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Solid Wood Furniture in Modern Classic Design
Isamu Noguchi, one of the most celebrated sculptors of the 20th century, took wood and glass and combined them together to make this graceful, organically shaped coffee table. “To limit yourself to a particular style may make you an expert of that particular viewpoint or school, but I do not wish to belong to any school,” he said. “I am always learning, always discovering.”
A true reproduction of the original by Isamu Noguchi, the famous Japanese American sculptor who was born in Los Angeles. It was originally created in 1944. The brilliantly simple design consists of only three elements, the glass top and two interlocking wood base pieces. The table is an extraordinary harmony of form and function. The Noguchi Table balance of sculptural form and durable function has made it an understated and beautiful element in homes and offices since its introduction in 1947.
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Auction Results Suffer in a Tough Economy
CHICAGO, October 7, 2008. Like the orchestra playing on the deck as the Titanic made its final descent, Wright Auctions of Chicago gamely held their Modern Design auction of mid to late twentieth century furnishings and art in the midst of the global economic tsunami that is engulfing us all. (Dow down 500 that day!) With even the rich feeling the pain of evaporating investments, some diehard collectors practiced retail therapy by opening their thinning wallets to pry loose their last few dollars. (Brother, can you spare an Eames LCW chair?)
After a quick analysis of the 417 lots by such stalwarts as Charles and Ray Eames, George Nelson, Isamu Noguchi, Norman Cherner, Florence Knoll, George Nakashima, Edward Wormley, Hans Wegner, Milo Baughman, Jean Prouve and others, here is how the results broke down:
117 lots sold within their projected ranges (28%)
157 lots did not meet their reserve (37%)
49 lots sold below their ranges (12%)
94 lots sold above their projected ranges (23%)
Of the 157 lots that did not sell, many were assorted tables and chairs by George Nelson, George Nakashima, Vladimir Kagan, Hugh Newell Jacobsen, Florence Knoll, Finn Juhl, Gio Ponti and, surprisingly, various pairs of Mies van der Rohe Barcelona chairs reasonably priced between $5,000 and $7,000.
A Swan Chair by Arne Jacobsen estimated between $4,000 and $6,000 sold for a conservative $4,800 – considerably less than prices as high as $7,200 I have seen in recent years.
Of the 94 that sold above their projected ranges, there were a few notable pieces that hit it way out of the ballpark:
A chair by Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen for the MoMA Organic Design Competition which was expected to get between $15,000 and $20,000 sold for a whopping $50,400.
Vitra Eames chairs Armchair Bench
Yes, you could just about use it for helping calibrate the colours on your camera/monitor.
Or simply enjoy the design possibilities offered by the Vitra Eames plastic seating shells
The Eames Molded Plastic Chair: aka Effortless Cool
In 1950 the Molded Plastic Chair, designed by Charles and Ray Eames for Herman Miller, became available to the public as the world is first mass-produced plastic chair. Today they are sold in 100% recyclable polypropylene and are an extremely popular way to inject some classic modernist cool into a home. I see them on Pinterest and other online design forums on a daily basis (increasingly in pastel pink, which slightly disturbs me for some reason).
The Eames plastic rocker is in (and has been for years) every other hip children is room despite the debate over its comfort level. The chairs have the wonderful quality of being a classic mid-century modern icon as well as the flexibility to look great in almost any environment you care to put them. They are trendy right now, but that does not make them any less of a chair classic.
Chair and chair alike
The chairs above are all swanky Vitra Eames DSW chairs – a modern update of a 1950s classic by designers Charles and Ray Eames. It comes in various lovely colours and costs £315-320 from places such as Heal, John Lewis and www.funkylittledarlings.co.uk The green Malmo chair, below, also comes in white, black or red. However, it is currently just £49 from Asda Direct (directasda.com). Spot the difference? Neither will 99% of your visitors.…
The World of Charles and Ray Eames @ the Barbican
Never heard of Charles and Ray Eames before. Did not realise Ray (b.1912) was the wife of Charles (b.1907). Did not know that, as a team, they are among the most influential (American) designers of the twentieth century.
Charles and Ray Eames selecting slides. © Eames Office LLC.
They met in 1940 at the Cranbrook
Academy of Art where Charles was head
of Industrial Design, married in 1941 and
moved to Los Angeles. They were working
on the problems of moulding plywood to make
chairs and other furniture when war
broke out (December 1941) and they quickly
got a contract to supply a design of leg splint
to the US Navy. They moved their workshop
to 901 Washington Boulevard in Venice, Los Angeles,
which became the Eames office for the next 45 years.
Design of chairs and other domestic
furniture continued to be a central
thread of their work – an entire room is
dedicated to sketches, examples and
videos of the manufacture of a new style
of flexible, lightweight fibre-glass chairs.
Their numerous designs for efficient,
mass producible, stackable, storeable chairs
revolutionised design, changing the feel
of meeting rooms, assembly halls,
conference centres all around the world.