Carlo Mollino's Casa del Sole side chair could bring $50,000+ in Heritage Design Auction

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Carlo Mollino's Casa del Sole side chair could bring $50,000+ in Heritage Design Auction
The Carlo Mollino and Ettore Canali Casa del Sole Side Chair, designed 1953. Estimate: $30,000-50,000.

DALLAS, TX.- A chair designed by Carlo Mollino for use in the Alps could bring $50,000 or more in Heritage Auctions' Design Auction August 18.

The auction, which features works from private collections, was added to the schedule in response to the strength of Heritage's auction market and the success of Heritage's spring Design Auction.

"This auction really is a result of us drawing on the strength of our spring sale,” Heritage Auctions Design Director Brent Lewis said. "This sale includes both iconic works of 20th century design, as well as a compelling selection of art and objects. It includes a private California collection, featuring Carlo Mollino's Casa del Sole chair as well as a unique pencil drawing of a radio for one of Mollino's most important commissions.”

Mollino is regarded as the mythical polymath of 20th-century architecture and design and his works are in rare demand. The sale also offers a rare Jazz plate by Viktor Schreckengost, an incredible example of Ib Kofod-Larsen's Elizabeth chair and ottoman in original leather and an important desk by Wendell Castle, who really was one of the pioneers of the art furniture movement in America.

The Carlo Mollino and Ettore Canali Casa del Sole Side Chair, designed 1953 (estimate: $30,000-50,000) was designed by Mollino, who worked in the industrial city of Turin, Italy, and created in a small series by Ettore Canali, a company known for high-quality wooden furnishings located in Brescia, in the Lombardy region of northern Italy, in the foot of the Alps. Such chairs were machine-made, but finished by hand to create their exceptionally smooth finish. Design details like the different thickness were implemented with comfort in mind, and the back includes a subtle curve designed to ergonomically follow the curvature of the spine. A renowned skier and race car driver, in addition to his work as a designer, Mollino created work that always is considered rare and generates significant demand. Part of the allure is his use of materials – in this case, oak and chestnut – as well as his unique designs. The offered chair is one of perhaps just 50 that remain from the original commission at the Casa del Sole ski resort in Cervinia, in the Italian Alps.

An Ib Kofod-Larsen Elizabeth Chair with Ottoman, circa 1955 (estimate: $20,000-30,000) was created by one of the foremost Danish furniture designers. The demand for his work is two-fold, remaining popular among collectors and decorators alike, in part because of its contemporary use of traditional materials like leather and teak. He is known for creating furniture that is simple but also functional and sophisticated, a balance epitomized in the Elizabeth chair that features a floating seat held within a frame. More than half a century after it was created, this chair retains its original leather in a rare color.

Wendell Castle's Goose Desk, 1983 (estimate $20,000-25,000) reveals his mastery of materials to create fluid, complex and elegant works of art. In the 1980s, Castle veered away from his abstract sculpture forms in order to explore realism, a theme visible in his carved Tromp L'Oeil works, or in his inlaid furniture pieces. The offered desk features a simple inlaid design on its top of geese taking flight.

Viktor Schreckengost's Danse Moderne Jazz Plate, designed 1931, Cowan Pottery (estimate $12,000-18,000) comes from the industrialist artist who was something of a Renaissance man, a noted artist and designer who also ventured in to bicycle design. The National Medal of the Arts recipient designed the Jazz Bowl for Eleanor Roosevelt during his association with Cowan Pottery during the early 20th century.

An Ed Moulthrop Monumental Bowl(estimate: $6,000-8,000) is a breathtaking piece of figured tulipwood measuring 29 inches across and 20 inches tall. Moulthrop was trained as an architect before becoming a self-taught woodturner, emerging as a major figure in the contemporary American woodturning movement, in part because of his oversized vessels created from woods indigenous to the southeastern U.S.

Other highlights include George Nakashima's Coffee Table, circa 1975 (estimate: $5,000-8,000) and Wall Shelf, circa 1975 ($1,800-2,000), as well as Marc du Plantier's Abstract Composition, 1960, Pinton Frères (estimate: $4,000-6,000).

Other top lots include, but are not limited to:

· Gino Sarfatti Floor Lamp, designed 1948, Arteluce ($6,000-7,000)

· Peter Voulkos Vessel, circa 1955 ($5,000-8,000)

· Dale Chihuly White Basket with Silver Lip Wrap, 1979 ($5,000-8,000)

· Carlo Mollino Drawing for a Radio Cabinet, circa 1945 $5,000-7,000 – really special

· Jon Kuhn Virtuosity, 1996 $5,000-7,000

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