Ettore Sottsass

(1917 - 2007)
Lot 151
Ettore Sottsass
Table lamp
Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000
Price Realized: $2,500
March 5, 2017
Lot 273
Ettore Sottsass
Malabar room divider
Estimate: $4,000 - $6,000
Price Realized: $5,000
May 22, 2016
Lot 440
Ettore Sottsass
Spool vase
Estimate: $1,200 - $1,500
Price Realized: $1,500
October 11, 2015
Lot 411
Ettore Sottsass
Cantone corner shelf
Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000
Price Realized: $3,125
March 1, 2015
Lot 353
Ettore Sottsass
Candlesticks (9)
Estimate: $4,000 - $6,000
Price Realized: $4,375
October 12, 2014
Lot 116
Ettore Sottsass
Chandelier
Estimate: $5,000 - $7,000
Price Realized: $5,000
May 18, 2014
Lot 121
Ettore Sottsass
Candlesticks (2)
Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000
Price Realized: $1,875
May 18, 2014
Lot 303
Ettore Sottsass
Deneb vase
Estimate: $800 - $1,200
Price Realized: $1,062
May 19, 2013
Lot 304
Ettore Sottsass
Ashoka lamp
Estimate: $3,000 - $4,000
Price Realized: $1,500
May 19, 2013
Lot 96
Ettore Sottsass
Rare Moonlight floor lamp
Estimate: $4,000 - $6,000
Price Realized: $4,687
December 16, 2012
Lot 100
Ettore Sottsass
Altair vase
Estimate: $1,500 - $2,500
Price Realized: $1,875
December 16, 2012
Lot 101
Ettore Sottsass
Menta Totem
Estimate: $9,000 - $12,000
Price Realized: $13,750
December 16, 2012
Lot 92
Ettore Sottsass
Omega vase
Estimate: $4,000 - $6,000
Price Realized: $4,062
May 6, 2012
Lot 498
Ettore Sottsass
Murmansk centerpiece
Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000
Price Realized: $4,687
December 11, 2011
Lot 247
Ettore Sottsass
Bed with attached cantilevered side table
Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000
Price Realized: $5,000
June 26, 2011
Lot 51
Ettore Sottsass
Custom sofa
Estimate: $8,000 - $12,000
Price Realized: $17,500
March 6, 2011
Lot 52
Ettore Sottsass
Rug
Estimate: $3,000 - $4,000
Price Realized: $12,500
March 6, 2011
Lot 53
Ettore Sottsass
Coffee table
Estimate: $1,500 - $2,000
Price Realized: $7,500
March 6, 2011
Lot 54
Ettore Sottsass
Entry Mirror
Estimate: $3,000 - $4,000
Price Realized: $13,125
March 6, 2011
Lot 55
Ettore Sottsass
Entry Table
Estimate: $10,000 - $15,000
Price Realized: $75,000
March 6, 2011
Lot 56
Ettore Sottsass
Unique Marble Console
Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000
Price Realized: $11,875
March 6, 2011
Lot 58
Ettore Sottsass
Console
Estimate: $500 - $700
Price Realized: $2,625
March 6, 2011
Lot 59
Ettore Sottsass
Coffee table with rectangular top
Estimate: $1,500 - $2,000
Price Realized: $2,125
March 6, 2011
Lot 60
Ettore Sottsass
Desk
Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000
Price Realized: $3,750
March 6, 2011
Lot 61
Ettore Sottsass
Desk
Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000
Price Realized: $3,125
March 6, 2011
Lot 63
Ettore Sottsass
Headboard with attached drawers
Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000
Price Realized: $19,375
March 6, 2011
Lot 64
Ettore Sottsass
Master bedroom bed frame
Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000
Price Realized: $14,375
March 6, 2011
Lot 65
Ettore Sottsass
Custom headboard
Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000
Price Realized: $8,750
March 6, 2011
Lot 67
Ettore Sottsass
Bed with attached cantilevered side table
Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000
Price Realized: $5,000
March 6, 2011
Lot 68
Ettore Sottsass
Circular coffee table
Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000
Price Realized: $6,250
March 6, 2011
Lot 69
Ettore Sottsass
Pedestal stand
Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000
Price Realized: $10,000
March 6, 2011
Lot 70
Ettore Sottsass
Cleopatre Vase
Estimate: $1,000 - $1,500
Price Realized: $31,250
March 6, 2011
Lot 71
Ettore Sottsass
Vase (Vaso Perfiori)
Estimate: $1,000 - $1,500
Price Realized: $15,000
March 6, 2011
Lot 72
Ettore Sottsass
Vase
Estimate: $1,000 - $1,500
Price Realized: $6,250
March 6, 2011
Lot 73
Ettore Sottsass
Fruit bowl (Fruttiera)
Estimate: $800 - $1,200
Price Realized: $3,750
March 6, 2011
Lot 74
Ettore Sottsass
Table light
Estimate: $1,000 - $1,500
Price Realized: $2,500
March 6, 2011
Lot 75
Ettore Sottsass
Pair of floor lamps
Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000
Price Realized: $6,875
March 6, 2011
Lot 76
Ettore Sottsass
Sinus lamp with box
Estimate: $1,000 - $1,500
Price Realized: $3,750
March 6, 2011
Lot 77
Ettore Sottsass
Donau Desk
Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000
Price Realized: $4,062
March 6, 2011
Lot 78
Ettore Sottsass
Group of three candlesticks (3)
Estimate: $1,500 - $2,000
Price Realized: $14,375
March 6, 2011
Lot 79
Ettore Sottsass
Table top cabinet
Estimate: $800 - $1,200
Price Realized: $6,875
March 6, 2011
Lot 80
Ettore Sottsass
Bay table lamp
Estimate: $1,500 - $2,000
Price Realized: $4,062
March 6, 2011
Lot 83
Ettore Sottsass
Eastside lounge chairs (2)
Estimate: $2,500 - $3,500
Price Realized: $3,750
March 6, 2011
Lot 84
Ettore Sottsass
Circular coffee table with square base
Estimate: $1,200 - $1,500
Price Realized: $13,750
March 6, 2011
Lot 85
Ettore Sottsass
Circular coffee table with square base
Estimate: $1,200 - $1,500
Price Realized: $11,250
March 6, 2011
Lot 523
Ettore Sottsass
Stool (red)
Estimate: $200 - $300
Price Realized: $2,500
March 6, 2011
Lot 351
Ettore Sottsass
Basilissa glass vase
Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000
Price Realized: $1,800
December 7, 2008
Lot 579
Ettore Sottsass
Group of stacking chairs (4)
Estimate: $1,000 - $1,500
Price Realized: $1,200
December 7, 2008
Lot 419
Ettore Sottsass
Mandarin armchairs (6)
Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000
Price Realized: $3,600
June 29, 2008
Lot 459
Ettore Sottsass
Chalice vase
Estimate: $700 - $900
Price Realized: $960
February 10, 2008
Lot 460
Ettore Sottsass
Vase (blue and white)
Estimate: $800 - $1,000
Price Realized: $600
February 10, 2008
Lot 153
Ettore Sottsass
Ceramic vase
Estimate: $800 - $1,000
Price Realized: $1,560
June 3, 2007
Lot 154
Ettore Sottsass
Euphrates ceramic vase
Estimate: $800 - $1,200
Price Realized: $840
June 3, 2007
Lot 419
Ettore Sottsass
Ceramic vase
Estimate: $700 - $900
Price Realized: $1,200
December 3, 2006
Lot 420
Ettore Sottsass
Ceramic vase
Estimate: $600 - $800
Price Realized: $1,920
December 3, 2006
Lot 157
Ettore Sottsass
Harlow dining table
Estimate: $4,000 - $6,000
Price Realized: $4,500
June 18, 2006
Lot 158
Ettore Sottsass
Harlow lounge chair
Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000
Price Realized: $3,000
June 18, 2006
Lot 346
Ettore Sottsass
Mandarin side chairs (2)
Estimate: $700 - $900
Price Realized: $120
June 18, 2006

