Go west California design highlights spring auction of 20th century furniture and decorative arts

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A unique Osvaldo Borsani molded and laminated birch plywood, glass and ceramic desk, designed for Tecno Italy, 1950s, with ceramic by Aligi Sassu. Height 31 3/4 inches; length 4 feet 11 inches; depth 22 1/2 inches. Sold for $11,590 inclusive of Buyer's Premium. Image courtesy Bonhams 1793.

LOS ANGELES – Bonhams & Butterfields’ April 6, 2009 auction of 20th Century Decorative Arts offered a wide array of iconic examples by well-known designers of the 20th century. The 225-lot sale offered works of Arts & Crafts, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Mid-Century Modern and works by Contemporary Studio artists with a focus on California and Western design items. The Los Angeles auction brought more than $550,000 and demonstrated strength in a number of collecting areas.

The marquee lot of the auction was a flatware service, by the mid century modern silversmith Allan Adler, that sold for $19,520, soaring above the pre-sale estimate of $5,000-$7,000. According to Frank Maraschiello, director, 20th Century Decorative Arts at Bonhams: “The April 20th Century auction showed breadth and depth in the market as collectors across all disciplines looked for iconic, rare and unique examples which included such objects as the Adler service.”

Works by Dirk van Erp, Lloyd Wright and Tony Duquette led the Western offerings. Among the highlights was a hammered copper and mica lamp, circa 1910 by van Erp, which sold for $14,640; a Duquette Galleon party decoration, which sold for $3,965 and a selection of rare Lloyd Wright furnishings from the Bowler House, Palos Verdes, Calif. “Highly spirited international bidding was prevalent for the collection of Lloyd Wright items. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for buyers, as the items may never again be seen together by the general public,” said Maraschiello.

Additional highlights from the April sale included Third Voyage, a specially commissioned illuminated crystal sculpture by the San Francisco based designer Yves Béhar which sold for $19,520 and an Osvaldo Borsani molded and laminated birch plywood, glass and ceramic desk which sold above the presale estimate of $3,000-$4,000, for $11,590.

Auctions featuring works of 20th Century Decorative Arts at Bonhams & Butterfields will continue on May 5, 2009, with The Ed Hardy San Francisco Collection. Amassed over the decades at the firm’s Italian Palladian style headquarters, The Ed Hardy San Francisco Collection will feature eclectic and unique examples of period furniture and decorative arts from the 17th through 20th centuries with a particular focus on the Italian aesthetic.

For decades, Ed Hardy San Francisco has been synonymous with old world craftsmanship and artistry in harmony with Modernist innovation and design. Included among the firm’s loyal clientele is a virtual who’s who of the international design and private collecting communities. Since 1976, the company has inspired and illuminated the vision of both designers and connoisseurs, moving far beyond a local resource to become an international institution.

Sale highlights from the Ed Hardy San Francisco collection on May 5 will include a pair of 19th century Venetian Tempietto tole, iron and glass standing lanterns on Botticino marble bases (estimate $70,000-$90,000); an Italian Baroque giltwood console with Sicilian jasper veneered top, early 18th century (estimate $20,000-$30,000); a Piero Fornasetti lacquered aluminum and faux malachite table, second half 20th century (estimate $12,000-$18,000) and a Sabino frosted glass three-tier chandelier, circa 1930 (estimate $15,000-$20,000).

For more information, visit www.bonhams.com.

More Images:

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A Dirk van Erp hammered copper and mica lamp, circa 1910. 11 1/2 inches high, 13 3/8 inches in diameter. Sold for $14,640 inclusive of Buyer's Premium. Image courtesy Bonhams 1793.

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