September 12, 2006

Mod Nursery Showcase Showdown, Live On ebay 9/16

eero_aarnio_pony_auction.jpg

If you're teetering on the edge of a swingin' 60's mod nursery--and really, these days, who isn't?--you may want to pre-register for some live auctioning, clear your calendar Saturday, and cash in that IRA. eBay's the one-stop shop for some live auctionhouse sales of mid-century modern design Saturday, Phillips dePury in NYC and Wright20 in Chicago. They're online simultaneously, too, and there's a buyer's premium of around 20% on top of your winning bid, so they're a little different than regular eBaying.

I confess, I'm not a big textile guy, or a big wall hanging guy. That much empty real estate presents itself, I'd rather pull a piece of art out of the storage unit instead. And for that matter, dropping a few grand on a piece of framed cloth, well... But everyone's got a passion, so even if, at these estimates, they're not screaming "Buy Me!" here are a few things that DO scream "Nursery!":

alex_girard_numbers.jpg

This 46x43-in wall hanging of Alexander Girard numbers fabric is dated c.1970, est. $500-700, but an opening bid of $1 makes me think there're not that many comparables out there to set a solid price. [update: the auction room bidding took it to $1560. Online never had a chance: one measly $50 bid.]

angelo_testa_animals.jpg

angelo_testa_animals2.jpg

There are two of these 40x52-in. wall hangings by Angelo Testa, c. 1965, with different color schemes--red/yellow and, well, full diaper, frankly--being sold separately at Phillips. I have no idea who Testa was [Google tells me he was a graphic designer who did a lot of work for Herman Miller in the 60's], but the $2-3,000 estimates seem to be roughly inline with previous auction prices. [update: including premium, they sold for $850 and 1,350, respectively, to real-world bidders.]

vedel_desk_chair_red.jpg

There's a sweet-looking red desk & chair set by Kristian Vedel coming up, too. It's estimated at $700-900, and if it turns out to be refinished, that makes sense [tip: get the condition report before bidding]. A single Vedel chair just sold for $527 last week. [update: wow, they sold for $1680. online bidders hung in until $800.]


The inspiration for this post, though, is the top picture, Eero Aarnio's "Pony" chair, full-sized and in foam/fabric/metal. It's listed as "designed in 1973," which makes me think it might be contemporary, not vintage. [Good news for condition, bad for collectibility.] Bidding starts at $1,000, and the estimate's $1500-2500, so there's a little room for a discount vs. retail ($2,100), but don't get auction-stupid and forget things like the premium and sales tax, etc. Translation: don't bid over $1700 unless they throw in a free "CHUMP" tattoo for your forehead. [update: someone in the auction room must want that tattoo, because they paid $2,200 + a $20% premium for a $2,100 chair.]

1 Comment

That Damien Hirst print is sweet and appropriately titled for the new parent..."valium"

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