Alvar and I

Musings about vintage design furniture

Archive for April 2011

From our 50’s couch

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1. Charlotte Perriand: De la photographie au design, currently in Paris. How organic forms inspired the furniture of Perriand. Check the Wallpaper* gallery. Fascinating.

the model

its interpretation

2. Another Wallpaper* gallery treat, the Days exhibition at Pallant House Gallery.

3. Featured in this month edition of Dwell and elsewhere on the web sphere, the 23.2 house of Omer Arbel. Love the book shelf in the open living room.

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April 20, 2011 at 2:11 am

Fay meets Florence

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We watched Network last night. 1976 was a terrific year for US movies. Lumet knew how to film New York, and the first shots panning the MGM building midtown (one of the numerous buildings designed by Emery Roth & Sons)  show that he knew his modern architecture repertoire.

But the true reason for this post is that we could not help spotting the Knoll Partners desk in the corner office of the smart, unscrupulous and ambitious TV exec Diana Christensen. Cool and sleek: a good match. It does not harm the eye that Faye Dunaway is sitting on it.

Produced in mahogany, oak,  rosewood, teak and ebonized wood

The drawers are nicely concealed

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April 16, 2011 at 4:31 pm

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Chandigarh: The Auctioneer Replies

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Chandigarh’s treasures keep selling well. Several went several times above their estimate at the last Wright auction on 31 March (hammer price of $88,900 for the Pierre Jeanneret sofa below). Answering to the attempts by the government of India to have the items removed from the auction, and the controversy surrounding their sale, Wright has put a statement on their website.

The note is quite informative. According to Wright, and this is not really a surprise, the government of India just a few years back left the furniture decaying and sold it at local auctions. French dealers (we think Eric Touchaleaume is one of them) bought some of the furniture back and restored it. Wright also claim the moral high ground – a more dubious argument in our view – when arguing India did not take steps to recognize the furniture as art treasures, while collectors and auction houses actually support their preservation. The note does not say if there have been attempts by India to buy the furniture back at a fair price that would cover the costs incurred by those who salvaged the furniture.

The good faith of dealers does not seem in doubt, and the sellers may have the law on their side. You could argue the same of the Elgin marbles too, but is not the rightful place of the Jeanneret furniture in India rather than in the home of a billionaire?

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April 2, 2011 at 12:25 pm