Snake Auction Observer 056—all-time Pesce, Sottsass, a god-tier bed, uber rare Haller
Late night: A table I've never seen, lots of Italian fire, deals on chairs, tables and more
Snake is a weekly newsletter covering severe deals and knowledge, mostly in furniture. For a representative sample, click here for the most recent auction rundown, and here for the most recent designer rundown.
The other week I turned on payments for this newsletter, and send out a bunch of posts. For more information about this:
To subscribe, click here:
SNAKE is a reader-supported publication. To receive regular information about furniture and design, consider become a paid subscriber.
This week—a severe amount of deals and inspirational items, including the best Gaetano Pesce lamp I think he’s done, an all-time sofa (his too), a severe deal on Thonet chairs in NYC, a queen-sized bed with severe design (ape crap), multiple Sottsass items (one for under $100) and a suite of well-designed items from Wright, including an ape-crap Haller table (yellow, with wheels), Aulenti lamps… many shipping from Chicago, many of which are undervalued, including the best plastic chairs ever made… there is no greater value in design than in subscribing to Snake.
Can any of my readers who are in Paris right now go to Centre des Recollets (10e) on Tuesday night and take a photo of the portrait of me that they’re projecting on the side of the building? It will be on display as well. Due to work commitments in New York (where I live) I cannot attend. (Merci, ils font un spectacle/celebration pour l’anniversaire 20e du centre et ils ont pris mon photo… j’adore vivre la-bas, il a changé ma vie) In the photo I stand in my apartment, by my desk.
Texas Longhorns 5-0,
Ferrari closing in on second in the Constructors.
I watched the Queen Mary II yacht take off at midnight on Friday in Red Hook like a bat out of hell, for much of its debarkment it was getting figure 8 chase’d by a small little police boat. According to my sources it is now near Halifax.
I have seen this meme:
and it implies what we already know: phone photos are only real if they are of illegal activity, birds, someone you love or eBay auctions to be attended to later. Not chairs.
Rietveld Steltman chair, NYC, ends Wed.: One of the best examples of late style ever, one of the best pieces of design, and in the short list of top 10 chairs ever made… yes. This one’s produced by Gerrit Rietveld (who on some days is the best to ever do it) at age 75, way into old age, for Steltman, a jewelry shop in The Hague (insane name for a city). It was his last chair. His others were ahead of their time, this one is apart from it… and apart from everything else. Famously different from every angle, it’s also very palatable; it is not so much difficult, or challenging… it’s just very full… and different. There’s a similarity to his earlier work, of course… but why compare? It’s more… very distilled, and optimistic and different. That’s late style for sure (and the Raw Deal demo also). One wonders why furniture lags behind architecture here—the story here is architects only get good when in their 80s—hard to say. Maybe it’s like film directing where one day someone doesn’t pay for you to make your next chair. I wouldn’t know. Up and down price history, one pair sold for $400 recently; others go for more. This one is asking for more than that but it has a richer and more exciting grain. Part of an otherwise disappointing auction, but for a Stork Club ashtray and this virgin wood ladder. $850
Wright auction extravaganza, Chicago, listing Tuesday: Another strong auction by Wright, house out of Chicago, which is once again hustling together a dozen or so very important, very loud items side by side. An advantage to this type of auction—premium house, glut of good crap—is that there can sometimes be too much good stuff for items to end at their price. (Even barons of industry have interior design budgets.) I’ll list out the best ones here, but the highlight for me is this R.C. Coquery—R for René—lounge chair with a dilapidated/depressed/praying ottoman. I’ve not seen something like it before; with the collapsing mantis ottoman it is more than a design choice but a criticism… a movement. These chairs sold a couple times—$400 for a pair and $3,800—and this particular one beats each of those on color; neither of them has the ottoman either, which is the point of the chair. $1,900; other items of note:
Two Paulin little tulip chairs, $900 (they run twice since they’re ‘60s Artifort)
Sottsass Danau dining room table (50” long!; rare), $1,500 (never seen this before; never auctioned… a perfect table)
Wendell Castle molar chair (red), $600 (dissimilar one at R&M HQ) | and…