New world auction record set for a Sam Maloof rocking chair at Bonhams in Los Angeles

20th Century Decorative Arts including Property from the Estate of Michael and Michelle Ertzan
16 Apr 2012
Los Angeles

Los Angeles – Bonhams held its spring auction of 20th Century Decorative Arts on April 16. The sale brought more than $1.26-million and offered a diverse group of high quality pieces, spanning a century of design, by well-known figures of the period. Featured works included strong examples of Arts & Crafts, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Mid-Century Modern and works by Contemporary Studio artists as well as a world auction record for a Sam Maloof rocking chair.

Highlighting the April sale was a striking group of design from the 1970s and 1980s. Among the items on offer was a walnut and ebony rocking chair, dated 1986, by renowned studio craftsman, Sam Maloof. The iconic piece was estimated to bring $30,000-50,000 and sold for $80,500, a new world auction record for a Maloof rocking chair.

A continued demand for works from the 1970s and 1980s could be seen throughout the sale. Additional furnishings of note from the period included a walnut conference table from 1986, also by Maloof (est. $25,000-35,000, sold for $25,000) and a group of three bronze tables, circa 1970, by Philip and Kelvin LaVerne (est. $ 12,000-18,000, sold for $22,500) as well as a galvanised tin and brass console table model 106 from the 1970s by designer John Dickinson (est. $20,000-40,000, sold for $31,250) and a pair of unique Twig mirrors from 1970, also by Dickinson (est. $15,000-20,000, sold for $21,250).

In addition, pieces from the "Urban Oasis," a one-of-a-kind city residence designed by Hutton Wilkinson for Tony Duquette Studios, were featured during the spring auction. Wilkinson created an environment of tranquillity through an ingenious use of rich fabrics, strategically placed furnishings, mirrors and lighting, which were used to generate optical illusions throughout the space. This was the second time that a complete Wilkinson/Duquette creation of this type has been offered at public auction. The first environment, known as the "Tented Room," was presented at Bonhams in 2010 to spirited collectors whose enthusiasm and dedication continues to be seen in 2012.

Jason Stein, Associate Director, 20th Century Decorative Arts at Bonhams, said of the sale: "Bonhams was honoured to feature the 'Urban Oasis' during the April sale of 20th Century Decorative Arts. We are pleased to continue our successful record of offering works by Tony Duquette and the Duquette Studios. The auction house is looking forward to an additional special offering of fresh-to-market Duquette material this fall."

Individual pieces of note from the "Urban Oasis" included a pair of white painted cast resin and wood Rose chest of drawers cast in resin after the plaster original in the collection of couturier, Adrian (est. $5,000-7,000, sold for $13,750); a Venetian Rococo style polychrome wood bombé secretary bureau with faux coral branches, with a Duquette coral painted interior, together with a fabric covered plinth (est. $4,000-6,000, sold for $5,250) and a pair of Venetian Baroque style polychromed and parcel gilt cast resin dolphin from garnitures (est. $2,000-4,000, sold for $8,125).

As well, Bonhams was pleased to offer as select pieces of French and American glass from the Estate of Michael and Michelle Ertzan during the sale. Assembled more than a quarter century ago by noted Los Angeles structural engineer, Michael Ertzan, and his wife, Michelle, a distinguished Southern California architect, the offering was composed primarily of Art Nouveau glass with select examples from the last part of the 20th Century. Among the highlights from the Estate were a Gallé cameo glass landscape and butterflies lamp from the early 20th century (est. $15,000-20,000, sold for $17,500), among others.

Other works of note from the April sale included a robust selection glass and ceramics in a diverse assortment of colours, techniques and treatments by highly sought after makers. Highlights included a moulded turquoise blue glass Tête de Paon car mascot Marcilhac 1140, design introduced 1928 by René Lalique (est. $15,000-25,000, sold for $40,000); a moulded glass and chromed metal Cactus table by Marc Lalique (est. $25,000-35,000, sold for $32,500) and a Moorcroft flambé glazed earthenware Eventide/Moonlit Blue vase, shape 398, from 1923-1929 (est. $5,000-8,000, sold for $21,250).

Press Contact: Jannelle Grigsby,, (310) 567-7990


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to

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