Category Archives: Auction Highlights

LAMA auction results and noteworthy occurrences

LAMA Realizes Highest Grossing Auction to Date

LAMA is happy to announce that our December 11, 2011 Important Modern Art & Design auction set new records for the company. Not only did we have our highest grossing sale at $2.88 million, LAMA also had the highest registered attendance in our history. In addition, LAMA set auction records for:

Isamu Noguchi’s Chess Table (Lot 280) was estimated at $30,000 – 50,000 and went on to realize $187,500–nearly five times its high estimate.

Robert Rauschenberg’s Sling Shots Lit #6 (Lot 60 est. $30,000 – 50,000) realized $68,750, the highest price ever achieved for any work in this series by the artist. As a bonus, since the work was sold to a local collector, it will remain in Los Angeles.

With so much quality material on the market, LAMA was able to curate a particularly outstanding collection of works by the iconic modern artists and designers for whom LAMA is best known, which in turn yielded these auction highlights:

  • John Chamberlain Untitled, 1962 (Lot 194 est. $150,000-200,000) brought $275,000
  • Gertrud & Otto Natzler Monumental Vase (Lot 257 est. $100,000 – 150,000) fetched $93,750
  • Dale Chihuly Gilded Opal and Deep Garnet Chandelier (Lot 120 est. $40,000 – 60,000) brought $84,375
  • A rare Jean Prouve “Antony” chair (Lot 111 est. $15,000 – 20,000) exceeded the estimate and brought $47,500
  • Charles & Ray Eames Custom dowel leg coffee table (Lot 268 est. $20,000 – 30,000) realized $32,500
  • Pablo Picasso Little Bust of Woman (Lot 112 est. $18,000 – 25,000) totaled $28,750
  • Tim Hawkinson Untitled (Double Flags) (Lot 201 est. $6,000 – 8,000) realized $25,000

Works by local artists such as Ed Ruscha, John Baldessari, and Julius Shulman also found strong prices, most of which exceeded their pre-sale estimates:

  • Ed Ruscha’s Carp with Fly (Lot 164 est. $9,000 – 12,000), which realized $15,000
  • John Baldessari’s Stonehenge (Lot 65 est. 6,000 – 8,000) went above estimate bringing $12,500
  • Julius Shulman’s Case Study House #22, (Lot 133 est. $3,000 – 5,000), saw fierce competition and brought $11,875.

Museum quality pieces have enabled LAMA to expand from its traditional base of individual buyers. We are now able to attract interest from institutions and public collections as well, creating strong competition for stellar examples of design, including:

  • Herbert von Thaden Highback chair (Lot 285 est. $5,000 – 7,000) realized $15,000
  • The “Partio” from the estate of Dwight D. Eisenhower (Lot 351 est. $5,000 – 7,000) reached $20,000
  • La Gardo Tackett pair of planters (Lot 137 est. $3,000 – 5,000) went beyond estimate bringing $14,375
  • Gaetano Pesce Sansone I table (Lot 237 est. $30,000 – 50,000) brought $37,500
  • Shiro Kuramata Glass armchair (Lot 248 est. $30,000 – 50,000) fetched $37,500

You too can be part of the LAMA auction experience. Contact Shannon Loughrey,, for a free, confidential market evaluation of your works to be included in the upcoming spring 2012 auction.

All Aboard!

LAMA has been busy cataloguing the over 300 works of art from Mr. Richard Dorso to be offered in our October 9th auction.

We came across this work and thought it was appropriate for the lucky travelers about to embark on their summer vacation.

Roy Lichtenstein Shipboard Girl 1965

Roy Lichtenstein
Shipboard Girl

Offset lithograph in red, blue, yellow and black
Signed lower right; unnumbered edition
Published by Leo Castelli Gallery, New York
Catalogue raisonne # 12
Estimated at $15,000-20,000

Roy Lichtenstein: Drawings and Prints
, Waldman, Chelsea House Publishers, New York, 1969, pg 221

Peter’s Post-Auction Picks: Top 5 Bargains for the Budget Shopper

As a follow-up to Top 5 Unsold Investment Lots, today Peter goes over unsold lots that are all priced under $700.

