| Jul 12, 2011 |
Billy Haines & mid-century furnishings highlight Brody sale
Boh staff
By Staff

Christie's Interiors will offer an extraordinary selection of original custom furnishings and decorative arts from the Collection of Mrs. Sidney F. Brody, the late Los Angeles-based art collector and philanthropist, July 18, 19 and 20.

Interior of the Brody Residence, Holmby Hills, CA Designed by A. Quincy Jones in partnership with William (Billy) Haines Photo credit: Kate Carr Photography

The Brodys celebrated collection of modern art made headlines in 2010 when it sold at Christie’s New York for a record-breaking $227 million, led by Pablo Picasso’s 1932 masterpiece Nude, Green Leaves, and Bust. The upcoming sale will feature an expansive collection of custom furniture, lighting, accessories and decorative arts from the Brody residence in the Holmby Hills area of Los Angeles, including one of the largest selections of items designed by the legendary Hollywood designer William “Billy” Haines. Over 100 items from the Brody collection will be featured in this special three-day Interiors sale, which is expected to yield a combined total in excess of $1.8 million.

For private collectors and members of the interior design community, the upcoming auction presents a rare opportunity to acquire the original furnishings from one of America’s most celebrated modern homes. As a young couple in 1949, the Brodys engaged Billy Haines and the legendary architect A. Quincy Jones to jointly design their home. In what became one of the innovative design partnerships of the era, Haines and Jones joined forces to create a tour-de-force of Modernist design, seamlessly blending the home’s layout and structure with uniquely crafted furnishings designed in Haines’ clean, minimalist style.

The upcoming sale marks the first time that Haines’ custom designs for the Brody House have ever been offered at auction. The home and its furniture have remained completely intact since the commission was completed in 1952, with occasional updates and fabric replacements performed over the years by Haines’ design firm. The selection of items includes dozens of one-of-a-kind pieces Haines built with draftsman and designer Michael Morris, from built-in, low-slung couches to tiered Lucite lamps specifically designed for the display of tabletop sculptures. Haines insisted on using only the finest materials, such as hand–tooled leather, special lacquers, custom fabrics and unusual woods.

Among the many brilliantly conceived design pieces in the collection is a matching set of wooden console tables with metal legs that Haines crafted with the home’s unique indoor-outdoor aesthetic in mind. Cleverly situated on either side of a sliding glass wall in the atrium, the two tables gave the appearance of a single long table – a clever visual trick that blurred the lines between indoors and out. The two tables are estimated at $2,000-3,000 and $3,000 to $5,000, respectively.

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