RAGO DEBUTS 20TH C. DESIGN WEEKEND WITH MODERN AND EARLY 20TH C. PROPERTY NOT SEEN ON THE MARKET IN Extraordinary private collections, exceptional individual pieces and conservative estimates promise to attract serious competition.
Lambertville, NJ Rago Arts and Auction Center begins 2010 with
Sunday’s Modern Design sale features almost 500 lots in a broad array from Art Deco to classic mid-century to contemporary, with stand-out work by Tommi Parzinger, John Lewis, Clement Rousseau, Wharton Esherick, Paul Evans, Robert Arneson, Josef Hoffman and perhaps the most exceptional lot of the sale, a pair of museum-quality wrought-iron gates with antelopes by W. Hunt Diederich, mounted on contemporary stands, c. 1920.
Furniture comprises the largest portion of the sale and includes work from most of the leading designers working from the ‘40s through the ‘60s in the U.S. and abroad.
Among the Scandinavian/Northern European offers are lot 737, a Poul Kjaerholm PK-80 daybed estimated at $8,000-$12,000; lot 747, a Hans Wegner credenza, estimated at $7,000-9,000; lot 733, a Hans Wegner Papa Bear chair and matching ottoman, estimated at $5,000-7,000; and lot 750, a set of six Finn Juhl/Niels Vodder dining chairs estimated at $5,000-7,000, as well as more from both of these designers; sofas by Illum Wikkelso, chairs by Alvar Aalto, Bruno Mathsson and Eero Saarinen; credenzas, cabinets and sideboards by Jens Risom, Cees Brakman, Peter Hvidt and Orla Molgaard-Nelson; a Piet Hein and an Alvat Aalto dining table; an Alvar Aalto tea cart; bedroom furnishings by Alvar Aalto, Arne Vodder and Edmund Spence; and a Lovig desk.
The sale includes a truly choice selection of Tommi Parzinger design, including lot 500, a rare mahogany inlaid dining table; lot 508, a massive elm and mahogany credenza; and lot 504, a lacquered oak credenza on mahogany legs with milk-glass panels, each estimated at $8,000-12,000, as well as a four-poster lacquered mahogany bed; an enameled sideboard; a pair of lacquered oak chests with matching hanging cabinet and a mahogany center table with pewter inlay. Karl Springer, known for simple shapes in exotic materials, is well-represented here by lot 974, a freeform polished stainless steel coffee table on adjustable feet, estimated at $8,000-12,000, as are Philip and Kelvin Laverne, with two bronze coffee tables.
James Mont’s over-the-top showmanship is on display in over 30 lots of furniture and more of lighting. Among the furniture highlights: lot 527, a pair of oversized cabinets/tables of antiqued mirror, estimated at $2,500-3,500; lot 931, a polychrome bar cabinet, estimated at $2,000-3,000; lot 526, a rare grandfather clock in polychrome finish, estimated at $3,500-5,500; and lot 926, a large, lighted cabinet with an Asian motif in polychrome and gilt, estimated at $3,500-5,000.
Those whose taste in Modern design is a bit more restrained will find much to admire as well. There are elegant furnishings by Edward Wormley for Dunbar and T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings for Widdicomb.
Iconic mid-century works include CSS units and Thin-Edge chests by George Nelson for Herman Miller; dining table and chairs by Warren McArthur; folding screens and a rosewood and leather lounge chair with ottoman from Charles and Ray Eames; Vladimir Kagan’s Cloud sofa and an Isamu Noguchi side table, as well as work by Paul McCobb, Harvey Probber, Alexander Girard and Milo Baughman for Thayer Coggin.