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Their personal favorites

Modernism sale reflects a love of form following function.

June 10, 2004

Peter and Shannon Loughery own what they describe as a "boutique auction house," meaning that they pick only what absolutely appeals to them, high sales estimate or not.

And what appeals to the owners of Los Angeles Modern Auctions are 20th century designs without ornamentation: In other words, form that follows function. This Sunday, 311 lots of their highly personal choices will go up for auction, with estimates on furnishings and fine art ranging from $200 for a pair of Eero Saarinen side chairs to $60,000 for a mid-'60s George Nakashima oak burl dining table. "People are definitely going to see something interesting that they haven't seen before -- certainly not in local antique or modern design stores," Peter Loughery says. Something that, who knows, might just work brilliantly with your new tropicalized decor.

Auction: Santa Monica Airport, Hangar 1, noon Sunday. Preview: Today through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

2 'Barwa' lounge chairs

Lot 97: Designed by Edgar Bartolucci & Jack Waldheim, 1946. 52 by 20 by 42 inches

Estimated sale price: $600 to $800

These indoor-outdoor lounge chairs, typical of postwar design in their use of economical materials, are constructed from lightweight tubular aluminum with stretched cotton fabric in tangerine. "It's unusual to find a pair in such good condition," says Peter Loughery. "Because they were so inexpensive, people thought nothing of just tossing them out when they got worn."

'Geometri 1' rug

Lot 79: Designed by Verner Panton, 1960 for the Hotel-Restaurant Astoria. 89 by 89 inches

Estimated sale price: $1,200 to $1,500

Vibrant color and pure geometrical form were Danish designer Verner Panton's main themes, and they are beautifully wed in this rug with its light-to-dark oranges, its circles within squares and the square shape itself. The design anticipates the Pop movement of the 1960s.

'Trois nus debout'

Lot 119: Watercolor and ink on paper by Le Corbusier. 8 by 10 1/2 inches

Estimated sale price: $7,000 to $9,000

Le Corbusier, perhaps the most globally renowned architect of the midcentury, was also a prolific artist, creating sketches, paintings or sculpture "almost every day of his life," Peter Loughery says. This work is particularly desirable because "you never see pieces by him from the late '30s and '40s."

Leslie Trilling contributed to this report.

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