Peter’s Auction Picks of the Day: March 3rd

March 3, 2011

The Classics

This sale is exciting because of all the rare and sometimes obscure designs we happen to be offering in this catalogue. It is not every sale that we have unique works by Sottsass, architectural relics by Albert Frey, and superb provenanced examples from Billy Haines.

But let’s not forget about the classics…

Great examples by Charles Eames, George Nelson and Alexander Girard have a tendency to go overlooked with so many attention-grabbers. The upholstered bench by Alexander Girard, Lot 10, is an outstanding, one-owner survivor that is nearly impossible to source. It also comes with three nice large swatches of Girard designed fabric.

The two desks in the auction by George Nelson (Lot 150 and Lot 152) are both excellent examples from the more delicate Sway desk from 1956 to the more robust Roll Top desk from 1964. These are not only nice, original examples from the period, but they are also very good value pieces, compared to any new desk you see today. 

The Charles Eames ESU-421-C (Lot 180) is also a fine example, which is nearly identical to the model currently in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum in New York. I would suggest taking a second look at this piece, as now it is probably the best time to acquire a work of this importance. It’s never a bad idea to take a long view of collecting like the Met has.

Lot 10
Alexander Girard upholstered bench
Model no. 66333
Herman Miller
designed 1967
Retains remnants of upholstery tag together with three Girard fabric samples two are “Quatrefoil” and one “Miverel Stripe”
Bench: 14″h x 36″ x 36″
Estimate $3,000 – 5,000

Lot 150
George Nelson
Swag Leg Desk
Model no. 5850
Herman Miller, designed circa 1956
Retains Herman Miller medallio
34.5″h x 39″w x 29″d
Estimate $2,500 – 3,500

Lot 152
George Nelson
Roll Top Desk
Action Office Series
Herman Miller, designed 1964
33″h x 66″l x 32″d
Estimate $3,000 – 5,000

Lot 180
Charles & Ray Eames

Storage Unit
Model no. ESU-421-C
Herman Miller, designed 1950
58.675″h x 47″w x 16.75″d
Estimate $16,000 – 20,000

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