Carlo Mollino - Design & Design Art New York Thursday, December 13, 2007 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Private Collection, Germany

  • Literature

    Fulvio Ferrari, Carlo Mollino Cronaca, Turin, 1985, p. 137, fig. 228 for the table and fig. 229 for the chairs; Giovanni Brino, Carlo Mollino: Architecture as Autobiography, Milan, 1987, p. 139 for the table; Albrecht Bangert, Italian Furniture Design: Ideas Styles Movements, Munich, 1988, p. 124 for the table; Fulvio Ferrari and Napoleone Ferrari, The Furniture of Carlo Mollino, New York, 2006, pp. 204-205, figs. 426 and 430 for the chairs and p. 206, fig. 432 and p. 230 for the table

  • Catalogue Essay

    Approximately 25 tables of this size and 150 chairs of this design were produced for the Ristorante Pavia at the Casa del Sole Apartments.

  • Artist Biography

    Carlo Mollino

    Italian • 1905 - 1973

    Carlo Mollino made sexy furniture. His style may have grown out of the whiplash curves of Art Nouveau, but the sinuous lines of his furniture were more humanoid than vegetal, evoking arched backs and other body parts. Mollino was also an avid aviator, skier and racecar driver — he designed his own car for Le Mans. His love of speed and danger comes across in his designs, which MoMA curator Paola Antonelli has described as having "frisson."

    Mollino had no interest in industrial design and the attendant constraints of material costs and packaging. His independent wealth allowed him to pick and choose projects, resulting in an oeuvre of unique, often site-specific works that were mostly executed by the Turin joinery firm Apelli & Varesio. Apart from a coffee table that he designed in 1950 for the American company Singer & Sons, his furniture never went into production. Notwithstanding the support of Gio Ponti, Mollino's design contemporaries largely dismissed him as an eccentric outsider. However, the combination of scarcity (Mollino only made several hundred works in his lifetime), exquisite craftsmanship and idiosyncratic "frisson" has rightly placed Carlo Mollino in the highest tier of twentieth-century design collecting.

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Table and four side chairs, from the Casa del Sole Apartments, Cervinia, Italy

ca. 1954
Table: oak; each chair: oak, brass.
Table: 31 3/8 x 31 1/4 x 31 1/4 in. (79.7 x 79.4 x 79.4 cm); each chair: 36 3/4 in. (93.3 cm)high
Produced by Apelli & Varesio, Italy (5).

$100,000 - 150,000 

Sold for $193,000

Design & Design Art

13 Dec 2007, 2pm
New York