LA super gallerist JF Chen’s collection goes under the hammer

From a Calder tapestry to a Finn Juhl sofa – this is a seriously covetable cache at Christie’s

Chen’s eclectic collection includes this Star, After Alexander Calder tapestry ($6,000-$8,000), a Xue Wenjing chair ($3,000-$5,000, pictured right) from the Wood Attack Collection, a Seagull lounge chair and ottoman ($15,000-$20,000, pictured left) and a pair of Terrazza settees ($10,000-$15,000)
Chen’s eclectic collection includes this Star, After Alexander Calder tapestry ($6,000-$8,000), a Xue Wenjing chair ($3,000-$5,000, pictured right) from the Wood Attack Collection, a Seagull lounge chair and ottoman ($15,000-$20,000, pictured left) and a pair of Terrazza settees ($10,000-$15,000)

Part of the personal art and design collection of Los Angeles master gallerist Joel Chen will go under the hammer in New York on February 13 at a Christie’sauction celebrating the tastemaker’s 40-year career. Open for online bids on February 7-14, the catalogue features more than 300 lots: from pieces by design greats such as Arne Jacobsen, Ettore Sottsass and Hans Wegner to traditional 18th- and 19th-century Asian decorative objets, furniture, rare bronzes and lighting.

An array of design classics will go under the hammer, from this Charles & Ray Eames lounger ($3,000-$5,000, pictured top row centre) to the Saarinen Grasshoppe” chaise longue ($6,000-$8,000, pictured bottom row centre) and Hans Olsen’s Bikini lounge chair ($4,000-$6,000, pictured middle row third from right)
An array of design classics will go under the hammer, from this Charles & Ray Eames lounger ($3,000-$5,000, pictured top row centre) to the Saarinen Grasshoppe” chaise longue ($6,000-$8,000, pictured bottom row centre) and Hans Olsen’s Bikini lounge chair ($4,000-$6,000, pictured middle row third from right)

Born in Shanghai and educated in Britain and LA, Chen has fabulously diverse and discerning tastes, which has drawn illustrious clients including Tom Ford, Rick Owens, Salvatore Ferragamo, Christian Louboutin and Isabel Marant. His museum-worthy collection began with Chinese porcelain, acquired in the early 1970s, and has since grown into a vast trove featuring 18th-century Italian painted furniture, examples of Danish modernism and American furniture.

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Design connoisseurs will surely gravitate to the cornucopia of furniture classics, such as a sculptural two-seater NV-48 sofa (estimate $15,000-$25,000) by Finn Juhl and a set of curvy Grasshopper lounge chairs ($4,000-$6,000) by Eero Saarinen. Lighting highlights include four versions of Gae Aulenti’s Pileino lamp ($2,000-$3,000 each), a classic Poul Henningsen PH 3/2 table light ($4,000-$6,000) and a 1950s mahogany-and-steel Rispal floor lamp ($3,000-$5,000).

Traditional decorative pieces include this Japanese four-panel folding screen from the Meiji period, which is expected to sell for $3,000-$5,000
Traditional decorative pieces include this Japanese four-panel folding screen from the Meiji period, which is expected to sell for $3,000-$5,000

Decorative objects range from a pair of Japanese, Edo period, carved-wood temple guardian dogs ($4,000-$6,000) and a red and gilt lacquer coffer ($2,500-$4,000) from the Edo-Meiji period, to inlaid copper and silver pots ($1,500-$2,000) from the Philippines and a limited-edition Nymphenburg porcelain skull embellished with butterflies ($3,000-$5,000).

Chinese treasures include this pair of Teilimu low-back armchairs from the Qing Dynasty and a set of four late 18th-century Four Seasons ink on paper artworks, which are estimated at $12,000-$18,000
Chinese treasures include this pair of Teilimu low-back armchairs from the Qing Dynasty and a set of four late 18th-century Four Seasons ink on paper artworks, which are estimated at $12,000-$18,000

The eclectic mélange extends to two Isamu Noguchi Rocking stools ($4,000-$9,000) in different sizes, a bold Star, After Alexander Caldertapestry ($6,000-$8,000) from 1975 and a Chinese faux bois jardinière ($2,000-$3,000).

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