Carlo Mollino - The Collector: Icons of Design New York Tuesday, December 16, 2014 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Società Reale Mutua di Assicurazioni, Turin
    Private collection, Turin
    Fulvio Ferrari, Turin
    Galerie Ulrich Fiedler, Cologne
    Acquired from the above by the present owner, 2003

  • Literature

    “Forme di mobile,” Domus, no. 238, September 1949, p. 12
    Roberto Aloi, Esempi di Arredamento Moderno di Tutto il Mondo, Studi Librerie Scrivanie, Milan, 1956, fig. 207
    Giovanni Brino, Carlo Mollino: Architettura come Autobiografia, Milan, 1985, pp. 110, 113
    Fulvio Ferrari, Carlo Mollino: Cronaca, exh. cat., Galleria Fulvio Ferrari, Turin, 1985, p. 102, figs. 161-62
    Roberto Gabetti and Fulvio Irace, Carlo Mollino 1905-1973, Turin, 1989, pp. 214, 215
    Rossella Colombari, Carlo Mollino Catalogo Dei Mobili – Furniture Catalogue, Milan, 2005, p. 57
    Fulvio Ferrari and Napoleone Ferrari, The Furniture of Carlo Mollino, New York, 2006, p. 144, fig. 242, p. 145, figs. 244-45
    Luca Cerizza, Carlo Mollino: Maniera Moderna, Germany, 2012, pp. 215, 217

  • Catalogue Essay

    The present lot is registered in the library of the Museo Casa Mollino, Turin, as number CM242-1.

    Phillips would like to thank Fulvio Ferrari and Napoleone Ferrari, Museo Casa Mollino, Turin, and Ulrich Fiedler, Berlin, 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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Table, designed for Società Reale Mutua di Assicurazioni, Turin

Nero Marquina marble, oak, brass.
30 1/8 x 46 3/8 x 31 in. (76.5 x 117.8 x 78.7 cm)
Produced by Apelli & Varesio, Italy.

$180,000 - 220,000 

Sold for $470,500

Contact Specialist
Alexander Payne
Worldwide Head of Design
+44 20 7318 4052

Alex Heminway
Director of Design
New York
+1 212 940 1268

The Collector: Icons of Design

New York Auction 16 December 2014 5pm