Harry Bertoia

(1915 - 1978)

LAMA effectively tied the world auction record for any work by Harry Bertoia on March 1, 2015 with Untitled (1961) realizing $550,000. 

Lot 144
Harry Bertoia
Untitled (Sonambient)
Estimate: $25,000 - $30,000
Price Realized: $40,625
June 10, 2018
Lot 145
Harry Bertoia
Suspended gong
Estimate: $10,000 - $15,000
Price Realized: $16,250
June 10, 2018
Lot 146
Harry Bertoia
Cut and bent bar
Estimate: $5,000 - $7,000
Price Realized: $5,500
June 10, 2018
Lot 147
Harry Bertoia
Untitled (2)
Estimate: $2,500 - $3,500
June 10, 2018
Lot 102
Harry Bertoia
Untitled (Sonambient)
Estimate: $20,000 - $30,000
Price Realized: $40,625
February 25, 2018
Lot 103
Harry Bertoia
Hood
Estimate: $10,000 - $15,000
Price Realized: $11,250
February 25, 2018
Lot 50
Harry Bertoia
Bird chair and ottoman (2)
Estimate: $900 - $1,200
Price Realized: $2,000
October 22, 2017
Lot 51
Harry Bertoia
Diamond chairs (2)
Estimate: $1,000 - $1,500
Price Realized: $1,875
October 22, 2017
Lot 201
Harry Bertoia
Child's chairs (2)
Estimate: $500 - $700
Price Realized: $531
May 21, 2017
Lot 203
Harry Bertoia
Diamond chair
Estimate: $600 - $900
Price Realized: $500
May 21, 2017
Lot 316
Harry Bertoia
Bush
Estimate: $100,000 - $150,000
Price Realized: $150,000
March 5, 2017
Lot 317
Harry Bertoia
Untitled (Somnambient)
Estimate: $40,000 - $60,000
Price Realized: $42,500
March 5, 2017
Lot 318
Harry Bertoia
Untitled (Sonambient)
Estimate: $15,000 - $20,000
Price Realized: $21,250
March 5, 2017
Lot 319
Harry Bertoia
Untitled (Maquette for Sculpture)
Estimate: $10,000 - $15,000
Price Realized: $20,000
March 5, 2017
Lot 197
Harry Bertoia
Untitled (Sonambient)
Estimate: $30,000 - $50,000
Price Realized: $36,250
May 22, 2016
Lot 198
Harry Bertoia
Untitled (Sonambient)
Estimate: $15,000 - $20,000
Price Realized: $34,375
May 22, 2016
Lot 199
Harry Bertoia
Untitled (Sonambient)
Estimate: $40,000 - $60,000
Price Realized: $53,125
May 22, 2016
Lot 41
Harry Bertoia
Multi-plane construction
Estimate: $60,000 - $80,000
Price Realized: $65,625
February 21, 2016
Lot 44
Harry Bertoia
Untitled (Sonambient)
Estimate: $20,000 - $30,000
Price Realized: $28,750
February 21, 2016
Lot 175
Harry Bertoia
Small Diamond chairs (2)
Estimate: $400 - $600
Price Realized: $1,062
October 11, 2015
Lot 202
Harry Bertoia
Untitled
Estimate: $250,000 - $350,000
Price Realized: $550,000
March 1, 2015
Lot 203
Harry Bertoia
Sonambient Sculpture
Estimate: $30,000 - $50,000
Price Realized: $37,500
March 1, 2015
Lot 197
Harry Bertoia
Sonambient sculpture
Estimate: $10,000 - $15,000
Price Realized: $20,000
October 12, 2014
Lot 198
Harry Bertoia
Untitled
Estimate: $1,000 - $1,500
Price Realized: $1,062
October 12, 2014
Lot 199
Harry Bertoia
Untitled
Estimate: $1,000 - $1,500
Price Realized: $1,250
October 12, 2014
Lot 200
Harry Bertoia
Untitled
Estimate: $1,000 - $1,500
Price Realized: $1,000
October 12, 2014
Lot 131
Harry Bertoia
Sonambient Sculpture
Estimate: $50,000 - $70,000
Price Realized: $62,500
May 18, 2014
Lot 543
Harry Bertoia
Large Diamond chair and ottoman (2)
Estimate: $600 - $800
Price Realized: $750
October 13, 2013
Lot 563
Harry Bertoia
Small Diamond chair and ottoman (2)
Estimate: $300 - $500
Price Realized: $593
October 13, 2013
Lot 51
Harry Bertoia
Brooch (untitled)
Estimate: $10,000 - $15,000
Price Realized: $21,250
May 19, 2013
Lot 52
Harry Bertoia
Brooch (untitled)
Estimate: $10,000 - $15,000
Price Realized: $20,000
May 19, 2013
Lot 53
Harry Bertoia
Untitled (early monographic work)
Estimate: $3,000 - $4,000
Price Realized: $3,125
May 19, 2013
Lot 54
Harry Bertoia
Untitled
Estimate: $4,000 - $6,000
Price Realized: $3,750
May 19, 2013
Lot 349
Harry Bertoia
Barstools (2)
Estimate: $1,500 - $2,000
