ALEXANDRE NOLL | AN IMPORTANT TWO-DOOR CABINET
Design Masterworks from a Distinguished West Coast Collection
AN IMPORTANT TWO-DOOR CABINET
hand-carved flame mahogany
35½ x 44¾ x 21¾ in. (90.1 x 113.6 x 55.2 cm)
Overall in good condition. When seen in person, the cabinet presents with slightly brighter hues than pictured in the catalogue photography. A superb cabinet by famed woodworker and artist Alexandre Noll, this piece includes an ingenious mechanism on the top of the cabinet controlling two brass tacks located above both doors, which enable the doors to open. The wooden surface presents with scratches concentrated to the top of the cabinet and the base which are consistent with gentle use. The front and doors of the cabinet present with spotty surface stains which are not visually distracting. The top of the cabinet presents with two rings marks, two very small green stains near the front edge, and an area of darkening to the surface measuring approximately 5 x 4 inches, not visually distracting. The recessed areas of the piece with very light white rust and darkening to the wooden surface which are consistent with age and not visually distracting. The cabinet appears to have been refinished at some point in the history of the piece in an effort to preserve the wood’s richness and integrity. This lot, along with lot 278, provides an exceptional opportunity to acquire two unique and large-scale masterpieces of furniture by the artist.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
Collection of Alexandre Noll, Paris
Collection of Odile Noll, Paris
Galerie de Beyrie, Paris
Christie’s New York, 21/21 Historical Design: 21 years for the 21st Century, December 19, 2006, lot 562
Acquired from the above by the present owner
Roberto Aloi, L'Arredamento Moderno, Milan, 1945, pl. 365 (for the present lot illustrated)
Olivier Jean-Elie and Pierre Passebon, Alexandre Noll, Paris, 1992, p. 27 (for the present lot illustrated)
This important cabinet was created by Alexandre Noll specifically for his villa in Fontenay-aux-Roses, just outside of Paris. This work displays superlative sculptural elements and a richly textured wooden surface that are representative of his most successful creations. A key element of the piece is its clever door mechanism, which consists of an organically sculpted oval device placed atop the cabinet doors that one needs to push down to unlock the cabinet doors. This practical appliance further attests to Noll’s tremendous craftsmanship and commitment to wood, not compromising its integrity with other materials to serve a particular function. This complex device counts among other inventive technical strategies used by Noll in his cabinetmaking practice, though few are as advanced as the one displayed on this outstanding piece of cabinetry.