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Important Design Auction at Wright

6 June '13

Wright's Important Design auction on June 6, 2013 celebrates the most significant designs of the 20th century.

Prominent among the lots offered is an important and rare chair by German-born designer, Walter von Nessen (estimate: $200,000-300,000). This superb design is among the most visually arresting, memorable works of the 20th century. A lost masterpiece of the Art Deco era, this chair is the only known example of the two originally created for the 1928 International Exposition of Art in Industry in Macy’s in New York. von Nessen’s tour-de-force design, created at the end of the 1920s, is a confluence of the decade’s myriad iconographies from ancient Egypt to Bauhaus. Held in a private collection for the past forty years, von Nessen’s throne-like design epitomizes the glamour of the Art Deco era.

Superb sculptural works in the auction include Ceremonial Object for Marcel Duchamp, a monumental sculpture by Isamu Noguchi (estimate: $200,000-300,000). Standing nearly six feet tall, this impressive sculpture embodies the pure poetry of Noguchi’s forms, whether sculptural or functional in design. Sculptures by Harry Bertoia, including a Dandelion form (estimate: $150,000-200,000), a silver-plated steel and granite Balancing Form (estimate: $70,000-90,000), and a Bundled Wire Form (estimate: $50,000-70,000) also figure among the impressive selection of sculptures offered in Important Design.

Other sale highlights include a rare and important Rudder dining suite including a table and four stools (estimate: $150,000-200,000) that was used by the original owner for nearly sixty years, a unique ovoid coffee table by Gio Ponti (estimate $50,000-70,000) and a one-of-a-kind chandelier by Frank Lloyd Wright from the Adelman House in Phoenix (estimate: $30,000-50,000). Also outstanding is a chair designed by Carlo Mollino for Casa del Sole (estimate: $30,000-50,000), a rustic yet modern chalet designed by the Italian architect in the mountains of Cervinia. The elegant spirit of Casa del Sole is echoed in the warm oak and memorable, distinctive form of this chair.

Highly anticipated among the lots is a binder of blueprints for the Dymaxion car, a three-wheeled, tear-drop shaped vehicle designed by visionary architect and designer, R. Buckminster Fuller (estimate: $20,000-30,000). Shown publically for the first time in a 1932 issue of Shelter Magazine, accompanied by illustrations by Fuller’s close friend, Isamu Noguchi, the Dymaxion Car was conceived as a revolutionary “flying machine.”

Auction Catalogue

WALTER VON NESSEN Important and rare chair from the International Exposition of Art and Industry estimate: $200,000–300,000
WALTER VON NESSEN Important and rare chair from the International Exposition of Art and Industry estimate: $200,000–300,000
ISAMU NOGUCHI Ceremonial Object for Marcel Duchamp estimate: $200,000–300,000
ISAMU NOGUCHI Ceremonial Object for Marcel Duchamp estimate: $200,000–300,000
HARRY BERTOIA untitled (Dandelion) estimate: $150,000–200,000
HARRY BERTOIA untitled (Dandelion) estimate: $150,000–200,000
HARRY BERTOIA untitled (Balancing Form) estimate: $70,000–90,000
HARRY BERTOIA untitled (Balancing Form) estimate: $70,000–90,000
HARRY BERTOIA untitled (Bundled Wire Form) estimate: $50,000–70,000
HARRY BERTOIA untitled (Bundled Wire Form) estimate: $50,000–70,000
ISAMU NOGUCHI rare and important Rudder dining suite from the Hasting Estate estimate: $150,000–200,000
ISAMU NOGUCHI rare and important Rudder dining suite from the Hasting Estate estimate: $150,000–200,000
GIO PONTI rare coffee table estimate: $50,000–70,000
GIO PONTI rare coffee table estimate: $50,000–70,000
FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT Important chandelier from the Adelman House, Phoenix estimate: $30,000–50,000
FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT Important chandelier from the Adelman House, Phoenix estimate: $30,000–50,000
CARLO MOLLINO Casa del Sole chair estimate: $30,000–50,000
CARLO MOLLINO Casa del Sole chair estimate: $30,000–50,000
R. BUCKMINSTER FULLER Dymaxion blueprints estimate: $20,000–30,000
R. BUCKMINSTER FULLER Dymaxion blueprints estimate: $20,000–30,000



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