Carlo Mollino - Important Design London Wednesday, March 20, 2019 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Casa del Sole, Cervinia, circa 1953

  • Literature

    Fulvio Ferrari, Carlo Mollino Cronaca, Turin, 1985, p. 137
    Irene de Guttry and Maria Paola Maino, Il mobile italiano degli anni '40 et '50, Bari, 1992, p. 215
    Luciano Bolzoni, 'La stazione fantasma', Domus, no. 889, February 2002, p. 22
    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, p. 205
    Fulvio Ferrari and Napoleone Ferrari, eds., Carlo Mollino Arabesques, exh. cat., Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Milan, 2007, p. 107
    Napoleone Ferrari, Mollino. Casa del Sole, Turin, 2007, pp. 75, 78, 84, 91, 93

  • Catalogue Essay

    The present lot is registered in the library of the Museo Casa Mollino, Turin, as number CM-430-20.

  • 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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Set of three side chairs, designed for the Casa del Sole, Cervinia

circa 1953
Oak, chestnut, brass.
Each: 92.6 x 37.5 x 45.5 cm (36 1/2 x 14 3/4 x 17 7/8 in.)
Executed by Ettore Canali, Brescia, Italy.

£60,000 - 80,000 

Sold for £75,000

Contact Specialist
Madalena Horta E Costa
Head of Sale
+44 20 7318 4019

Important Design

London Auction 21 March 2019