1950s designer furniture all the rage at auction

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 18th June, 2015

A Schulim Krimper sideboard (containing a radio, record player and speaker) will be offered at Philips Auctions forthcoming sale from noon on Sunday June 21, sparking renewed interest in designer furniture of the 1950s and 1960s as many young unit dwellers search for well crafted items with simple but elegant lines to match their modern apartments.

This particular piece has incredible provenance. Carrying an estimate of $4000- $6000, it belongs to the Komesaroff family (Ilona Komesaroff was a Channel 7 weather girl and news presenter in the 1980s) and was an important part of a Krimper retrospective held in 1959 by the National Gallery of Victoria. Born in 1893 in Rumania, Krimper migrated in 1938 to Australia to escape Adolf Hitler’s growing persecution of the Jews and became Melbourne’s premier supplier of custom-made modern-style furniture – the first cabinet-maker in Victoria to demand and receive the respect formerly only accorded painters and sculptors.

He was a personal family friend of the Komesaroffs and designed much of their furniture – including the sideboard where Ilona’s mother Hadassah helped plan the workings of the radio/record player system to fit in with the family’s late 1950s lifestyle.

The auction, at 47 Glenferrie Road, Malvern, contains a large selection of Chinese porcelain and Japanese ivory figures, mainly from the late 19th century Meiji period. These include several signed antique okimonos including one of a distinguished elder and another of a woodsman. Sterling silver is another strong inclusion in the auction with a fine 1879 aesthetic movement gilt salter carrying the maker’s mark of Frederick Elkington among the highlights.

Art is another attraction with paintings by Robert Dickerson (Clown father and son), Greg Irvine’s Interior still life, with lady and cat and Hugh Sawrey’s Gins chasing a Goanna among the more appealing works.

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