Carlo Bugatti’s “Rare games table and set of four chairs” at Phillips’ Upcoming Auction

Carlo Bugatti’s “Rare games table and set of four chairs” at Phillips’ Upcoming Auction

Carlo Bugatti’s “Rare games table and set of four chairs” will be featured at Phillips’ upcoming auction, “Important Design.” The auction will take place on March 21, 2019, in London and the pre-auction estimate of the work is £80,000 - £120,000,

“The present lot was created circa 1902 in Bugatti’s Milanese studio at the height of his fame. During this time, his work boasted elegant sculptural forms and balanced, geometric shapes encased in vellum, causing an impression that each object comprised one organic whole. It is not only the multicultural references of the work that make it otherworldly, but its strange materiality and physiognomy as well. While he embraced asymmetry, his work never caved to the streaming tendrils of his Art Nouveau contemporaries. The asymmetry of the present chairs adds to their idiosyncratic appearance, yet the pieces are tightly balanced. Like their matching table, they are heavily set on thick feet whose legs taper upward before bulging out around richly ornamented aprons. There, circles or half circles of repoussé brass plaques are surrounded by strips of inlaid pewter and copper designs that form a pattern of stylized insects — complete with brass eyes and wings — that are typical of Bugatti,” states the auction house, elaborating on some of the important details of the table and chairs.

Giving a glimpse to the art style of Bugatti, Phillips states, “Carlo Bugatti’s work has always existed for its own sake. As the 19th century closed, his designs celebrated aestheticism’s swan song to beauty and exoticism. Simultaneously, they were self?aware of their bizarre eclecticism far before postmodern designers began to explore the fantastical possibilities of merging multiple historical sources. The legacies of Bugatti are felt throughout Postmodern Milanese design especially — the humorous deconstruction of functionality and visual play seen in Ettore Sottsass and other Memphis designers’ works hinge on Bugatti’s radical œuvre.”

The table and four chairs are made of Vellum-covered wood, repoussé brass, brass, pewter, ebonized veneered-wood, and walnut-veneered wood. The side of table and reverse of two chairs are signed ‘Bugatti.’

Founder: Louise Blouin  


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