View full screen - View 1 of Lot 105. T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings, Dining Table from the Casa Encantada, Bel Air, California.

Property from a Distinguished New York Collector

T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings, Dining Table from the Casa Encantada, Bel Air, California

Lot Closed

October 7, 05:44 PM GMT


20,000 - 30,000 USD

Lot Details


T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings

Dining Table from the Casa Encantada, Bel Air, California

circa 1938

burl ash veneer, frosted glass

produced by Peterson Studios, Santa Barbara

with the artist's labels printed "SANS EPOQUE"/Robsjohn-Gibbings

32 1/4 x 192 x 60 in. (81.9 x 487.7 x 152.4 cm)

Hilda Olsen Boldt Weber, Casa Encantada, Bel Air, California

Conrad Hilton, Bel Air, California, 1950

David H. Murdock, Bel Air, California, 1979

Sotheby's Parke Bernet, February 5, 1981, lot 41

DeLorenzo Gallery, New York

Acquired from the above by the present owner, 1990s

"Residence of Mrs. Hilda Boldt Weber, Bel-Air, Los Angeles, California," Architectural Digest, vol. 10, no. 3, January 1941, n.p. (for the present lot illustrated)

Daniella Ohad Smith, "T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings: Crafting a Modern Home for Postwar America," Journal of Interior Design, vol. 34, no. 1, 2008, pp. 42-44 (for a discussion of the Casa Encantada house)

Peter James Holliday, American Arcadia: California and the Classical Tradition, New York, 2016, pp. 249-253 (for a discussion of the Casa Encantada house)

A Timeless Table from the Casa Encantada

“I have always believed that art should transcend the time and place of its creation. It should be lasting and universal. Artists and designers should create in three dimensions for their works to live. There must be a profound understanding of the past as well as an awareness of the present if there is to be a future.” – T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings

Unlike his contemporaries who advocated for streamlined industrial design, Terence Harold Robsjohn-Gibbings (1905-1976) ardently believed that “the modern should stem from the very ancient.” Equipped with a background in architecture from the University of London and experience working for an antiques dealer in New York, he established his own interior design firm on Madison Avenue in 1936 where he developed a unique style of modern design inspired by Greek and Roman artifacts yet suited to contemporary living. In the same year he was approached to work on what would become one of his most celebrated projects, the Casa Encantada.

Commissioned by socialite Hilda Boldt Weber, the mansion sat on nine acres of land overlooking Los Angeles, consisted of 43 rooms and was considered “the most magnificent establishment constructed in Southern California since the great depression of 1929.” Architect James E. Dolena envisioned the building in a proportioned and symmetrical Georgian style with neoclassical ornaments, punctuated by a pedimented front entrance with elegant ionic columns. Working with Dolena’s exterior, Robsjohn-Gibbings designed approximately two hundred pieces of furniture to fill the interior and titled the collection of pieces “Sans-Epoque,” meaning timeless.

Each design featured what Robsjohn-Gibbings described as “the very old, yet always new graceful contours that have made the artists of ancient Greece the marvels of the ages.” The present table was no exception. Measuring an impressive 16 feet long, the table has the grand scale and harmonious proportions of a temple. The central leg is decorated with unfurling lotus leaves, while the leg at either end is decorated with an ornate anthemion. The tabletop is further adorned with meander-like marquetry at the outer edge, giving the highly textural Ash burl veneer a sense of order and symmetry. The completed home and its furnishings were celebrated in Architectural Digest in 1941, documenting the table in situ in all of its splendor.

A decade later, Weber sold the estate to hotel magnate Conrad Hilton who affectionately named it the Casa Encantada. The home was subsequently purchased and all of its furniture sold in a landmark sale at Sotheby’s Parke Bernet. Robsjohn-Gibbings in turn moved to Athens in 1965, culminating a career of neoclassical fantasy by living amongst his source material. To this day the Casa Encantada is regarded as a Hollywood icon and the furniture considered the designer’s greatest achievement.