Midcentury Modern is still a new old favorite and buyers will find plenty of designer examples at The Benefit Shop Foundation Inc. in its Red Carpet auction on Wednesday, February 19, at 10 AM. With pieces coming in from tony estates in the Hamptons, Manhattan’s Park Avenue, a waterfront estate in Bedford and Greenwich, CT, the auction will also cover all bases from antique to retro with top draw items in a wealth of other collecting categories from fine art and antiques to fashion, jewelry and garden statuary.
“I am very excited about all the midcentury modern furniture in the sale from Egg chairs to a Paul Evans Cityscape table and much more,” said Pam Stone, owner and founder of The Benefit Shop Foundation, Inc. “Buyers will also find we have some very nice period antique pieces, including a Chippendale dresser that we discovered had an interesting history hidden in a secret drawer.”
In more than seven years of conducting auctions, Benefit Shop Foundation, Inc. has earned a solid reputation and is now routinely attracting donations from all over from people happy to see their items find new homes and whose sale benefits local charitable organizations.
A regular donor here is John Edelman, CEO of Design Within Reach, whose items have been offered in several auctions over the last year. Midcentury Modern is his passion and among donations on offer in this auction are two Design Within Reach Giorgio Soressi Como sofas (each $2,500-5,000) designed by Italian designer Giorgio Soressi in Kalahari leather for his Como collection, 90 by 42 by 30 inches.
Works by well-known furniture designers are placed throughout the auction, among them are several names most coveted by buyers, ranging from a signed Paul Evans Cityscape dining table in metal, chrome and wood with an extension leaf ($1,000-4,000) and a Heywood Wakefield Sculptura six-drawer lowboy dresser ($500-1,000) finished in “Champagne” birch, 56 by 33 by 19 inches, to a John Widdicomb credenza with a slab top and canted legs, designed by T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings ($1,500-3,000), circa 1950s.
Once holding pride of place in a Park Avenue, New York City estate, were an Andrew Martin tan toned Humphrey leather chaise ($1,000-2,000) and a pair of Andrew Martin, Arne Jacobsen Egg chairs ($1,000-2,000) in camel-toned leather, 45 inches tall.
All kinds of seating options will be represented in the auction, including a set of eight Harvey Probber style dining room chairs ($500-2,000) and four MCM Russell Woodard Sculptura outdoor armchairs offered with an octagonal table ($700-$1,200) designed by Russell Woodard, circa 1956.
Furniture offerings here cover all tastes, not just midcentury modern, including an antique tufted Victorian chaise sofa ($3,000-5,000) originally purchased from a Madison Avenue antique shop in New York City, 54 by 36 by 33 inches deep, and a French 19th Century Empire mahogany console table ($1,000-4,000) having interchangeable marble tops, circa 1820s, 51 by 36 by 20 inches.
The joy of owning antiques is the history and character each piece comes with. Some items give up their stories only after a bit of digging though. This was the case with a circa 1820 Chippendale secretary desk ($400-800) having an intricately carved wooden detail, a flip-open desk revealing nine small drawers. Measuring 85 by 42 by 22 inches, the desk was discovered looks to be signed in a secret drawer with details of the militia record of a Col. J.I. Blake, 1830s-1840s. “An archivist’s dream, this secretary contains an interesting inscription. He had written notes of how he was promoted to different ranks,” Stone said. “Most antiques come with a story in who owned them, where they were made … but this piece literally has a story written onto it.”
The fine art category dovetails with the midcentury modern offerings quite nicely with bold and colorful works from a number of well known artists. Highlights include a signed Chris Yowell acrylic on canvas abstract painting ($500-1,500) in a vibrant geometric design in primary and black colors, large at 60 by 50 inches and lot 1, a signed Karel Appel limited edition embossed woodcut ($1,000-2,000), “Piste à l’image de la planète,” 1978, 22 by 30 inches.
Several key works catalogued as “attributed to” a particular artist are worthy of mention here and may merit further study by their new owners, including an attributed Tom Wesselmann marker on paper ($1,000-5,000) a depicting reclining nude female figure, 9-3/4 by 13 inches, and a “Mississippi” oil on board attributed to Jean-Michel Basquiat ($1,000-2,000) with an image of a fish scale and various words and symbols surrounding the fish in white paint, 13-3/4 by 10 inches.
Rounding out the auction were a room sized Ralph Lauren handmade wool rug ($2,000-4,000) measuring about 168 by 126 inches wide, an antique copper engraving map of Asia by M. Suetter, circa late 1800s ($1,000-2,000), 29 by 32 inches with frame and a vintage Cartier Tank ladies wristwatch in 18K vermeil ($1,200-2,000), possibly late 1970s.
The monthly Red Carpet sales feature choice collections of antique, Midcentury Modern, brand furnishings, sterling, china, crystal, jewelry and fine art. With a mission of “to donate, to discover and to do good,” the foundation is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit and auction proceeds support community organizations. Consignors get a tax deduction, the buyer gets a great deal and local non-profits get much needed funds.
The auction gallery is at 185 Kisco Avenue, Suite 201, Mt. Kisco, NY. For more information, www.thebenefitshop.org or (914) 864-0707.