C'est chic! Iconic French, Italian & American furniture in Palm Beach Modern's Mar. 30 auction Palm Beach Modern's March 30 auction features an unprecedented selection of premier French, Italian & American modern design, including rarities by Chale, Adnet, Duval-Brasseur, other premier names.
News-Antique.com - Mar 25,2013 - WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Palm Beach Modern’s January auction of the Steve Rubell Studio 54 archive made headlines worldwide, but after the excitement of the million-dollar sale had subsided, there came an unexpected bonus – inquiries from potential consignors on both sides of the Atlantic. The Rubell collection had been paired with a superb selection of modern design and furnishings that ultimately accounted for one-third of the sale’s gross.
“Collectors, dealers and estate executors liked what they saw at the January sale and wanted the Palm Beach Modern treatment, too. They came forward with a stunning array of modern furniture whose overall quality is unprecedented in the history of our auction house,” said auctioneer Rico Baca. Those consignments form the core of a March 30 auction of 400 vetted lots of rare, iconic pieces by premier names in Italian, French and American modern design.
“Sophisticated – chic – those are the words that come to mind,” Baca said. “As each shipment of merchandise arrived to us – from Belgium, France, Italy and several states – we became increasingly challenged to come up with catalog descriptions that adequately conveyed the wow factor.”
The ultimate in minimalist expression, a circa-1970 Ado Chale (Belgian, b. 1928-) bronze and metal cocktail table is estimated at $50,000-$70,000. Chale’s designs evolved from his passion for minerals, and often his inventive hybrids combine form with natural elements. The bronze top of the cocktail table offered by Palm Beach Modern was crafted to simulate a spiral-pattern wood grain. “Ado Chale designs are found in royal palaces and French museums. Everything he makes is elegant, original and perfectly proportioned. Many of his pieces are one offs,” said Baca.
Relatively few furniture designs by French sculptor Jacques Duval-Brasseur have appeared at auction in the past. His rare circa-1970 dining/center hall table of brass and glass with splay-foot pedestal incorporates a chunky natural amethyst quartz specimen into its design. Baca describes the table as “very Palm Beach in style.” It is entered with a $20,000-$25,000 estimate.
Known for his imaginative methods of blending architecture and art, sculptor Albert Paley (American, b. 1944-) was the first metal sculptor to receive the coveted Institute Honors, the highest award the American Institute of Architects bestows on a non-architect. Paley is represented in the sale by a forged and fabricated steel and wood console/sofa table. In quintessential Paley style, the wood top is fluted in the same manner as the metal legs, whose exteriors feature eccentrically pleated and mashed metal adornments. Estimate: $25,000-$45,000.
Midcentury design visionaries applied their ingenious ideas in unexpected ways. An example is the Arnold Wolf for JBL walnut stereo speaker cabinet known as the Paragon D44000. Manufactured in 1961, the symmetrically flawless furnishing is an achievement in aesthetics with an underlying utilitarian purpose. The example to be sold by Palm Beach Modern boasts Hollywood provenance, having come from the Beverly Hills estate of actor Glenn Ford (1916-2006). Estimate: $25,000-$45,000.
Another highlight of the furniture section is a quirky “Traccia” occasional