Late Nite Snake Auction Observer 062: severe severe Kartell deals, Sottsass, the best caned wood outside Breuer, a perfect underrated lamp
Underpriced plastic lots, an unknown '30s wood chair, the difference between great and historic lamps
Insane week of auctions—lots of stock, much more than can be highlighted—many deals, some canon for fair prices. Reminder to register for auctions the second you click. More info on how to bid here, but first, housekeeping:
Loyal readers may notice this Observer has skipped a couple numbers, following 59 with 62. This is because I misnumbered some issues the past month. This one, correctly, is 62,—not 60. This jump does not mean there are missed issues; numbers are correct in the newsletter archive.
I released the first episode of this newsletter’s RADIO SHOW today. It’s here, and covers the subject matter in the description:
I certainly have formed an opinion about Ferrari’s slide into disgrace. But what do readers think? Well:
Dude, my leg workout was so insane today that I couldn’t think for four hours. I am on a “tendon strength” program. It is changing my life. Enquire within if you want to dance with the dragon. I’m training fools lately.
Is BCD Tofu House the best restaurant in New York? I think it is.
Münzebrock lounge, Chi, Tues.: A rare chaise lounge not from Knoll but from Walter Knoll (his Kraut dad who never left), released in 1970 and designed by Bernd Münzebrock, who did some work there (starting in ‘70, so he probably finished this up week 1) before leaving to design on his own…. his body of work that is available is mostly chairs that are very similar to this one—minimal, recliners, office-adjacent, almost always black. This one… is excellent, deeply loud, and flat-ridged like the De Sede 85 soda I linked to a couple weeks ago, which is a great design decision: sleek but very noticeable. These models run around $2 large, but they don’t sell often, and never in black, historically. Part of what is is a quite up the middle (Wegner, Noguchi, Gehry, etc) but nonetheless very, very plentiful auction, with a few left-of-center items described below and highlighted in QHs. Worth skimming outright. If you spend $7 large on this auction you could be good for 2 decades. $750
Frattini Sesann coffee table, Chi, Tues.: Giancarlo Frattini’s (the king of stacking stools) Sesann sofa is a staple, an obvious work of genius, a perfect, luxe almost Gallic sofa that’s too elegant and luxe by half… it’s best displayed in organic colors—brown, tan—and has those soft French edges and a tiny amount of exposed steel. (Is it steel?) And so it’s both curious—haven’t seen this one before—that the matching table has such a more direct relationship with that accent… and a more difficult aesthetic. This thing’s all metal, and so the link back to the sofa is… subtle… which works. In the real world, though, it shakes out closer to Joe Colombo’s (goated) card table. Which is nice… I have a theory that nothing needs to match or be similar, anyways. These tables list annually and never sell, only pass. A disgrace to design, a confirmation we are living—STILL—in the absolute dark ages of design… unreal. Reader make me proud, someone buy this at $250
Martinelli floor lamp, Chi, Tues.: The difference between all-time and just very good design pieces is certainly not universal, and can’t be explained in a couple words, but for lamps it can. It’s not that complicated; it’s just a couple of things: