Published: June 7, 2022
Review by W.A. Demers, Photos Courtesy Hindman Auctions
CHICAGO – Hindman’s May 25 Modern design auction featured American and European design spanning the Twentieth and Twenty-First Century. Standout pieces by important designers Piero Fornasetti, Philip and Kelvin LaVerne, Paul Evans and others were represented. The sale total was $854,844 with a sell-through rate of 91 percent. There were more than 350 registered bidders across three platforms (Hindman/Digital Bid Room, LiveAuctioneers, and Invaluable). A total of 31 different countries were represented in bidders for the sale, with about 20 percent being international and 80 percent domestic.
Leading the 180-lot sale was a Philip and Kelvin LaVerne (1907-1987 | b 1937) “Chan” cabinet from the LaVerne Collection, USA. It surpassed its high estimate of $35,000 to realize $62,500. Etched, patinated and polychromed bronze and pewter with a raised signature to top in metalwork, the cabinet measured 32 by 49 by 15½ inches. The father and son team created custom, limited edition pieces of furniture that were both functional objects and stunning displays of artistry. Their distinctive sculpted bronze pieces harmoniously combine innovative metalworking techniques with traditional motifs.
Also notable from the LaVerne Collection was an “Etruscan” center table of etched, patinated and polychromed bronze and pewter. It was estimated $6/8,000 but did better, realizing $18,750. With manufacturer’s paper label and incised signature to base “Philip Kelvin LaVerne,” it measured 28¼ by 40 inches in diameter. Similarly, an “Etruscan” coffee table, 17¼ by 44 by 44 inches, doubled its high estimate to bring $12,500.
Mid-Twentieth Century American artist Alexander Calder (1898-1976) was represented in the sale. A pair of tapestries based off of Calder’s works skyrocketed past their estimates. A “Comets” tapestry D’Aubusson, cataloged as after Calder, was edition six of six from Atelier Pinton Frères, France. Of handwoven wool, it was signed “Calder” lower right, displaying the Ateliers Pinton Frères monogram center. Measuring 70 by 48 inches, it trounced a $4/6,000 expectation and flew to $46,875.
A “Sun” tapestry, circa 1975, after Calder, edition 10 of 100, was of hand-woven maguey fiber and signed “AC 75 10/100.” At 73 by 96 inches, it made $16,250 against a $4/6,000 estimate. A hammock from 1975, also based off of Calder’s work, also performed extremely well, selling for $8,125.
Bidding was solid for a Piero Fornasetti (1913-1988) “Città di Carte” / “Farfalle” folding screen, circa 1960, pushing it to an above estimate $16,250. With lithographic printing and hand coloring on wood, the 81-by-78-by-1-inch screen was property from the collection of Lynne Rosenbaum, Truro, Mass., and was vetted by the Fornasetti Atelier. It had been published in Fornasetti: The Complete Universe, New York (2010), by Mariuccia Casadio et al.
Another Fornasetti folding screen from the Rosenbaum collection, “Portico con Paesaggio” / “Angolo di Spogliatoio,” circa 1956 and of the same dimensions, was bid to a within-estimate $13,750.
No Modern design sale worth its salt would omit Wendell Castle (1932-2018), the American sculptor and furniture artist and a leading figure in American craft, often referred to as the “father of the art furniture movement.” Here he was represented by a pair of “Zephyr” chairs, circa 1976, in walnut and curly maple, signed “WC 76.” A bonus: they had been acquired directly from the artist. They sold for $16,250.
There were a couple pieces of furniture by French furniture designer and craftsman Pierre Chapo (1927-1987) among the top highlights. One was a dining table, model T21D, circa 1987, in elm that earned $15,000. His sideboard, model R08A, circa 1980, also in elm, left the gallery at $10,625.
Fetching $15,000, five times its high estimate, was a Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1969) coffee table by Heritage Henredon, USA, in slate and walnut, 15 inches high and 36 inches in diameter. It was property from the collection of Robin P. Ward.
Outstanding pieces by Mira Nakashima (b 1942) were a console table, circa 2006, bringing $13,750 and a coffee table of walnut and rosewood, also circa 2006, that went out at $12,500. Both pieces were signed “Mira Nakashima 2006” with the client’s name.
Some contemporary designs included experimental seating by John Chamberlain (1927-2011). His couch, circa 1970, 26 by 77 by 77 inches, made $13,750.
An array of studio pottery by Jun Kaneko, Claude Conover, Peter Voulkos and others were on offer. Conover’s (1907-1994) “Ocob” footed and incised stoneware vessel came from a private Midwest collector. Signed “Claude Conover OCOB” and standing 25 inches high, it changed hands at $12,500.
Italian glass birds by Alessandro Pianon (1931-1984) continue to be highly sought-after. A selection of three offered in the sale were led by Pianon’s “Pulcini” bird, circa 1960, a whimsical art glass sculpture of murine and copper flying out at $11,875.
Prices given include the buyer’s premium as stated by the auction house. Hindman’s next Modern Design sale will be November 18. For information, www.hindmanauctions.com or 312-280-1212.
November 29, 2022
November 29, 2022
November 29, 2022
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