Peter’s Auction Picks of the Day: March 5th

March 6, 2011


No, I’m not talking about that porn site for Chubby Chaser’s. I’m referring to the Ettore Sottsass marble console (Lot 55) from the estate of the late Max Palevsky. Palevsky, founder of Data Systems and Intel, befriended Sottsass after he designed an exhibition that Palevsky funded at the Israel Museum in the late 1970s. The two enjoyed spending time at Palevsky’s Malibu beach house, and in 1984 Sottsass was commissioned to renovate the interior. The six acre compound stretching from PCH to the beach was originally conceived as a Spanish revival mansion, which included an 11,000 square foot main house. Palevsky’s taste at the time was already an eclectic mix of Pop Art, Greek and Roman Statuary, and Byzantine Mosaics. At the time Sottsass’s work for Memphis (with its wild, clashing laminates and obtuse angles) would probably have been much too disruptive for the Palevsky house. The resulting interior was a comparatively reserved Sottsass creation, the first of a new period in the architect’s career. Gone were the outlandish anti-design statements, and instead what emerged was a kind of Pre-Modern aesthetic. The effect was strong, resonant, and timeless—with the simplicity of a Druid altar. The marble console in the entrance set the stage for the enchanting cocktail of classical and modern art Palevsky’s visitors were about to behold.

Lot 55
Ettore Sottsass
Entry Table
Custom designed 1984 for Max Palevsky’s Malibu home
Sottsass Associati
32”h x 111” x 20”d
Illustrated: Three California Houses: The Homes of Max Palevsky, Betsky, Rizzoli, 2002, pg 67
Estimate $10,000-15,000


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