Tag Archives: LAMA’s 50th Auction

LAMA’s 50th Auction Preview Is Now Open!

The LAMA Showroom never looked better. Over 500 lots of incredible furniture, fine art and decorative objects are beautifully arranged for your viewing pleasure. Come by the LAMA Showroom (16145 Hart St. Van Nuys, CA 91406) to see the lots in person before they hit the auction block. The preview goes through Saturday, October 16th and is open everyday from 10am – 6pm.

The Process: Eames Contract Storage

After removing the Eames Contract Storage from its original home in Brentwood, CA, we have now put it back together in the LAMA Showroom lobby.  From start to finish it took 7 hours to complete. Come by the preview (beings tomorrow, hours: 10am – 6pm) to get the full ECS experience.

October 17, 2010 Modern Art & Design Auction, 12pm Noon (PST)
Preview Hours: October 9th – 16th; open daily 10am – 6pm
Location: 16145 Hart St, Van Nuys, CA 91406

LAMA, Hans Wegner, and The Mid-Century Modernist

Check out Peter’s interview on The Mid-Century Modernist! Expert commentary regarding the designs of Hans J. Wegner in the October 17, 2010 Modern Art & Design Auction.


Eames Contract Storage

On the way to the Brentwood home where this Eames Contract Storage Unit resided, I was thinking of the ways I could graduate from modern art neophyte to at least an amateur status.

I had only been living in California for two weeks when I was hired to work as an assistant to help remove and transport modern art and furniture.  By confessing my blue-collar dream job of becoming a moving man, I had landed myself some temporary work.  For a strange and unknown reason, I find that moving furniture is just as relaxing as sitting on it.  And really, it couldn’t be any harder than moving my very un-modern green and black sofa bed out of a Baltimore City basement, right?

I was smart enough and scared enough to know, without being told, that I couldn’t bump furniture into the walls.  There would also be no forcing, wiggling, pushing, or slamming anything through a door frame.  There would be a new set of rules to accompany these delicate objects.

Upon entering the home, I was confronted with an array of stunning artwork, the most I had seen outside of museums or the LAMA warehouse.  As I surveyed the living room and dining room, I realized that we would probably be removing more of this artwork than I had originally thought.  Peter taught me how to shrink-wrap paintings in moving blankets and once he trusted me enough to complete them on my own, he ventured down the hallway.  I became curious to see Peter’s primary reason for this voyage.

The simple yet inviting bedroom – shadowy carpet, smooth wood, single bed, and a wide view of the verdant backyard – pleaded for a student.  It wished for books scattered on the floor, photos and a calendar posted on the tack board, and a record player in the corner.  Perhaps feeling the room’s eagerness, I ached to lie on the bed with a pencil and a literature anthology.  The bed was attached to the desk, which was attached to the cabinets and drawers, which were attached to the wall.  It looked as though the unit belonged to the wall, as if it was essential to the house’s frame.  I wanted to interact with it, draw at the desk and hang my clothing in the closets; sadly though, my job was to break it down and haul it away.

Post removal, I had graduated, but the room was naked, missing the integral, straightforward, and efficient Eames design.

- Paul DesMarais, Contributing Writer

Lot Information:

Lot 306
Charles & Ray Eames
Storage Unit
Model no. ECS
Herman Miller, designed 1961
This example was the showroom model (as constructed by the Eames Office) at The Herman Miller Showroom in Los Angeles
78”h x 159”l x 24”d (84” with bed)
October 17, 2010 Auction

This complete Eames Contract Storage will be going up for auction on Sunday, October 17, 2010. For more information on how to bid, please visit the LAMA online catalogue.

Diego Giacometti Table & Interior Designer Paul Leonard

In 1981, Architectural Digest ran a cover story illustrating interior designer Paul Leonard’s Connecticut home. On the cover, nestled in the corner of the living room, sits the Alberto Giacometti bronze lamp atop a wooden table. In Leonard’s master bedroom rests Diego Giacametti’s Pedestal Table with Harpies, a curious addition to his rustic home. For over 40 years, Paul Leonard was the exclusive personal interior decorator for famous philanthropists Rachel and Paul Mellon. In addition to decorating the Mellons’ various houses located in Manhattan, Massachusetts, and Antigua, Leonard custom decorated special events for the Mellons, including a luncheon for the Prince and Princess of Wales. As Leonard’s reputation spread, he was commissioned by Jacqueline Kennedy to create Christmas trees for the White House as well as decorate the Onassis house on the island of Skorpios[1]. Leonard acquired the following Giacometti pieces during his 40 years with the Mellons. This table and other designs by Diego were only available for purchase through special order or arrangement while Diego was alive.