#5 //

Lot 428
Modern decorator acrylic desk

Great desk or dining table, or both, especially for the small apartment.
(Buy it now price: $400)

#4 //

Lot 407
American Modern
lacquered coffee table

Everyone will be fighting for this look in a few years. Be ahead of the pack.
(Buy it now price: $200)

#3 //

Lot 361
Danish Modern teak coffee table

A great functional coffee table will work perfectly in modern or traditional spaces.
(Buy it now price: $500)

#2 //

Lot 320
General Electric clock

A beautiful clock on a high quality custom base, carpe momento!
(Buy it now price: $625)

#1 //

Lot 65
Herbert Matter Self Portrait

A great photo-surrealist work for about the cost of a frame.
(Buy it now price: $625)

For a full list of unsold lots, please visit the LAMA Homepage.
See something you like? Email to make an offer.

Lot Information:

Lot 65
Herbert Matter
Untitled (Self Portrait)
Vintage Silver Gelatin print
Image 9.25″ x 7.5″; Frame 21″ x 17″

Lot 320
Mid Century Modern Clock
General Electric
designed circa 1960
Retains General Electric label
with stand 15.25″h x 13″ x 10.5″diameter

Lot 361
Danish Modern
Coffee table
Manufacturer unknown
designed circa 1960
16″h x 59″ x 20.25″

Lot 407
American Modern
Coffee table
Manufacturer unknown
designed circa 1970
17.5″h x 34″ x 34″

Lot 428
Modern Decorator
Manufacturer unknown
designed circa 1970
Acrylic with glass top   30″h x 66″w x 36″d

Peter’s Post-Auction Picks: Top 5 Unsold Investment Lots

The June 26, 2011 Modern Art  & Design auction had a high sell-through rate of 75%, but some may wonder, “what happens to the other 25% that did not sell?”  Well, we sell these unsold lots post-auction, meaning you can beat the competition and purchase these pieces NOW.  These unsold lots are not to be taken lightly – some key works slipped through the cracks in Sunday’s auction. Peter Loughrey, Director of LAMA, picks his top five unsold investment pieces that are ready, waiting, and available for purchase. Better than money in the bank, these five pieces will definitely go up in value:

#5 //

Lot 305
Rufino Tamayo
La Coqueta

A rare opportunity to get this pristine example (which happens to be in a stunning frame) for the lowest price in 10 years.  Ready to hang on your wall today.  (Buy it now price:  $3,125)

#4 //

Lot 214
Paul Soldner
Untitled sculpture
 from 1962

We’ll be hearing a lot more about Soldner in the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time initiative this fall. This is one of the best works by the artist (measuring over 50 inches high). Always buy the best!  (Buy it now price:  $6,250)

#3 //

Lot 184
Sam Maloof
Armchair Lounge

executed 1967

Maloof’s prices are way down. Buy this stellar piece at the bottom of the market – from here the only way is up. (Buy it now price:  $6,000)

#2 //

Lot 77
Michele Cascella
Yellow Shrubs in California

Most recent auction results suggest this will be valued at 2-3 times this amount in Italian auctions.  Two words: easy money.  (Buy it now price:  $12,500)

#1 //

Lot 58
Hiroshi Sugimoto
Brooklyn Bridge

One of Sugimoto’s rarest images from an edition of 25. Not a single print from this edition has ever been sold at auction.  (Buy it now price: $37,500)

See something you like?
Email to make an offer.  For a full list of unsold lots please visit the LAMA Homepage.

