Bonhams & Butterfields’ spring 2009 auction of 20th century decorative arts, to be held in Los Angeles on April 6, will feature a diverse group of works spanning a century of design. The works on offer will highlight the full range of 20th century artistic output, from the early years through the modern period.
The firm is pleased to offer an important collection of furniture designed in 1963 for the Bowler House, Palos Verdes, Calif., by Lloyd Wright, son of Frank Lloyd Wright. Also known as the Bird of Paradise residence because of the steeply pitched roof, the home was commissioned by John and Jeanne Bowler. The couple had seen photographs of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Palo Alto, Calif., commission for the Hanna House (1935-37), and agreed that with its indoor-outdoor spaces, open floor plan and integration of building and site, that project was the type of house they too wanted. The pair was happy to find Lloyd Wright had worked on the Hanna house with his father.
A noted architect in his own right, Lloyd Wright made several important contributions to the Southern California architectural landscape throughout his career. In addition to the Bowler House, his many admired commissions also include The Wayfarer’s Chapel in Portuguese Bend on the Palos Verdes Peninsula.
Lloyd Wright designed the Bowler residence with the same ‘feel’ of the Hanna House – including the spatial flow, but for this home, he used concrete, Santa Maria stone and blue corrugated fiberglass in the construction. He also designed angled furniture for each room, echoing the angles of the house design. Production of the house and furniture was supervised by contractor and owner John Bowler. The house has appeared on the silver screen – it was the location for scenes in Steve Martin’s LA Story in 1991.
Included in the Bowler House collection to be offered at auction in April 2009 are the hexagonal walnut dining table (estimate $3,000-$5,000), 12 velvet and brass dining chairs (estimate $2,500-$3,500), pairs of club chairs, and an ottoman (estimate $1,500-$2,500), as well as various side tables and coffee tables.
Los Angeles preview events are scheduled for April 3-5 in Bonhams & Butterfields’ Sunset Blvd. gallery.
The 20th Century Furniture and Decorative Arts Department at Bonhams & Butterfields presents two auctions each year held in the firm’s Los Angeles salesrooms and two sales in the Bonhams New York galleries. Virtually every major design movement of the 20th century is well represented in these sales with fine examples executed in the mediums of ceramics, metalwork, glass and furniture regularly offered and bringing strong prices.
Click here to discuss this story and more in the AntiqueTrader.com message boards.