Copper in the Arts

September 2009

20th Century Decorative Arts Auction at Bonham's and Butterfields Features Notable Bronze and Copper Works

Lamp An Arts & Crafts copper and mica oil lamp school of Dirk Van Erp, early 20th century

Photo courtesy of Bonham's & Butterfields

On September 29, Bonhams & Butterfields in Los Angeles will hold a 20th Century Decorative Arts Auction, featuring a diverse group of high quality bronze and copper works spanning a century of design by well-known figures of the period. The sale will feature strong examples of Arts & Crafts, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Mid-Century Modern and works by Contemporary Studio artists with a focus on California and Western designers.

Rare objects to be represented will include early 20th century items such as an oak and copper tall case clock with original red decal by Gustav Stickley (est. $5,000 - 7,000); an Austrian cold painted bronze and marble Harem table lamp, circa 1900 (est. $4,000 - 6,000) and a collection of exotic Viennese bronze sculptures (estimates vary).

Leading the California offerings are items by Dirk Van Erp, Nicolai Remisoff, Arthur Court, Tony Duquette and John Nyquist. Among the highlights is a hammered copper and mica lamp, circa 1911 by Dirk van Erp (est. $12,000-18,000); a brass, plastic and mirror sculpture titled Primal Sun, circa 1974 by Tony Duquette (est. $5,000 - 7,000); six pieces from the Personal Collection of John Nyquist used by the designer in his Long Beach, California home including a prototype walnut ladder back rocking chair with Jack Lenor Larsen fabric, 1998 (est. $5,000 - 8,000) and a 14-panel fireplace screen designed for the home of couturier Adrian in Bel Air, California by Russian artist Nicolai Remisoff. Known for his work with the city of Chicago, Illinois and San Francisco Opera, Remisoff also acted as art director for over 30 films and four television series, including Ocean's Eleven (1960).

In celebration of the life and careers of California craftsman Sam Maloof, ceramicist Otto Heino and architectural photographer Julius Shulman, the firm is pleased to offer a selection of works by the noted trio. Among the items on offer is a ceramic Fern platter by Otto Heino ($1,500-2,000); three lots of architectural photographs by Julius Shulman (estimates vary) and a 1970-71 circular walnut dining table and eight chairs by Sam Maloof (est. $18,000 - 25,000). A signed copy of The Furniture of Sam Maloof and a fragment of original upholstery accompany the lot.

"The September auction explores the historical development of the design movement in California while celebrating the life and career of three of the regions' noted artists who have passed this year," says specialist Angela Past of the 20th Century Decorative Arts Department. "Bonhams & Butterfields is pleased to capture the pioneering spirit of the state and work from groundbreaking individuals who have settled in California since the early 20th century."

Other notable works include a painted metal, brass, glass and marble floor lamp for Arredoluce by Angelo Lelii (est. $15,000 - 20,000); a signed mahogany Hand and Foot chair Pedro Friedeberg (est. $8,000 - 12,000); African Fantasy, a circa 1950 oil on canvas by Adrian (est. $3,000 - 5,000) and bent plywood and cast aluminum Fly Ply dining table, 1994 by Ron Arad (est. $10,000 - 15,000). The piece on offer is representative of Arad's signature cutting edge style, which is currently on exhibit at The Museum of Modern Art in New York during the designer's first major US retrospective.

The sale will also feature a group of studio glass and ceramic pieces of art by renowned makers Peter Voulkos, Beatrice Wood, Steuben, Dale Chihuly, Glen Lukens and William Morris. Notable highlights include a glazed stoneware vessel, circa 1956 by Peter Voulkos (est. $18,000 - 25,000), The Thousand and One Nights, a 1974 limited edition Steuben glass and sterling silver sculpture (est. $15,000 - 20,000) and a signed copper luster glazed earthenware two-handled chalice by Beatrice Wood (est. $3,000 - 4,000).


Bonhams & Butterfields, 7601 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, (323) 850-7500

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