Lot Information:

Lot 58
Hiroshi Sugimoto  
Brooklyn Bridge    
#2 of 25  
Silver Gelatin print  
Embossed edition lower right  
Image 23″ x 18.5″; Frame 33.5″ x 28.5″  

Lot 77
Michele Cascella  
Yellow Shrubs in California      
Oil on canvas  
Signed lower right  
Image 29.25″ x 49.25″; Frame 39.25″ x 58.5″    
Provenance: F. Hugh and Mary Herbert, Bel Air

Lot 184
Sam Maloof  
Armchair lounge  
Studio  executed 1967  
Retains branded signature and dated “1/67”  35″h x 27″w x 27″d    
Provenance: Commissioned directly from Sam Maloof 1964-69; thence by descent 

Lot 214
Paul Soldner  
Studio  circa 1962  
Wheel-thrown and assembled stoneware sculpture  
Signed  51″h    
Provenance: Private Collection, California (gift from the artist circa 1965) 

Lot 305
Rufino Tamayo  
La Coqueta    
#27 of 110  
Signed lower right; edition lower left; retains Kyron and Benavente – Kelly blind stamps  
Sheet 43.75″ x 31.5″; Frame 48″ x 35.75″    
Provenance: Dyansen gallery, New Orleans; Private Collection, Beverly Hills (acquired from above, February 18, 1991) 

June 26, 2011 Modern Art & Design Auction Results

Another Successful Sale!

Yesterday, LAMA furthered its reputation as the auction house of choice for important 20th century works.  Never before have we seen assembled in one room original works by Calder, Rauschenberg, Botello, Anuszkiewicz and Appel. Visitors were greeted at the door by Avery’s Pot Vendor and Chann’s Clusters of Memories, and as they walked inside, they were treated to a gallery that rivaled any modern museum exhibit in the country.

LAMA has become a resource for original works from their original owners. Bidders were privy to an abundance of fresh estate material unseen on the market since their first unveiling. This unique opportunity attracted a global audience–art enthusiasts from cities as far away as London, Paris, Sydney, Seoul and Singapore engaged in spirited competition for their favorite items. Over 200 people came in person and thousands of people followed the auction online.

Original paintings and sculpture by top-tier artists helped the auction achieve a sell rate of 70.2% by lot and 71.5% by value.  Top lots included the  Alexander Calder Butterfly and Spiral which went way over the estimate, bringing $75,000 as well as the Angel Botello Untitled (No. 1781) and Untitled (No. 1919) which combined totaled $90,000, along with the Richard Anuszkiewicz Gilt Order, which brought in $40,625.

In addition the original works LAMA continued its tradition of rare and important lithographs by Lichtenstein, Hockney and Warhol in addition to unique design and decorative objects.    The one-of-a kind Paul Laszlo Decorated Screen, which realized $32,500 was an attraction in its own right.  A very early and rare Eames child chair fetched $13,750, while the  Peter Muller-Munk hammered bowl, expertly wrought by hand, achieved $26,250.  Meanwhile the  Sam Maloof collection of early designs totaled $53,750,   George Nelson’s “CSS” Unit brought $15,000, and  Dieter Ram’s Stereo blew away everyone in the room by selling for an extraordinarily “groovy” $13,750.

By the end of the day, eyes full of wonder, bellies full of tasty Calbi tacos, LAMA’s attendees left happily with their treasures. 

 Peter Loughrey, Director:

“In a few short years, LAMA has transitioned from selling modern design to selling prints and multiples, and now to selling paintings by blue-chip artists.  Once again, our results prove that you do not have to send Modern Art to New York or London to get the top price.”

LAMA’s Largest Sale, Ever.

We broke many records in yesterday’s Modern Art & Design Auction.

Highest grossing sale : $2,256,323
Highest sell through rate since 2005: 82%

Fresh material from local estates with attractive estimates led to record attendance in the room, as well as on the phones, absentee and internet bidding.

