Carlo Mollino - Design New York Thursday, June 8, 2023 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Fulvio Ferrari, Turin
    Acquired from the above, circa 2000
    Private collection, New York
    Phillips, New York, "Design," June 6, 2017, lot 136
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Literature

    Fulvio Ferrari, Carlo Mollino: Cronaca, Turin, 1985, p. 138
    Rossella Colombari, Carlo Mollino: Catalogo dei Mobili – Furniture Catalogue, Milan, 2005, p. 54
    Fulvio Ferrari and Napoleone Ferrari, The Furniture of Carlo Mollino, New York, 2006, pp. 207, 230
    Fulvio Ferrari and Napoleone Ferrari, eds., Carlo Mollino: Arabesques, Milan, 2007, p. 107
    Napoleone Ferrari, Mollino. Casa del Sole, Turin, 2007, pp. 77, 86-89

  • Catalogue Essay

    The present lot is registered in the library of the Museo Casa Mollino, Turin, as numbers CM 434-3 and CM 434-4.

    Phillips would like to thank Fulvio Ferrari and Napoleone Ferrari from the Museo Casa Mollino for their assistance cataloguing the present lot.

  • 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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Property from an Important French Collection


Bunk bed, from the Casa del Sole, Cervinia

circa 1953
Oak, Formica-covered oak, brass.
As shown: 80 1/2 x 81 3/4 x 61 1/2 in. (204.5 x 207.6 x 156.2 cm)
Executed by Ettore Canali, Brescia, Italy.

$10,000 - 15,000 

Sold for $30,480

Contact Specialist

Benjamin Green
Associate Specialist
Associate Head of Sale
+1 917 207 9090


New York Auction 8 June 2023