Collectors buzz over modern design furniture
Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 20th June, 2014
Furniture and objects from the 1950s to the 1990s by several leading 20th century designers will be the highlight of Leonard Joel’s latest modern design auction from noon on Thursday at 333 Malvern Road, South Yarra.
Works by such names as Grant Featherston (1922-1995) and Marc Newson will undoubtedly whet the appetite of auction goers who will have a rare opportunity to add to their designer collections.
Leonard Joel has held modern design auctions since 2012 – sales they only conduct twice a year.
Its latest offering shows plenty of promise with a Grant Featherston The Expo Mark II sound chair (catalogue estimate $12,000-$15,000) as one of its leading attractions.
Designed for the Australian Pavilion at the Montreal Expo in 1967, the sound chair comes complete with a cassette player – so visitors to the pavilion could sit in the chair and listen to an informative narrative about Australia read by one of the country’s leading identities.
Another Featherston creation in the auction is a suite comprising an RS161 settee and two R160 armchairs.
The suite, which has been in the one family since purchased in 1959, comes with the original receipt of sale from Peter Bray Pty Ltd, 445 Bourke Street, Melbourne – and a copy of a photo taken mid-1960s showing the two armchairs in their original rust weave upholstery.
An interesting item is the Bob Dylan disposable paper dress (estimate $1000-$1500), which the vendor wore to the Montreal Expo.
Leonard Joel understands the dress was never officially sold because Bob Dylan did not like the photo of himself imprinted on it. The only other version known to exist is in the Kyoto Museum in Japan.
Marc Newson’s felt chair creation for an exhibition in Cappellini Italy will be another auction drawcard, while porcelain collectors should be interested in Guido Gambone’s (1909-1969) multi-coloured vase.
The modern design sale will be preceded at 10am by a cartography, books and ephemera auction.