Tag Archives: Mid-Century Modern

Peter’s Auction Picks of the Day: June 23rd

Let’s Face It

In Jerome Simon’s “Design in Time and Light” (Lot 321), the imposing brass base sprouts a lighter-than-air glowing circle that is the translucent face. Featured in the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), this piece resembles a 19th century telescope reconfigured into a modern timepiece. Its intricately automated mirrors split a beam of light into three glowing projections of minute, hour, and second – and is the movement of the second-hand” that gives the piece a subtle, constant orbit of light. This is a sculpture first, timepiece second – if Jack Bauer had only this to find out how long ’til  the bomb goes off, he would not be happy. But for everyone else, this is a dream in solid metal.

Lot 320, the Mid-Century Modern General Electric clock is another large, heavy object that finds a way to soar effortlessly. With its imposing industrial face delicately balanced by the sculptural wood a steel counterweight, this American sophisticate evokes the ring-a-ding-ding, chroma and mahogany corner of the jet age: feet on desk, third Scotch neat in hand, here is the clock to tell you it’s time to leave the office and start the real drinking. If only this dispensed cigarettes we’d have known what to get Don Draper for Father’s Day.

Lot Information:

Lot 320
Mid Century Modern

General Electric  designed circa 1960    
Retains General Electric label  
With stand 15.25″h x 13″ x 10.5″diameter  
Estimate $800 – 1,200
June 26, 2011 Modern Art & Design Auction

Lot 321
Jerome Simon  
Design in Time & Light    
designed 1981  
Conceptual lighted clock  
Retains a label verso  
14.5″h x 12″diameter x 9″d
Estimate $2,000 – 3,000 
June 26, 2011 Modern Art & Design Auction

Save the UCLA Faculty Center (1959)

The beautiful, mid-century UCLA Faculty Center is in danger of being torn down and we need your help!  Not only is the building itself in danger, but also the amazing landscape architecture and gardens surrounding it.

This garden view of the UCLA Faculty Center exhibits classic mid-century indoor-outdoor living, which captures framing views of 50-year-old pine trees.

To help save this mid-century monument please sign and leave comments on the Petition site.

For more images and history on the building visit the Save the Faculty Center


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.


Recap: May 23, 2010 Modern Art & Design Auction

Bringing together a selection of top quality material is a journey in itself, but actually seeing those items go up on the auction block for twenty seconds and find new homes is a whole other story.

The May 23, 2010 Modern Art & Design auction brought together a large assortment of 20th century material, each with a distinction, but all sharing one common theme: MODERN. Modern showed up in the forms of fine art, furniture, design, and decorative arts, ranging from Mid-Century, Early 20th century, California, Danish, and French design, to Contemporary, which made up the largest portion of the auction.

LAMA Showroom full of people for the May 23, 2010 auction

All the Warhols offered found buyers with a total realizing $216,518.75. Four pieces that stood out as surprises were the Francois-Xavier Lalanne Monkeys, doubling the low estimate of $100,000, realizing $199,062.50. Three other interesting lots that far exceeded their expectations were: Pipsan Saarinen Swanson Group of Outdoor Furniture realizing $14,700, Anna Katherine Skeele War Dance realizing $13,475, and Charles & Ray Eames “Hang-it-all” realizing $8,575.

The room was full of people, including Francois-Xavier Lalanne’s daughter, who was ecstatic to see her father’s pieces sell so successfully.

Francois-Xavier Lalanne's daughter holding up one of the monkeys

Overall the sale was a success, and we are thrilled with the results. To see the results, please click here. The online catalogue lists pieces that are unsold, which are still available for purchase (please call or email Shannon at 323-904-1950 or shannon@lamodern.com to make an offer).

Mid-Century Images from Elaine K. Sewell Jones’ Press Boxes

Went scouring through Elaine K. Sewell Jones’ press boxes. Found some amazing magazines and books with great mid-century imagery. Check it out! And this book and magazine will be for purchase in the upcoming May 23, 2010 Modern Art & Design Auction.

Mid-Century Lamp found in Arts & Architecture Magazine

After a long day we decided to take a break and flip through some Arts & Architecture magazines. Shannon was just perusing when she noticed an ad in the lower left hand corner of the page. In the October 1950 issue she found a Lam Workshop Inc. advertisement, which features four different designs that were available at the time. One of the designs is an item we are selling in the May 23, 2010 Modern Art & Design auction, the LL-130 Molded Fiberglass Lite-Table. We, however, cataloged it as just an ordinary lamp, but this isn’t just an ordinary lamp! This lamp is actually a table, which is fabulously illustrated in the ad. It was just luck that Shannon flipped to this page and noticed the ad. If she hadn’t noticed the ad, we probably wouldn’t have known that this lamp actually functioned as a table to light up glasses and bottles. Additionally, the ad states that these four designs were “specified for CS House 1950”, meaning these four designs were specifically built to be placed in the Case Study house built that year.

This table will be offered in the upcoming May 23, 2010 Auction and is estimated at $1,500 – 2,000.

Arts & Architecture October 1950

Lam Workshop Inc. Advertisement on page 20 of October 1950 issue

LL-130 Molded Fiberglass Lite-Table from Lam Workshop Inc.

LL-130 Molded Fiberglass Lite-Table from Lam Workshop Inc., To be offered in May 23, 2010 Auction, Estimate $1,500 - 2,000

The Business of Building Magazine (1955) from the A. Quincy Jones Collection

After more rummaging through the assortment of books from the A. Quincy Jones collection, I stumbled upon this interesting magazine called “The Business of Building”. This particular copy is the Research Village issue from 1955 and is stapled into sections that Elaine Jones put together for her press book of A. Quincy Jones’ post-war housing examples.  The cover shot oozes Mid-Century modern with the harmonious blocking of primary colors kicked with hints of orange. The featured article describes the benefits of using commercial materials to build homes that are both economical and aesthetically pleasing.  An A. Quincy Jones house serves as the example, showcasing the malleable nature of commercial material, which gave families the option to shift partitions to customize the layouts of their homes. The photographs of the interiors highlight the fluidity of the home through open passageways between the living, dining, and kitchen areas. The color blocking serves to define space, as well as the exposed joints and beams, which remove the feeling of “boxiness”.  Here are a few photos from the magazine.