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Iconic Masterworks of 20th Century Furniture & Decorative Arts Come to Auction on April 7
A Jay Stranger 'City Planner' chair, 1988. height 4ft 4in; width 22 3/4in; depth 24in
Est. $1,000-1,500. Courtesy of Bonhams & Butterfields.

LOS ANGELES, CA.-Bonhams & Butterfields' spring 2008 auction of 20th Century Decorative Arts, to be held in Los Angeles on Wednesday, April 7, 2007, features a diverse group of master works spanning a century of design. Strong examples of Arts & Crafts, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Mid-Century Modern and works by Contemporary Studio artists come to the block.

One highlight of the spring 2008 sale is a pair of brick wall-inspired John Dickinson console tables. Classically influenced, the 1970's works are cast in white plaster and estimated to bring $10,000-$15,000.

"Bonhams has a distinguished history of offering works by interior designer John Dickinson. In fall of 2005, we offered one of the largest collections of pieces by the famed mid-century legend ever to come to auction. The 16 offered lots were key pieces representing the development of late century modernism. We are pleased to continue the support of groundbreaking 1970s modernism," said Frank Maraschiello, Director, 20th Century Decorative Arts.

Artist and Designer Jay Stanger's work challenges the boundaries between fine art and craft. The result is a balance of shape, movement, color and technique that challenge conventional designs and utilitarian needs. He works in mixed media, blending metal and wood into a unique synthesis of form, creating works such as an inlaid maple rug (est. $2/3,000) and the 'City Planner' chair, 1988 (est. $1,000/1,500), on offer in April.

Andre Lavrat also challenges form, playing with shapes and imagery in mixed metal. Bonhams & Butterfields is pleased to feature two works by the designer in April. The first, a large five-foot high silvered metal, copper and brass figural center table depicts the fanciful undersea fairytale of a mermaid with fish (est. $10/15,000). The table's corresponding chairs are designed as open-mouthed fish supporting padded seats and seatbacks, the pair could bring as much as $5,000.

The Modern section of the spring auction will also feature a highly sought-after walnut dining table (est. $7/10,000) from American contemporary woodworker Arthur Espenet Carpenter. Carpenter, who passed away in early 2006, was an influential 20th century furniture maker who is best known for spare yet sensual forms in furniture that are considered both graceful and utilitarian.

Also on offer is an oak four-part conference table made for Jackson Lake Lodge, Wyoming (est. $2/3,000). Unusual in its construction, the table is comprised of four interlocking components measuring six-feet eight-inches in length and 40-inches in width (at its widest point). According to Maraschiello, "This is the first table of its kind Bonhams & Butterfields has offered at auction. We're expecting strong collector interest in this unusual type of construction."

Also of interest to an international pool of collectors will be a pair of Giulio Minoletti and Gio Ponti Settebello winged-back armchairs, 1952. Manufactured by Breda, the upholstered steel frame chairs with built-in ash receivers were initially designed for a first-class luxury train that ran from Rome to Milan. Minoletti and Ponti collaborated on the interior design of the train cars, records indicating that only three of these trains were built.

Highlighting the Art Deco section of the sale are three works by designer Jules Leleu. On offer is a set of four gilt-bronze and glass two-light sconces (est. $10/15,000), a handsome mother-of-pearl inlaid parquetry sideboard (est. $8/12,000), and a matching mother-of-pearl inlaid parquetry cabinet with mirrored and glazed front section (est. $7/9,000).

The Art Nouveau section includes a graceful bronze figural lamp by Agathon Léonard. Entitled Danceuse à l'écharpe (est. $10/15,000), the work is one of a series of dancers designed by Léonard in the late 1890s. First exhibited as terracotta maquettes at the Société Nationale des Beaux Arts in 1897, similar versions were later produced in both porcelain (by Sèvres) and in bronze, cast by Susse-Frères. The figures are thought to be modeled after the famous contemporary dancer Loïe Fuller. The work stands 22-inches tall and is signed in the gown by the artist and impressed with foundry mark Susse-Frères Editeurs Paris M.

Other highlights from the strong Art Nouveau section include a Gallé fruitwood and marquetry two-tier tea table. Signed in marquetry, the circa 1900 table is expected to bring $2,500-$3,500. The section also features a large selection of European and American art glass by Gallé, Daum and Tiffany. Additionally, a selection of Dirk Van Erp from the Estate of well-respected Arts & Crafts collector Don Ritchie will also be featured during the April sale (estimates range from $800-$5,000).

Works by Contemporary Studio Artists will include three highly collectible designs by Beatrice Wood from the collection of photographer Marlene Wallace. According to her biography, Wallace took her first official photograph at the age of four, using a box camera to take a picture of her sister. Today, she is a leading artist of photographic portraiture and commercial art, having had portraits commissioned by an impressive array of luminaries such as: former President Jimmy Carter, poet Maya Angelou, athlete Kobe Bryant, news anchor Dan Rather, and celebrities Leslie Caron, Dizzy Gillespie, Teri Hatcher, John Huston, Anthony Quinn, Sissy Spacek and violinist Isaac Stern, among others.

As a teenager Wallace met Beatrice Wood in a modern dance class. The photographer's collection consists of three marquee works. The first, City of Night, is a vertical 3-dimensional piece (est. $8/12,000). The second, Queen Elizabeth, is a vibrant charger depicting the English Royal (est. $2,500/3,500) and the third is a 3-dimensional highly figurative work (est. $3/5,000).

The April sale will also feature several works in glass by Contemporary Studio Artists, including works from the Estate of Mae K. Wong. The diverse selection will include a premier collection of glass paperweights by leading artist Paul Stankard (estimates range from $2,500-$5,000). Also included in the offering are works by Chris Buzzini, Gordon Smith and Stankard's former assistant Jim Donofrio (estimates range from $250-$1,800).

Included are ceramic works by James Richard (Rick) Dillingham, Peter Shire and Peter Voulkos. Works by Edwin Scheier will include a footed vase of impressive size. Made from glazed earthenware, the piece is expected to bring $3,000-$5,000 on April 7. "Although we have seen several works by Scheier at auction, this particular style vase has never before been offered on the block," said Maraschiello.

Additional offerings include an unusual Art Deco wrought-iron, marble and glass Seahorse aquarium, 1920s, for the Jewel Aquarium Company (est. $5/7,000), a 1950s Frank Lloyd Wright upholstered walnut four-part sectional couch with Taliesin design border for Heritage Henredon (est. $4/6,000), a beautiful glass sculpture entitled Crystal Elegance, 2001, by Jon Kuhn (est. $3/5,000) and a Venetian glass figural chess set, circa 1962, made for Pauli & Co. (est. $7/9,000).

Los Angeles preview events are scheduled for April 4-7 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 conducted from the Bonhams New York salesroom. 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.

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