Harry Bertoia's Dandelion leads Bonhams $1.5 Million 20th Century Decorative Arts auction

3 Apr 2013, 20th Century Decorative Arts
20th Century Decorative Arts

Harry Bertoia's Dandelion leads Bonhams $1.5 Million 20th Century Decorative Arts auction

3 Apr 2013, 20th Century Decorative Arts

Los Angeles–Bonhams is pleased to announce that its 20th Century Decorative Arts auction, April 3 in Los Angeles, achieved more than $1.5 million, with nearly 90% of lots sold by value. Leading the auction was a 75-inch tall example of Dandelion, circa 1966, by Harry Bertoia, which sold for $152,500. The gilded stainless steel and granite work, which stands true to its name in appearance, was owned by Dorothy McGuire of the famed McGuire Sisters singing trio and her husband, Lowell Williamson.

A smaller version of a Dandelion, measuring 40 inches tall, of stainless steel, took the auction's second top spot at $52,500, while another of his works, Bush, 1956, in welded patinated bronze, also stood out as a highlight, bringing $25,000.

Jason Stein, Associate Director of 20th Century Decorative Arts at Bonhams, said of the sale, "We are thrilled with the stellar results that we saw realized in all of the major collecting categories of 20th Century decorative art and design."

Various Sam Maloof works, from the Studio Works of Art category of the sale, did very well. Among them was a set of eight rare walnut and black leather hornback dining chairs, circa 1959, which brought $47,500, far ahead of the estimate of $20,000-30,000; an iconic walnut and ebony rocking chair, circa 2000, which sold for $43,750; a pair of hornback chairs, 1966, with inlaid walnut and original Jack Lenor Larsen fabric seats, that took in $27,500, past an estimate of $5,000-7,000; and an oak, drop-leaf hinged two-door sideboard, 1984, which achieved $26,250, also far surpassing its estimate of $6,000-9,000.

An additional work of note in the auction was a Dale Chihuly silver black glass Ikebana gourd with four stems, 1991, in blown and applied glass, which brought $25,000.

A rare example of California Craft by Michael Cooper brought a world record auction price for the artist. His 'Soap Box Racer' far exceeded its estimate of $12,000-18,000, bringing $25,000.

Highlights continued with a Jean Després silver necklace, circa 1950, impressed with maker's mark and assay mark, which brought $50,000 - far past an estimate of $10,000-15,000, and, from the Art Nouveau portion of the sale, a Gallé cameo glass Lake Como vase took $23,750.

The next 20th Century Decorative Arts auction at Bonhams will take place June 11 at the firm's New York location. Its illustrated auction catalog will be available online for review and purchase at bonhams.com in the weeks preceding the sale.


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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