Hollywood inspired and owned 20th Century furniture and decorative arts on the auction block

20th Century Decorative Arts
1 Oct 2012
Los Angeles

Los Angeles – During Bonhams 20th Century Decorative Arts auction on October 1 a prominent selection of Hollywood inspired and owned early and mid-century furniture and decorative arts will be featured. Highlights include works from George Maitland Stanley, sculptor of the Oscar® statuette; set, furniture and costume designer Paul Iribe; the personal Collection of actor, comedian and writer, Cheech Marin featuring René Lalique pieces from the Oviatt building, downtown LA's first Art Deco structure and legendary director John Huston.

Jason Stein, Associate Director of 20th Century Decorative Arts at Bonhams, said of the Hollywood offering: "Hollywood and the Design world have always shared a strong connection. Since the early 20th Century, artists have come to Los Angeles to create movie magic behind the camera and in front of it. During the October sale we pay homage to the strong connection that was built in celluloid over the last century."

Headlining the 'star' section of the sale is George Maitland Stanley's "Lady and the Fawn," a patinated bronze sculpture from 1938 (est. $5,000-7,000). Stanley was a Los Angeles-based sculptor and art educator perhaps most famous for sculpting the Oscar® statuette. Designed by MGM art director Cedric Gibbons, this sculpture has remained the iconic symbol of the Academy Awards since 1929 when the first Oscar was awarded. Throughout his career, Stanley was commissioned to create many important public works in Los Angeles including the Hollywood Bowl Entrance entitled "Sculpture of the Muse of Music, Dance, and Drama." Although "Lady and the Fawn" was meant to be an edition of fifty, no more than five castings of this model are known to have been created by the artist.

Also featured during the October sale is a group of Art Deco glass from the personal collection of actor, comedian and writer, Cheech Marin. Marin is known as an avid collector throughout the Art Nouveau and Art Deco communities. His items on offer in the fall auction include a group of four French pâte de verre sconces (est. $12,000-18,000); a pâte de verre plaque titled "Deux Tigers dans l'Herbe" by Gabriel Argy-Rousseau (est. $6,000-9,000); a pâte de verre Isadora Duncan lumière by Jean Descomps for Almeric Walter, circa 1925 (est. $5,000-8,000); a pâte de verre and silvered metal sconce of a woman with a parrot by Henri Bergé for Almeric Walter, circa 1925 (est. $3,000-5,000) and two moulded yello glass plaques commissioned for the Oviatt building titled "Fruits" by Rene Lalique, 1927-1928 (est. $5,000-7,000). Also from the famed Art Deco building but in the various owners section of the auction, is a set of four glass decanters by Lalique with enamelled glass stoppers, each monogrammed with 'J' within an 'O' for James Oviatt.

A sterling silver table service for twelve by William Spratling is also prominently featured within the sale (est. $12,000-18,000). Acquired from the maker by legendary director John Huston circa 1965, the set was gifted to Celeste Huston, wife of John Huston for their wedding, circa 1972. The lot was purchased from Gump's, San Francisco by the current owner circa 2004.

Works connected to other major Hollywood directors include Paul Iribe's gilt-decorated and painted plaster Anubis figure created for Cecil B. DeMille's "The Ten Commandments," circa 1923 (est. $3,000-5,000). Iribe moved to Hollywood from France in 1919 where he created numerous film sets and designs for director Cecil B. DeMille, including the wardrobe for Gloria Swanson in "Male and Female." Iribe's monumental Egyptian sets for the 1923 silent film "The Ten Commandments" included ten-story high walls covered in hieroglyphs, statues of Rameses II and sphinxes. Even today the film is considered one of the most extensive sets ever constructed. By repute, a mould of an ancient Anubis figure was taken by Iribe while in Egypt researching for the film and used to create the figure on offer.

Other highlights from the fall sale include a rare, custom Louis Vuitton printed canvas, enamelled metal and wood art trunk designed by Vuitton for his great-nephew René Gimpel, a well-known art dealer of the early 20th Century (est. $40,000-60,000); "Sonambient Sound Sculpture," by Harry Bertoia (est. $20,000-40,000) from the 1970s; a set of six limited edition laminate and plywood chairs by Donald Judd, circa 1991 (est. $12,000-18,000); three works in glass by Toots Zynsky (estimates range from $7,000-18,000); a pair of leather and aluminium Len Niggelman armchairs, circa 1986 by Philippe Starck (est. $1,500-2,500) originally designed for the lobby of the Royalton Hotel in New York (est. $1,500-2,500) and a selection of rare and unusual pine crate furniture by John Dickinson (estimates range from $1,200-2,000 per item) and a galvanised tin and brass side table, also by Dickinson, 1970s as well as a strong offering of Arts & Crafts, mid century and studio works by George Nakashima, John Nyquist and Sam Maloof, among others.

The illustrated auction catalogue for this sale is available online for review and purchase at www.bonhams.com/us in the weeks preceding the sale.

Preview: September 28-30

Auction: October 1, 2011, Los Angeles


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 www.bonhams.com

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