François-Xavier Lalanne’s whimsical 1970 “Sauterelle” Bar defies categorization: a piece of functional furniture with wings that convert to trays and a chic storage system to conceal liquor and barware, this luxurious sculpture is fashioned in Sèvres porcelain and polished brass. A dreamer who began his bestiary of sculpture in 1964 with Rhinosecrétaire, Lalanne sought to create inventive works that were also practical. This nearly six-foot-long grasshopper, part of an enchanting series of animal sculptures, is one of only two examples produced. The other, a generous gift by former French president Georges Pompidou in 1970 to Queen Elizabeth II, still resides in her private collection at Buckingham Palace. Important Design 24 May | New York
Born in Naples in 1927, Mario Valentino began his career as a designer against the backdrop of post-war Italy. His father had made bespoke shoes for the Neapolitan aristocracy before the war and Valentino therefore grew up among the artisanal processes of leather craftsmanship, later earning himself the nickname ‘King of Leather’ for his studied mastery of the material. Over several decades, he amassed an unrivalled collection of fine art and 20th Century Design, including this elegant palmwood sideboard, which is offered in the upcoming Design sale in Paris on 3 May.
According to his autobiography, Frank Lloyd Wright was born an architect – at least, that is what his mother famously prophesized. “The boy, she said, was to build beautiful buildings,” Wright recounts in his autobiography. To encourage her son’s nascent talents, she gave him a set of play objects called Gifts, designed by Friedrich Froebel, the inventor of kindergarten whose progressive education model Mrs Wright taught her children. Through such activities as folding and cutting squares of colored paper and arranging smooth wooden geometric blocks, Wright had an epiphany, thrilling at the “small interior world of color and form now came within grasp of small fingers.” FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT, AN IMPORTANT CLERESTORY WINDOW FROM THE AVERY COONLEY PLAYHOUSE, RIVERSIDE, ILLINOIS, CIRCA 1912. ESTIMATE $150,000–250,000. Some 40 years, it was Froebel’s Gifts that would inform Wright’s plan for one of his most important commissions – the Coonley Playhouse, a 1912–13 addition to the 1908 estate Wright built for Chicago industrialist Avery Coonley and his wife, Queene Ferry. The commissioned building housed a kindergarten for Queene’s daughter and other local children and featured a band of more than 30 clerestory windows with shapes suggesting balloons and confetti as well as American flags in a design that Wright called a “Kinder-Symphony.”
For the past two decades, tastemakers Delphine and Reed Krakoff have built a stunning collection of art and design that has shaped their lives and given each of their fabulous homes its own unique character. In a special evening sale on 23 May, Sotheby’s New York will offer more than 150 works from the couple’s collection, including iconic pieces by Les Lalannes, Marc Newson, Jean Prouvé, Giacometti and other important makers. Ahead of the sale, the Krakoffs reflect on how their taste has changed, collecting as a team, favorite works and more. REED AND DELPHINE KRAKOFF. PHOTOGRAPH © KRISTINE LARSEN.
For the past two decades, tastemakers Delphine and Reed Krakoff have built an extraordinary collection of art and design that has shaped their lives and given each of their fabulous homes its own unique character. This spring they will be offering works of art and objects from their collection in a dedicated evening sale, A Collection That We Dreamt Of. Highlights include pieces by Design icons Bertoia, Giacometti, Newson, Perriand, Prouvé, Royère and more. The exhibition will open at Sotheby’s New York on 19 May followed by the auction on 23 May.
With a witty, romantic style that retains a cosmopolitan timelessness, Thomas C. Molesworth created imaginative furniture that defined the aesthetic of the American West. Realizing this versatility, collectors Jake and Ruth Bloom mixed the designer's iconic keyhole side chairs, knotty lamps and carved tables with works by leading Contemporary artists in their Sun Valley, Idaho, residence. This remarkable private collection, amassed over decades, presents some of the rarest models executed by Molesworth to ever appear at auction. (23 May, New York)
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