Design Classics with Gatsby Flair Star in Palm Beach Modern’s May 25 Auction
Period pieces by Leleu, Porteneuve mix with the best of mid-century in 357-lot auction
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., May 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — The Great Gatsby would feel quite at home at Palm Beach Modern’s May 25 auction. A free-spending millionaire bootlegger, the fictional Jay Gatsby was the quintessential literary embodiment of Jazz Age extravagance. Gatsby decorated his spectacular Long Island mansion with the finest Art Deco furnishings money could buy – the type that have endured to this day as icons of classic design. Palm Beach Modern’s May 25 auction pays homage to the Gatsby era, with 357 lots of furniture and art objects that perpetuate or complement the Art Deco aesthetic.
“Without Art Deco to serve as its inspiration, mid-century modern might never have happened. There is an evolution from Art Deco to Moderne to mid-century design that cannot be denied, and that’s the focus of our next auction,” said Rico Baca, auctioneer at Palm Beach Modern Auctions.
Three outstanding French Art Deco period pieces represent the “Gatsby era” in Palm Beach Modern’s sale. A fine and rare 1939 rosewood sideboard/dresser designed by Alfred Porteneuve (1896-1949) for the SS Pasteur ocean liner is expected to make $15,000-$20,000 at auction.
Art Deco elegance is expressed to perfection by a pair of important circa-1923 Jules Leleu (French, 1883-1961) ivory and rosewood chairs with matching ottomans. The chairs are illustrated in Viviane Jutheau’s reference Jules et Andre Leleu and Francoise Siriex’s The House of Leleu. The duo is estimated at $50,000-$70,000.
A pair of French, circa-1930 Egyptian Revival candelabra reflects the frenzy for Egyptian design following the 1922 discovery of King Tut’s Tomb. The motif on each silvered-bronze candelabrum includes bas-relief pharaohs’ heads and mythological imagery on fluted columns. Estimate $6,000-$8,000.
Art Deco or mid-century modern? One would be challenged to tell the difference in many of the 1950s-1970s pieces in the May 25 auction. A convincing case could be made either way for Lot 71, a circa-1975 Jacques Duval-Brasseur dining table with dragon-sculpture base, est. $30,000-$35,000; or Lot 81, a circa-1950 Andre Arbus (French, 1903-1969) ebonized Greek-key cabinet, $20,000-$30,000.
Another mid-century interpretation of the Art Deco taste is seen in Lot 143, a rare and important Gio Ponti (Italian, 1891-1979) walnut desk that Ponti called “(his) masterpiece…” It is illustrated in Lisa Licitra Ponti’s 1953 reference Gio Ponti The Complete Work 1923-1978. Estimate $50,000-$70,000.
Many other premier designers and artists add cachet to the auction lineup, including Pablo Picasso, Paul Evans, Charles and Ray Eames; Warren Platner and Murano master Anzolo Fuga.
Palm Beach Modern’s “Tribute to Great Gatsby” auction of Art Deco and Mid-Century Modern Design begins at 12 noon Eastern on Saturday, May 25. Venue: 417 Bunker Rd., West Palm Beach, FL 33405. All forms of bidding available, including live online through LiveAuctioneers.com. Preview May 20-24 from 10-5; from 9 a.m. on auction day. Contact: 561-586-5500, firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: http://www.modernauctions.com. Illustrated auction catalog at www.LiveAuctioneers.com.
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SOURCE Palm Beach Modern