About The Artist

It’s not for nothing that Italian architect and designer Ettore Sottsass has been dubbed the father of postmodern furniture. Over the course of his 60-year career, Sottsass completely upended conventional notions of design, bending and often breaking virtually every rule in the book. Born in 1917 in Innsbruck, Austria and raised in Turin, Italy, his adopted home, Sottsass was initially devoted to modernism, designing one of its most beloved postwar classics, the 1969 Olivetti “Valentine” manual typewriter. With its shocking hyper-gloss, magnetic red hue and streamlined design it embraced a typically modernist economy of form following function, which Sottsass would come to challenge.

After the massive success of his “Valentine” typewriter Sottsass became increasingly wary of the strict modernist edict that required functionality to necessarily dictate form. An early pioneer of Anti-Design, which opposed the highbrow taste and correctness associated with functionalism, Sottsass would break with modernism entirely, infusing his designs with idiosyncratic, spirited elements that serve to elicit responses of joy, wonder, and surprise. A rich visual bombardment of textures, shapes, and colors, a Sottsass design is instantly recognizable for its irreverent provocation. 

Ever on the prowl for new sources of inspiration for his designs, over the course of his long career Sottsass found muses in a broad range of artifacts derived from vastly different cultures-ancient and modern-in particular those from Indian, Egyptian, and other non-Western civilizations. In 1981 Sottsass led a cluster of designers, including Michele De Lucchi, Andrea Branzi, Michael Graves, who were interested in breaking with the aloof functionality associated with designs of the period. Calling themselves Memphis, the group embraced multifunctionality, unconventional color palettes, and sometimes intentionally abstruse designs that used unconventional, common materials, such as plastic laminates, which were coated with outlandish patterns whimsically referencing artifacts and ephemera both obscure and popular. The group was reticent about defining themselves, but Sottsass’s wife, art historian Barbara Radice, offered: “When a Memphis designer makes a design, he or she does not merely define a product that must contain, pour, light, support, hold or rest. He or she thinks, visualizes, and formally engineers the design as a set of expressive signs with certain cultural contents.” And Sottsass himself once conceded that the movement could be seen as “quoting from suburbia” in its reinvention of objects commonly recognize as utilitarian, as well as in its favoring the use of mass-manufactured materials, such as laminate, in unpredictable ways.

Sottsass was awarded the Sir Misha Black medal for his outstanding contribution to the field of design in 1999. His work was the focus of several exhibitions and retrospectives during the early 2000s, including the 2006 exhibition ‘Ettore Sottsass’ organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which was the first major retrospective on Sottsass’ work presented in the United States, and the 2007 ‘Ettore Sottsass – Work in Progress' exhibition mounted at the Design Museum. His work is held in the permanent collections of multiple major museums and private collections across the world, including the Museum of Modern Art.

 

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