Bonhams Modern Design and Contemporary Interiors Art Auction

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At a time when our minds are focused on interiors and objects that beautify them, Bonhams' Live Behind-Closed-Doors Modern Design I Art auction in Los Angeles on Thursday 28 May and Thursday 4 June, will offer major signature works.

The auction includes pieces from the legendary ceramic collection of Diane and Marc Grainer, and the stunning Clear and Gold Chandelier by the master of glass, Dale Chihuly. Consisting of 2,365 separate elements, the chandelier has an estimate of $100,000-150,000.


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The American glass-artist Dale Chihuly (b 1941) started his career in 1965 and is now regarded as one of the world's masters. Following the practices of the Murano glass producers in Venice, Chihuly works with teams of glassblowers to produce pieces on an epic scale. Clear and Gold Chandelier, to be offered on 4 June, is huge. Executed in 2000, it is 13ft by 13ft – twice the length of an average double bed.

Diane and Marc Grainer were at the forefront of contemporary ceramics collectors in the USA. Over many decades they built an unrivaled collection. Concentrating at first on British ceramics, they later turned their attention to the work of American ceramic artists, craft and contemporary art. Among the 32 pieces in the sale on 4 June are:


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Winged Figure Pointing by Stephen de Staebler (1933-2011). Executed in 2003, this bronze figure by the internationally acclaimed American sculptor, is one of a limited edition of three. It is estimated at US$40,000-60,000.

Portrait Vessel by the Californian ceramic artist and educator Ralph Bacerra (1938-2008). Bacerra's work is characterised by its strong colours and intricate geometrical forms, of which this piece from 1993 is a perfect example.  It is estimated at $10,000-12,000.

The Grainers' lifelong passion for British ceramics links to pieces by the Austrian-British ceramicist Lucie Rie (1902-1995), whose work is also included in the auction on 28 May. Works include:

Knitted Bowl from around 1978.  The bowl was a gift from Dame Lucie to her longtime hairstylist. It is estimated at $10,000-15,000.


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Byzantine Style Vase also from around 1978 and estimated at $10,000-15,000.

Director of Bonhams Modern Decorative Art + Design department in LA, Jason Stein, commented: "Having been confined to our homes for a number of weeks, we understand the crucial role of having beauty and craftmanship in our lives. This auction has a range of pieces that can transform a room with their iconic status."

Other sale highlights include:

Three works by the street artist RETNA, Untitled, estimated at $35,000 - 45,000, Untitled (Triptych), estimated at $60,000 - 80,000, and Untitled (Dripping Composition), estimated at $18,000 - 25,000.


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Other pieces include, a pair of Paul Evans cityscape settees. Estimate of $7,000-9,000; William C. Morris (Born 1957), Canopic Jar (Giant Eland), 2004. Estimate: $40,000 - 60,000. Bertil Vallien (Born 1938), Resting Head ,fourth quarter 20th century for Kosta Boda, Estimate: $3,000 - 5,000.

Pair of Open Armchairs, circa 2007. Estimate: $3,000 - 5,000, a Custom Pair of Lounge Chairs, circa 2007. Estimate: $2,500 - 3,500. Also, Pier Giacomo and Achille Castiglioni (1913-1968), Pair of Arco Floor Lamps, designed 1962. Estimate: $1,200 - 1,800.

For more information: https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/26460/

Sale: Modern Design | Art

Location: Los Angeles

Date: Part I - May 28, Part II - June 4


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest and most renowned auctioneers, offering fine art and antiques, motor cars and jewellery. The main salerooms are in London, New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong, with auctions also held in Knightsbridge, Edinburgh, Paris, San Francisco and Sydney. With a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 22 countries, Bonhams offers advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full list of forthcoming auctions, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments, please visit bonhams.com. bonhams.com 

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