Calling lovers of mid-century modern design at Strauss & Co’s October auction in Cape Town
If clean, minimalist lines, Scandinavian design and groundbreaking Dutch furniture sound like your idea of a dream home interior, Strauss & Co’s next live virtual auction, taking place on October 11-12, will surely delight you and all other century-old Cape Town lovers of modern design. The two-day sale will feature an extensive catalog of collector’s items assembled by experts from the decorative arts department of the premier auction house.
“We are delighted to present 20e and 21st pioneers of design and furniture from all over the world, ”says Vanessa Phillips, Managing Director of Strauss & Co.
“This is one of the largest selections to come up for auction in South Africa, and includes ownership of a German collector whose main interest was Art Deco and contemporary furniture,” explains Sophie-Louise Fröhlich , auctioneer and decorative arts specialist Strauss & Co, who has been working to secure this collection for Strauss & Co for two years.
Two of the red / blue model 763 armchairs by Dutch architect De Stijl Gerrit Rietveld (estimates R20,000 – R25,000) are noteworthy elements of the session. This chair, which appeared in the book MoMA Highlights: 375 works from the Museum of Modern Art (2019), is considered one of De Stijl’s most iconic pieces, with the famous paintings in black, white, red, yellow and blue by Piet Mondrian. The chair might not look like the most comfortable piece of furniture, but Rietveld believed that aesthetics and design should take precedence over physical comfort. A piece of furniture is more than a functional object, it must also contribute to the well-being and comfort of the mind of the spectator.
The other highlights of the auction are the black lacquer Tulip chairs by the Finnish-American architect and industrial designer Eero Saarinen (model 151) (set of six) with a marble table and black lacquer Tulip marquina (45,000 – 55,000 R). Saarinen’s retro-fabulous creations are considered the great classics of industrial design. The Tulip chair features soft, clean modernist lines and is reminiscent of both a delicate tulip and a sophisticated wine glass. It was designed for the Knoll Company, an American design firm that employed some of the most important designers of the 20th and 21st centuries. Influential architect, designs by Charles Rennie Mackintosh are also featured, with lovely designs made for the Willow Tea Rooms in Glasgow, which are always open for lunch and afternoon tea.
Chairs that shaped and innovated the course of furniture design are on offer, such as the Wassily chairs by Marcel Breuer (R9,000 – 12,000) and the molded plywood lounge chair and ottoman (model 670 & 671) designed by Ray and Charles Eames (R25,000 – 30,000). From plywood, tubular steel, and molded plastics, the vast array of technological advancements that took place during this time is evident throughout this session.
The many classic design pieces up for auction will enhance and enhance any interior and be a sure-fire topic of conversation among design enthusiasts.
“Education and hospitality are at the heart of the Strauss & Co. experience As the post-vaccine world returns to a more stable pace, we are delighted to offer a rich program of in-person and virtual webinars, lectures and guided tours before our virtual live auction on October 11 and 12. These events aim to provide collectors and the art-interested public with a detailed overview of the October auction catalog, ”adds Bina Genovese, Managing Director of Strauss & Co.