Pair Of Chairs Designed By Frank Lloyd Wright To Hit The Auction Block
The four chairs were designed by the renowned American architect in 1902 for the Ward W. Willits House in Highland Park, Illinois, which is now remembered as the first masterpiece of Wright's signature Prairie house style.
This family house, for which Wright drew inspiration from its surrounding landscapes, was originally commissioned by Ward Winfield Willits, who was then the vice-president of the brass foundry Adams and Westlake.
The architect also designed all the furniture for the house, including the two sets of "museum-quality" chairs that are now hitting the auction block at Christie's New York.
"Aside from their pedigree as important design in the canon, these examples are the most distilled and purely geometric of the chairs that Wright was developing. These were the chairs that formed the bedrock for all subsequent styles and phases of modernism over the next century. Discoveries of this kind rarely ever come to the auction market," Michael Jefferson, who is Christie's international specialist of 20th Century Design, explained in a statement.
The four chairs, offered as pairs estimated between $200,000 and $300,000 each, have only changed hands once before.
The additional seven chairs designed by Wright for the Willits House are housed in the art collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the V&A, the St. Louis Art Museum, High Museum of Art in Atlanta and LACMA.
Also hitting the auction block during Christie's Design Sale are masterpieces by renowned designers such as the "Ours Polaire" armchair by Jean Royère, estimated between $180,000 and $220,000; a tall case clock by Adolf Loos, estimated between $150,000 and $200,000; as well as two "Jaguar" benches by Judy Kensley McKie, estimated between $150,000 and $200,000.
Ahead of the New York auction on December 13, select items from the sale's catalogue will go on public view at Christie's Rockefeller Centre galleries from December 5 through 12.