F or over two decades, Michael Maharam has carefully assembled an impressive collection of international design, providing a rich and distinct visual sensibility to his offices and the two adjacent Manhattan loft apartments. As former owner of the contemporary textile company Maharam, Michael advocated for a rigorous and universal commitment to design that cross-pollinated between his professional endeavors and his private collecting. The collection is as diverse as it is carefully-chosen, providing a compositional environment that is considered, yet effortlessly uncontrived. Themes of texture, tone, shape and substance interweave sensibility across all medium and eras, celebrating the material integrity that is at the core of his vision. Comprising of over 130 lots, the collection will be sold October 15, and with a further 70 lots offered in an online-only auction opening October 12 and closing October 19.
Over the course of two decades, Michael Maharam has quietly and diligently assembled one of the most important and complete surveys of authentic and early Gerrit Rietveld chair designs outside of public institutions. The collection reveals the conceptional narrative that confirms Rietveld as one of the most rigorous and innovative thinkers in modern design, fluently certain of concept and skillfully versatile in medium. The collection is spearheaded by an exceptional example of Rietveld’s century-defining masterpiece— the “Rood Blauwe stoel” of 1919 that was to re-wire critical thought and synthesize boundaries between art, architecture and design— and concludes with symmetrically-paired examples of his final work, the refined Steltman chair of 1963.
Acknowledging the importance of history and recognizing the necessity of innovation, Michael Maharam’s creative partnerships have included the estates of the most noted multidisciplinary designers of the twentieth century including contemporary collaborators such as Hella Jongerius, Konstantin Grcic and Sir Paul Smith, amongst others. As a result, the Maharam collection includes an incredibly precise selection of defining pieces by contemporary designers, including limited editions by Ai Weiwei, Studio Job, Ron Arad and Jasper Morrison, as well as a superb selection of ceramics and furniture by Hella Jongerius. A pivotal work in the artist’s career, Tokujin Yoshioka’s masterful “Water Block” Bench makes its auction debut and precedes superlative pieces by Japanese designers Naoto Fukasawa and Shiro Kuramata.
The Maharam Collection comprises one of the most exceptional groupings of Axel Salto ceramics in the United States. The vessels in the collection share one common thread, Salto’s characteristic use of the highly sought-out Solfatara glaze, which grants each of these creations a defining palette of complex and stunning greens. The variety of forms and textures gathered here attests to the ceramist’s highly skilled practice and his predilection for organic and biomorphic silhouettes, blurring traditional distinctions between form and function. Highlights from the collection include a spectacular “Akteon” Mask as well as tall biomorphic vases and vessels with intricate decorations.
The Maharam Collection comprises a vast yet highly curated selection of Scandinavian design, from handcrafted mid-century furniture by Danish masters Finn Juhl, Poul Kjaerholm and Hans Wegner to delicate and playful objects by Tapio Wirkkala and Carl Auböck. Exceptional examples of lighting designs include a rare table lamp by Vilhelm Lauritzen with stunning patina together with floor lamps by Paavo Tynell and Ilmari Tapiovaara.