This November, a handful of major auction houses are gearing up for sales across the country and abroad. Editor at Large has pulled a selection of upcoming auctions offering a range of treasures—from furniture by George Nakashima and Frank Lloyd Wright to pieces from the private collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon. Read on for a look at what to expect this month from Wright, Bonhams and Sotheby’s.
Recherché (Wright, Nov. 18 and 19, Chicago)
This week Wright is presenting Recherché, the first in a series of sales featuring rare, exquisite and, sometimes, unusual works. The auction will feature 66 select works, from 18th and 19th-century objets d’art to French masterworks by Jean Prouvé, Charlotte Perriand and Serge Mouille. A grand professor desk by Prouvé, one of only three from the Université de Lille in France, and a Nuage Bibliothèque by Perriand stand out among the offerings. With an emphasis on materiality and fine craftsmanship, Italian designs by Franco Campo, Carlo Graffi, Gio Ponti and Carlo Mollino—as well as luxurious accessories from Louis Vuitton and Hermès—round out this original sale. It begins at noon.
Fine English Furniture & Works of Art (Bonhams, Nov. 19, London)
Bonhams’ Fine English Furniture & Works of Art event encompasses chairs, artworks, decorative mirrors, and much more from a fulsome range of eras. Highlights: a Charles II carved giltwood oval auricular frame, a William and Mary Kingwood oyster veneered and rosewood cabinet on stand, a Queen Anne oak wing back armchair including the original upholstery and a Queen Anne style back Japanned and gilt chinoiserie decorated card table. The sale begins at 2 p.m.
Scandinavian Design (Wright, Nov. 20, Chicago)
Scandinavian Design continues to be a staple of Wright’s auction season. This month, the sale offers masterpieces from the region, featuring works by Hans Wegner, Ib Kofod-Larsen, Flemming Lassen and Arne Jacobson. Sale highlights include a rare suite of rosewood designs by Finn Juhl, including an NV-45 settee and a set of eight Egyptian chairs; an early set of Acorn silverware by Johan Rohde and carpets from the Märta Måås-Fjetterström workshop. The event also boasts lighting by Paavo Tynell and Alvar Aalto, vessels by Bernt Friberg, Wilhelm Kåge and Carl-Harry Stalhane and a set of six wastepaper baskets by Einar Barnes from P.S. Heggen. The sale begins at noon.
Property from the Collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon: Interiors (Sotheby’s, Nov. 21 – 23, New York)
This Sotheby’s Interiors auction offers the fine art, furniture, porcelain, silver, glassware and decorative objects found in the residences of Mrs. Paul Mellon, the wife of American philanthropist and an owner/breeder of thoroughbred racehorses Paul Mellon. The collection, gleaned from her estates in the U.S. and abroad, is said to provide a rare window into an era of collecting, living and entertaining that has since passed. Her love of horticulture is evident throughout the collection, including the significant selection of rare porcelain in vegetable, fruit and botanical forms by celebrated makers such as Chelsea and Meissen. Her English and French furniture—often painted to echo the wood floors of her Oak Spring Farm residence—reflects the elegance of the Mellons’ life, and was arranged always to take advantage of the estate's surroundings. Mellon’s close relationships with designers and artists are demonstrated here, evidenced by works created by her longtime friend Diego Giacometti. Then, of course, there are the linens she designed in collaboration with Givenchy, which will too be on the block. The sale begins at 2 p.m.
Arts Décoratifs du XXe siècle and Design (Sotheby’s, Nov. 25, Paris)
Next week, Sotheby’s Arts Décoratifs du XXe siècle and Design auction will open at the Galerie Charpentier in Paris, set to feature furniture and objects from the Art Nouveau period to the present day. The Art Deco session features rare works by Jean-Michel Frank (rom a private American collection) with a straw marquetry cabinet and an Alberto Giacometti green Infini ceramic vase that has never before been offered on the market. The sale will also include pieces from the pre-war classic era by celebrated designers such as Paul Iribe, Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann, Gustave Miklos, Rembrandt Bugatti and Jean Besnard. Finally, some of the most influential designers from the 1950s on—including the work of Jean Royère, Charlotte Perriand, Jean Prouvé, François-Xavier and Claude Lalanne, Shiro Kuramata and Ron Arad—will be represented. The sale begins at 2:30 p.m.
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