Price Realized: $2,000
May 19, 2013
Lot 169
Harry Bertoia
Untitled (sculpture)
Estimate: $9,000 - $12,000
Price Realized: $11,250
December 16, 2012
Lot 171
Harry Bertoia
Untitled (Relief)
Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000
Price Realized: $1,875
December 16, 2012
Lot 460
Harry Bertoia
3034
Estimate: $1,500 - $2,000
Price Realized: $1,875
May 6, 2012
Lot 461
Harry Bertoia
497
Estimate: $1,500 - $2,000
Price Realized: $2,250
May 6, 2012
Lot 462
Harry Bertoia
3 (Series IV)
Estimate: $1,500 - $2,000
Price Realized: $1,875
May 6, 2012
Lot 463
Harry Bertoia
7 (Series IV)
Estimate: $1,500 - $2,000
Price Realized: $2,000
May 6, 2012
Lot 67
Harry Bertoia
Slat bench
Estimate: $1,000 - $1,500
Price Realized: $2,250
December 11, 2011
Lot 215
Harry Bertoia
Sound Sculpture
Estimate: $15,000 - $20,000
Price Realized: $17,500
December 11, 2011
Lot 292
Harry Bertoia
Diamond chair
Estimate: $2,400 - $3,000
Price Realized: $1,625
December 11, 2011
Lot 348
Harry Bertoia
Untitled 712
Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000
Price Realized: $3,437
December 11, 2011
Lot 349
Harry Bertoia
Untitled 270
Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000
Price Realized: $1,875
December 11, 2011
Lot 350
Harry Bertoia
Untitled 300
Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000
Price Realized: $2,250
December 11, 2011
Lot 37
Harry Bertoia
Pair of "Bird" chairs and ottomans
Estimate: $1,500 - $2,000
Price Realized: $1,875
June 26, 2011
Lot 319
Harry Bertoia
Barstools (4)
Estimate: $1,500 - $1,800
Price Realized: $1,875
June 26, 2011
Lot 9
Harry Bertoia
Platform bench
Estimate: $800 - $1,000
Price Realized: $1,250
March 6, 2011
Lot 220
Harry Bertoia
Brooch
Estimate: $5,000 - $7,000
Price Realized: $21,875
March 6, 2011
Lot 222
Harry Bertoia
Tonal Sculpture
Estimate: $40,000 - $60,000
Price Realized: $63,750
March 6, 2011
Lot 223
Harry Bertoia
Tonal Sculpture
Estimate: $30,000 - $50,000
Price Realized: $42,500
March 6, 2011
Lot 209
Harry Bertoia
Diamond chair and ottoman
Estimate: $800 - $1,200
Price Realized: $857
May 23, 2010
Lot 239
Harry Bertoia
Bird chair and ottoman
Estimate: $700 - $900
Price Realized: $398
May 23, 2010
Lot 240
Harry Bertoia
Pair of Diamond chairs
Estimate: $600 - $800
Price Realized: $490
May 23, 2010
Lot 335
Harry Bertoia
Group of chairs (6)
Estimate: $1,500 - $2,000
Price Realized: $1,800
December 7, 2008
Lot 218
Harry Bertoia
Barstools (2)
Estimate: $1,500 - $2,000
Price Realized: $1,500
February 10, 2008
Lot 299
Harry Bertoia
Monoprint (XV1.1)
Estimate: $1,200 - $1,500
Price Realized: $1,920
October 14, 2007
Lot 57
Harry Bertoia
Bird chair and ottoman
Estimate: $1,500 - $2,000
Price Realized: $1,800
June 3, 2007
Lot 58
Harry Bertoia
Diamond chair
Estimate: $800 - $1,200
Price Realized: $720
June 3, 2007
Lot 59
Harry Bertoia
Bird chair and ottoman
Estimate: $1,200 - $1,500
Price Realized: $1,140
June 3, 2007
Lot 223
Harry Bertoia
Child's chairs (3)
Estimate: $700 - $900
Price Realized: $600
June 3, 2007
Lot 315
Harry Bertoia
Untitled sculpture
Estimate: $2,500 - $3,500
Price Realized: $2,400
June 3, 2007
Lot 209
Harry Bertoia
Slat bench
Estimate: $900 - $1,200
Price Realized: $960
December 3, 2006
Lot 6
Harry Bertoia
Diamond chairs (4)
Estimate: $1,000 - $1,500
Price Realized: $1,560
June 18, 2006
Lot 11
Harry Bertoia
Diamond chair
Estimate: $300 - $500
Price Realized: $360
June 18, 2006
Lot 12
Harry Bertoia
Slat bench (with two cushions not illustrated)
Estimate: $800 - $1,200
Price Realized: $1,800
June 18, 2006
Lot 19
Harry Bertoia
Lounge chair and ottoman
Estimate: $600 - $800
Price Realized: $660
June 18, 2006
Lot 20
Harry Bertoia
Diamond chairs
Estimate: $900 - $1,200
Price Realized: $600
June 18, 2006