Lot Information:

Lot 407
Diego Giacometti
Pedestal table with Harpies
Studio, first designed in 1955 for Cecil Beaton.
This example cast before 1981
17”h x 20”diameter
October 17, 2010 Auction

Lot 410
Alberto Giacometti
Trepied a L’etoile
Studio, designed 1937 for Jean-Michel Frank; this example cast before 1981
24”h to top of finial
This example is illustrated on the cover of the August 1981 Architectural Digest featuring the Roxbury, CT home of Paul Leonard.
October 17, 2010 Auction

For more information on how to bid, please visit the LAMA online catalogue.

Paul DesMarais, Contributing Writer

[1] Owens, Mitchell. “Paul Leonard Dies at 70; Decorated Famed Interiors.” Newyorktimes.com. New York Times, 3 Nov. 2002. Web. 3 Sept. 2010.

Kelvin and Philip LaVerne Coffee Tables

Father and son collaborators, the LaVerne’s, developed a system of casting bronze in thin low-relief sheets, which were used to assemble tables and other decorative designs. Their studio may have been on the east coast, but their works were available through upper-market decorators and retailers nationwide.

Shown here are two example of their coffee tables.

Most of their designs incorporated classical pastoral scenes, some with a distinct Asian influence.  Others had abstract designs and a few were done with religious overtones from the Old Testament.

The Laverne’s work is collectible not only for its decoration, but also for the unusually high level of execution.  Each piece over time can develop a richer and more interesting patina based in its environment.

Lot Information

Lot 37
Kelvin & Philip LaVerne
Coffee table
Philip LaVerne Collection Co.,
designed circa 1960
Signed in image recto
15.5”h x 54”l x 24”d
Estimate $3,000-5,000

Lot 268
Kelvin & Philip LaVerne
Coffee table
Philip LaVerne Collection Co.
designed circa 1960
Signed in image recto; retains label verso
17”h x 47.25” x 47.25”
Estimate $7,000-9,000

For more information on how to bid on these lots please click here.

Millard Sheets Furniture

Millard Sheets, one of the founding members of the “California Scene Painters,” is well-known for his murals and paintings.  However, Sheets became heavily involved in modern design and architecture when he founded Millard Sheets Designs Company in 1953.  His staff, which included architects, engineers, artists, and draftsmen, completed many projects for private residencies, banks, and government offices1.  In the late 1950s, his company designed the Scottish Rite Memorial Temple, located on Wilshire and Lucerne in Los Angeles.  Sheets himself designed many aspects of the temple, most notably the theatre and an external mosaic depicting the history of temple building.  The following two lots were designed for the temple and kindly authenticated by Tony Sheets, son of the artist.

1:“Millard Sheets Biography.” California Watercolor. Californiawatercolor.com, 2010. Web. 6 September 2010.

- Paul DesMarais, Contributing Writer

Lot Information:

Lot 440
Millard Sheets, Console, Studio, executed circa 1961 for the Scottish Rite Temple, Walnut with inlaid mosaic glass tiles, 33.25″h x 84″ x 17.75″
Estimate $8,000 – 12,000

Lot 441
Millard Sheets, Pair of Tables, Studio, executed circa 1961 for the Scottish Rite Temple, Tavertine with Oak base, 16.5″h x 38″ diameter
Estimate $5,000 – 7,000

For more information on the October 17, 2010 Modern Art & Design Auction please visit the online catalogue.

50th Auction Catalogues Are Here!


And we are busy preparing them for mailing.

272 pages of great Modern Design & Fine Art (with a special 50th auction surprise inside!)

Order your catalogue today.

The auction is Sunday, October 17th.

50 days till LAMA’s 50th Auction!

The countdown is evidence of our excitement for the October 17, 2010 Modern Art & Design Auction! Only 50 days till we get to see some of the best modern material on the market hit the auction block. A great example of what’s to come (just in under the wire) is this Diego Rivera watercolor.

Now it’s time to focus on the catalog…

Diego Rivera
Stone Cutter
Watercolor on paper
15″ x 11.8″
$30,000 – 40,000
To be offered in October 17, 2010 Auction