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Wright pieces for the masses

A pair of the designer's more affordable 'Usonian' square stools are among the 20th century goods hitting the block.

June 24, 2004|Leslie Trilling

EARLY in his career, Frank Lloyd Wright designed homes for the very wealthy. Most of the furniture, stained glass and light fixtures from that period were individual pieces created in his Oak Park, Ill., studio. In his later years he did an about-face and experimented with building economical houses using local materials and craftsmen. The furniture created during this period is called "Usonian," his term for something designed for the masses. Because so much of it was produced, many of the items from this period are more affordable than pieces from the earlier years, says Frank Maraschiello of Bonhams & Butterfields Auction House.

The stools are part of Bonhams & Butterfields' Sunday sale of 20th century furniture and decorative arts. The wide range of offerings includes American studio pottery and glass, vintage prints and posters, an important collection of perfume bottles and the largest collection of French Art Deco bronze and ivory figures ever offered on the West Coast.

Dirk Van Erp, Gustav Stickley, Marcel Breuer, Clarice Cliff, Beatrice Wood, Tiffany, Galle, Lalique, Chiparus and many other top-name 20th century designers and artists are also represented in this sale. The estimated sale price of items ranges from $700 to $80,000.

Two Frank Lloyd Wright

'Usonian' stools

Lot 1,104: Oak square stools, circa 1951. 15 inches high, 20 inches wide

Estimated sale price: $2,000 to $3,000

A pair of Frank Lloyd Wright oak stools with inset cushions, raised on casters. These square-form architectural stools were commissioned for Benjamin Adelman's Usonian home built in 1951 in Phoenix. Approximately 17 of the 22 Wright pieces being offered this week at Bonhams & Butterfields have come on the market for the first time directly from the residence adjacent to the Arizona Biltmore Hotel.

Bonhams & Butterfields

Location: 7601 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles

(323) 850-7500

Preview hours and dates: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; 10 a.m. to noon Sunday

Sale: noon Sunday

-- Leslie Trilling

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