May 22, 2005
The May 22, 2005 Important Modern Design Auction featured the entire contents from the John M. Hudspeth Residence in Prineville, Oregon, designed by Paul László in 1952. This special commission by László was one of his most important commissions completed at the height of his career. The 12,000 square-foot house remained intact until it was consigned to LAMA by the family. This was the first time the public saw these incredible designs by László done for this special house. The contents included furniture, fine art, lighting, drapes designed by Maria Kipp, fire tools, ceramics, and a billiard table. In 1952, the cost of the furniture and decorations was $175,000.
Paul László, an internationally known architect and designer, was the premier decorator of Beverly Hills from the moment he arrived in the U.S. in the late 1930s. A third generation furniture designer, the Budapest born Laszlo was trained in Vienna, Paris, and Berlin, before settling down in Southern California in 1938.
George Nelson in 1948 described László’s furniture as having “generous dimensions, great elegance of appearance, and impeccable taste.” Although László put some of his designs into production through companies like Herman Miller, Brown Saltman, and Pacific Ironworks, Nelson also noted “most of his work, however, has been restricted to individual pieces specially designed and built for his own projects.”
László highlights from this monumental sale included a pair of curved benches (Lot 109 est. $4,500 – 6,000, realized $40,630), two hand painted glass mural lamps (Lot 132 est. $12,000 – 15,000, realized $23,900), and a turquoise bridge table with chairs (Lot 188 est. $3,000 – 5,000, realized $15,535). Other highlights included seven Alexander Calder handwoven maguey jute fiber tapestries from 1975 (Lots 296 – 302, est. $3,000 – 5,000 each) that realized over $44,000 and a robust selection of Gertrud & Otto Natzler ceramics (Lots 261 – 268 est. $600 – 9,000) that realized almost $40,000.