About The Artist


While teaching at the Cranbrook Academy in the late 1930s, Italian-born artist Harry Bertoia began creating jewelry, which marked his first use of metal as a medium. Bertoia started at Cranbrook as a painting major, but found himself drawn to the metal shop. But the field of jewelry making presented a set of challenges, one being the high cost of precious metals during World War II, which prohibited him from making larger pieces. His welded bronze and silver brooches highlight Bertoia’s fascination with simple, organic forms blended with repeated voids. According to John Willenbecher, “The jewelry forms he developed were highly sculptural in approach despite their small size.”

After working for Charles and Ray Eames in the Molded Plywood Division of the Evans Product Company, in 1950 he moved to Pennsylvania to work for Knoll Furntiture, where he designed his famous “Diamond Chair.” Knoll’s Bertoia Collection allowed him the means and flexibility to begin working on large-form sculptures. As he was working on a sculpture that consisted of several standing rods, he accidentally broke a rod, causing it to crash into another rod, resulting in a sound that resonated deeply with the artist. According to Bertoia himself, this sound “initiated a deliberate gesture in search of understanding what a group of wires would do.” Throughout the 1960s, Bertoia created over 100 sound sculptures consisting of rows of flexible copper rods that sway when touched or blown, producing various tones depending on the length and mass of the rods. He referred to this sonorous atmosphere as "Sonambient," the resulting environment created by the gentle clangor of the rods. He explored this fascination for the remainder of his life, even creating public sound sculptures in addition to his various other public fountains and metal installations.

Also an accomplished printmaker, Bertoia’s work can be viewed in his Italian birthplace and dozens of American museums, including the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.


Schiffer, Nancy N., and Val O. Bertoia. The World of Bertoia. Atglen: Schiffer Publishing, 2003. Print.

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