20th century design auction a ready homemaker

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 26th June, 2020

Twentieth century design will come under the microscope when Gibson’s Auctions puts forward 240 lots for auction from 2pm Monday June 29 at 885-889 High Street, Armadale.

Modern design sales in the past have proved popular with auction goers and this one promises to be no exception with many unusual items up for grabs and ready to adorn contemporary homes.

Buyers are bound to be enthusiastic right from the auction’s start with lot 1, an unusual circa 1950s ceramic lamp by Le Vacour, Vallauris, offering strong appeal for its unusual design. 

French artist Arlette Martin Untitled (Marquetry Duck scene – lot  2) is another unusual attraction, while a striking painting of early 20th century Russian communist leader Vladimir Lenin by an unknown artist (lot 3) is certainly worthy of examination.

Intriguing is a circa 1980 combination bronze, chrome and chain mail ‘Anchise’ table lamp (lot 10) by famous Italian designer Toni Cordero for Artemide.

Born in 1937 in Lanzo Torinese, Cordero obtained an architecture degree in Turin and at age 25 opened his first design office.

He carved a huge reputation for designing Turin’s Delle Alpi stadium, a building based on advanced timber technology – which followed the 1997 design of Olivetti’s head offices in Ivrea, a chain of Kenzo boutiques in Europe and the United States (1981) and the renovation of the Gio Ponti Montecatini building in Milan.

There are many other testimonies to his innovative architectural building work but Cordero, who died in April 2001, also is known for his furniture and lighting designs that include collaboration with companies Acerbis, Driade, Artemide and Sawaya & Moroni.

A 1950s Italian creation, a ratten wickerwork chair (lot 28) by Gio Ponti for Vittoro Bonacina & Co. is another fascinating item.

Giovanni “Gio” Ponti (1891-1979) was another Italian architect who turned his hand to industrial and furniture design, as well as becoming an artist, teacher, writer and publisher.

During his more six-decade career, Ponti built more than 100 buildings in Italy and other countries.

A major player in renewing Italian design after World War II, he was renowned for furniture creations and several decorative art and design objects – becoming an active participant in exhibitions such as the Milan Triennial.

From 1936 to 1961, Ponti taught at the Milan Polytechnic School and trained several generations of designers and, in 1954, contributed to the creation of one of the most important design awards – the Compasso d’Oro prize.

His most famous works are the Pirelli Tower, built in Milan from 1956 to 1960, the Villa Planchart in Caracas, and the Superleggera chair produced in 1967 by Cassina.

A mid-20th century English teak sideboard by Nathan Furniture (lot 30) is an attractive furniture piece along with an AT312 circa 1960s oak extension dining table (lot 33) by famous Danish designer Hans Wegner (1914-2007).

Wegner is considered one of the most creative, innovative and prolific of the Danish furniture designers with almost 500 to his credit, many of them masterpieces.

Another Dane, leading 20th century ceramic artist Knud Kyhn (1880-1969), has two lots – 41 Figure of a Panther and 42 Figure of a Child – in the sale.

Other interesting items include lot 69 – American Julie Lazarus’s Venice 1997, a limited edition art glass form designed for Gallery Daniele Luchetta, and lot 78, a circa 1960s Murano at glass vase by Italian glassmaker Luigi Onesto using the “sommerso” technique that incorporated layers of different colours.

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