Carlo Mollino - Design / Design Art New York Thursday, December 14, 2006 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Franca and Guglielmo Minola; thence by descent; Lot 171, Phillips de Pury & Company, New York, December 12, 2001

  • Literature

    Fulvio Ferrari, Carlo Mollino Cronaca, Turin, 1985, pls. 153-160 for views of Casa Minola; Giovanni Brino, Carlo Mollino, Munich, 1987, pp. 101-103 for views of Casa Minola; Charlotte and Peter Fiell, eds., Domus Vol. II, 1940-1949, Cologne, 2006, pp. 444-447 for views of the interior

  • Catalogue Essay

    The Franca and Guglielmo Minola interior (Casa Minola, M2) was in many ways similar to that of Guglielmo's brother Cesare's (Casa Minola, M1), which was built one year earlier and in the same building. In comparison, however, the M2 interior was a more fluid space giving an impression of simplicity. This effect was difficult to achieve but every element evolved to create a spacial harmony. The present lot, which is unique as it was especially made for the master bedroom at Casa Minola, M2, was inspired by the family’s existing antiques collection.

  • 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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Unique and rare bed, from Casa Minola, M2, Turin, Italy

Painted, gilt and gessoed wood, silk.
46 x 80 1/2 x 74 in. (116.8 x 204.5 x 188 cm)

$25,000 - 35,000 

Sold for $19,200

Design / Design Art

14 Dec 2006, 2pm
New York