Price For Max Palevsky's House Drops, Items From His Estate Go On Sale
Last July we chronicled the listing of late Intel founder Max Palevsky's home on Sea Lane in Malibu. Back then that house was listed at $55 million but it now carries a price of $45 million. Last July we mentioned that the home was designed by architect Joe Weiser in 1975 and renovated by Italian designer Ettore Sottsass in 1984. Most of the time when a luxury home goes up for auction we don't always know where the furnishings go but in this case we know where some of the ended up and I got to see some of them hands on recently at Los Angeles Modern Auctions where they will be part of a sale of Modern Art and Design on March 6.
Peter Loughrey, Director of LAMA, gave a preview of items that will be part of the upcoming sale. The pieces from the estate of Max Palevsky are all being sold without reserve and include a number of Ettore Sottsass custom designs. Shown above is one the the massive Ettore Sottsass bedframes custom designed for Max Palevsky's Malibu home. This master bedroom frame dates back to 1984 and is composed of partially gilt burled wood. It carries an estimate of $3,000 to $5,000. The sale is a treasure trove of Ettore Sottsass designs from vases to custom sofas and more. Sottsass was a prolific Italian architect and designer who created furniture, jewlery, glass, lighting and more. Items from the Palevsky estate also include Arts and Crafts and Stickley furniture.
The sale also features over 40 lots from the James Byrnes collection. Byrnes was the first curator of Modern Art at LACMA and a major figure in the art and art appraisal industries. Lots from his collection include a unique drawing by Alexander Calder, a Harry Bertoia brooch, a Roberto Matta drawing, an Elaine de Kooning painting from 1949, and dozens of works this collector has acquired over a span of nearly 70 years.
A couple of "tonal sculptures" by Harry Bertoia are part of this sale. When touched these sculptures made of swaying rods create a resonant sound. Bertoia eventually recorded 11 albums of the haunting sounds of sculpture known as Sonambient during his lifetime. The one shown here is one that was executed circa 1965 and is sold with a packing crate made by Harry Bertoia. It is estimated at $40,000 to $60,000 and a second piece is estimated at $30,000 to $50,000.
A Sam Maloof rocking chair which was executed 1986-89 is made of walnut and white oak with ebony and is signed and sold with the original receipt and a signed copy of his auto biography Sam Maloof Woodworker. Maloof was a furniture designer and woodworker once called "The Hemingway of Hardwood" by People magazine. He also became the first craftsman to receive a MacArthur fellowship. This chair is estimated at $20,000 to $30,000.
Los Angeles Modern Auctions specializes in rarer Eames pieces. Although the business sells examples of the ubiquitous Eames chair with ottoman (including once, one upholstered in pink leather and belonging to a Mary Kay cosmetics saleswoman), they focus on more unusual pieces. This one is a Charles & Ray Eames storage unit Herman Miller, designed 1950. Although it looks relatively simple it's actually composed of hundreds of tiny pieces which scuttled plans for Herman Miller to ship it out as an assembly required piece. Instead it was shipped mostly as a whole unit and pieces were often damaged. Although it's a substantial piece, it sits on comparatively delicate legs. It is estimated at $15,000 to $20,000. An Eames desk is also part of the sale and is listed at $7,000 to $9,000 and would make a lovely companion piece for this one if someone was looking to create a mid-century modern style office.
The sale includes plenty of modern art including Donald Sultan's Mimosa screenprint
estimated at $3,500 - $5,500 shown in the center above. The one that's got me interested however, is the small eyeglasses piece on the lower left, it's a Wayne Thiebaud etching estimated at $7,000 to $9,000.