 and 5.

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