Custom designs by Ettore Sottass for the late Max Palevsky were sold on Sunday at the LAMA Modern Art & Design auction in Van Nuys, CA, totaling $333,813. Record prices were achieved for several unique works designed by Ettore Sottsass, including a marble console (Lot 55 est. $10,000 – 15,000), which realized $75,000; a sevres porcelain vase (Lot 70 est. $1,000 – 1,500) brought $31,250; and a pair of marble end tables (Lot 84 and 85 est. $2,400 – 3,000) together realized $25,000.

Sottsass designs from other owners included a group of three candlesticks (Lot 78 est. $1,500 – 2,000) realized $14,375, a pair of “Eastside” lounge chairs (Lot 83 est. $2,500- 3,500) realized $3,750, and a Sinus lamp with box (Lot 76 est. $1,000 – 1,500) brought $3,600.

The star lot, Reg Butler  The Unknown Political Prisoner Maquette, soared to $125,000 after an intense bidding battle. The price sets a new world record for the artist. This important British sculpture turned up unexpectedly in a local collection this year, after remaining in private hands since 1963.

Fine art from the Collection of James Byrnes, the first curator of Modern Art at LACMA dating back to the mid 1940s, found very strong competition with 50 lots bringing $171,313.  Highlights included a rare Harry Bertoia brooch (Lot 220 est. $5,000 – 7,000), which brought almost $22,000; an original Calder work on paper (Lot 25 est. $15,000 – 20,000) realized $25,000; and an Ynez Johnston (Lot 332 est. $2,000 – 3,000) realized $10,938. All of the works from this collection received heavy pre-sale attention due to Byrnes’ relationship with each of the artists. Nearly all of the works were acquired directly from the artists, which created desirable provenance.

There are still lots that are unsold. Check out the unsold lots list, which is being updated frequently, on the homepage of the LAMA website:  If there is something that you like, email us and make an offer.


We cannot believe it. The auction is today.

Make sure you come to the LAMA Showroom (16145  Hart St. Van Nuys, Ca 91406) to see all the lots go on the auction block.

To watch the auction live online, go to and click on the big red box that says “Live Auction Now”.

Good luck to all the bidders!


Recap October 17th Auction: Unsold Lots

After selling about 70% of the 509 lots offered in the October 17th Modern Art & Design Auction, most people ask us, “What happens to the other 30% of the lots that did not sell?”

Well, we offer them at reserve plus the buyer’s premium, so there’s no competing with other bidders. Therefore, you can get these pieces at the lowest prices possible, now!

Check out a selection of unsold lots featured on Los Angles Times L.A. at Home.

For inquires regarding unsold lots, please contact Shannon, or call 323-904-1950. For a print version of the complete list of unsold lots click here.

Auction Recap: October 17, 2010 Modern Art & Design Auction

The auction was a big success.
There were more people in the room than ever before. Over 250 registered bidders competed for furniture and fine art, for over 5 consecutive hours on Sunday. Extra staff were needed to handle all of the phone bids, with as many as up to 12 people on certain lots bidding on the telephone.
Buyers were happy with the prices for furniture, which is still selling for below the highs of 2008, while consignors came away better selling art, which has made up most of the losses since the same period.

It was not hard to keep hundreds of people in their seats for the 5 hour stretch because complimentary lunch was catered by Border Grill and an open bar was also a hit (when is it not!).

Including post-auction sales the total is nearing 1.6 million (check out items that are still for sale, click here).

More details (including lot highlights) to come later this week.
Go to the LAMA website for prices realized and available lots. Email Shannon ( to make post-auction offers.

LAMA Brings World Record Price for Lalanne Monkeys

Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA) announces Francois-Xavier Lalanne Singes Attentifs SI & SII, sold for a record price of $199,062.50 (est. $100,000 – 125,000) and was the top lot in the May 23, 2010 Modern Art & Design Auction.

For more on the monkeys check out Peter’s interview with the LATimes here!