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.
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.
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).
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).
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).