So it's no secret, here in NYC especially, that auction houses are an amazing way to seek out the truly rare and unique. Places like Sotheby's and Philips de Pury, known worldwide, regularly host some of the city's wealthiest buyers to come and take turns outbidding one another to get a chance at taking home everything from rare antiques to enormously expensive modern art to Elizabeth Taylor's crown jewels. Outside of the city, however, there are some amazing auction houses that seem to go relatively unnoticed, but are home to some amazing and iconic pieces of 20th century design. Case in point - Rago Arts + Auction Center in Lambertville, NJ. Right over the border from New Hope, PA which is a well known, though off the beaten path, center for arts and culture. Also close by...Nakashima Woodworking Studios, basically heaven.
In a run-down looking warehouse just off the highway, Rago holds some of the most amazing creations this past century has seen...coming up on Sunday Feb 26th is their 20th/21st Century Modern Design Design auction, I implore you to take a look through the catalog...it is not to be missed. And if you're close by and looking for a day trip, let me know because I'm coming with you! Rago Arts & Auction - 20th/21st C Modern Design Catalog
Lots we are LOVIN:
Lot 988 - Tommy Simpson Armchair, relatively new made in 2001, but it's so unique and fun. reupholster in a funky fabric and you've got yourself one sassy chair
Lot 923 - Donald Deskey Room Divider, 1928! Silverleafed + lacquered wood, loving the color combination + oversized pattern
Lot 669 - Fabio Lenci Sofa, Italian 1960s. Love the channeled, curved leather upholstery and the way it appears to be suspended between the two glass panels by wood dowels. Would be awesome in some big old farm house
Lot 1134 - Georges Jouve Glazed Rooster Sconce, French 1940s. The glaze color of the rooster is incredible and the curve of the vellum shade is so sexy. a single sconce is unusual, but this is too special to do multiples of!
Lot 694 - Iconic Vladimir Kagan curved sofa on walnut base, USA 1950s. The epitome of mid-century design, this sofa is so classically beautiful
Lot 1170 - Erwin + Estelle Laverne, pair of Jonquil Lounge Chairs, USA 1960s. Another iconic design using a totally iconic material, molded lucite.
Lot 1118 - Angelo Mangiarotti Arabesco Marble Dining Table, Italian (obvi?) 1960s. Can you imagine how heavy? an interesting play on the permanence of what we typically consider our furniture to be - temporary and movable.
Lot 714 - Tommi Parzinger Nightstands, NYC 1960s. I'm enamored with the peach lacquer of the nightstands and contrast of the super simple chrome base.
Lot 933 - Paul Frankl Station Wagon Dresser, USA 1940s. Love the folky quality of the dresser, including the pull detail + legs
Lot 1128 - Pierre Guariche, pair of lounge chairs, France 1950s. What can i say about these bad boys? They look so rad, the shape of their angular lines, they look so hip. and loving the black leather and brass base.
Lot 775 - Paul Evans + Phil Powell coffee table, New Hope, PA, 1960s. The partnership of these two incredible minds has brought forth some of the most amazing designs the world of interiors has seen. Paul Evans metal mind combined with Philip Lloyd Powell's wood mind...it's too much to bear! Gilt iron base with a travertine inset in walnut top. love.
Lot 890 - Jean Royere Desk, France, 1954. Only Jean Royere can take rattan and bamboo, two materials generally reserved for tacky beach houses in jersey and florida, and turn it into the chicest desk, functional while standing on spindly beautiful legs. unarguably a classic.
Lot 665 - Carlo di Carli Ragno occasional table, Italian 1950s. Something vaguely betelgeuse-esque about this spidery table, but it's simple beauty radiates.
Lot 1016 - Karl Springer Cantilevered side table, USA 1970s. There's a few versions of this table out there, SUCH a heavy piece but truly beautiful in craftsmanship alone, let alone the incredible design.
have fun shopping!!!