Lot 145
  • 145

Paul T. Frankl

Estimate
15,000 - 20,000 USD
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Description

  • Paul T. Frankl
  • A Custom-Designed Coffee Table
  • cork and wood
  • 14  3/4  in. (37.5 cm) high
    44  3/4  in. (113.6 cm)  diameter

Provenance

Estate of Ira Gershwin, Beverly Hills, CA, circa 1983
Paul Tiberio, Hollywood, CA
Modernism Gallery, San Francisco
Acquired from the above by the present owner

Literature

Christopher Long, Paul T. Frankl and Modern American Design, New Haven, 2007, p. 105 (for a related model in mahogany)

Catalogue Note

Frankl almost certainly made this table for Ira Gershwin after his move to Los Angeles in late 1934, around the same time Gershwin and his brother George moved there.  The model dates from a few years before, from 1930 or 1931, but the earliest versions were in the form of lacquered wood, usually mahogany.  Frankl began experimenting with cork veneers a short time later.  This table, which was a custom design for Gershwin, represents one of his first attempts at a fully veneered cork piece.  Frankl would continue to explore different versions of cork coverings over the next decade and half, sometimes staining the cork, sometimes bleaching it.  The alternating dark and light surface and patterning of this piece, however, is probably unique—in all likelihood in response to Gershwin's wishes.

—Christopher Long

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