Sam Maloof Furniture Rocks Bonhams
Modern Art | Design Sale in Los Angeles

Los Angeles – Furniture by Sam Maloof, the first craftsman to receive the MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship, is to feature in Bonhams' Modern Design | Art sale on September 30.

The sale will include two Sam Maloof rocking chairs, both individually estimated at $20,000-30,000; a Sam Maloof Conference Table, estimated at $15,000 -20,000; a set of six Sam Maloof armchairs, estimated at $9,000 - 12,000; and a Sam Maloof Coffee Table, estimated at $3,500-4,500, among other signature Maloof design pieces.

Described by The New York Times as "a central figure in the post-war American crafts movement", Sam Maloof started out making furniture for his own home from discarded packing crates, until a request by a friend changed his life and American design history. That friend was Henry Dreyfuss, renowned industrial designer of such classics as the Singer sewing machine and the Hoover vacuum cleaner, and he commissioned Maloof to make 25 pieces for his Pasadena home. The rocking chair Maloof designed for Dreyfuss was an instant hit and it was soon found in the chicest homes – including the White House. In a rare show of bipartisan support, both Jimmy Carter and his successor Ronald Reagan had chairs made by Maloof for the Oval Office.

Bonhams' Director of Modern Decorative Art + Design, Jason Stein, comments: "Sam Maloof's pieces are exceptional expression of his craftmanship, moulding practicality and style to create timeless items of furniture. The works on offer are examples of design history – similar examples of Sam Maloof rocking chairs are in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the White House Collection of American Crafts and The Smithsonian American Art Museum."

Bonhams holds the world record for Sam Maloof furniture at auction – set in Los Angeles in 2006 for a carved walnut conference table and ten armchairs, which sold for $194,250. Bonhams also holds the world record for a Sam Maloof rocking chair, with an example achieving $80,500 in 2012.

The conference table and several the chairs being offered were made by Sam Maloof for Lawry's, the renowned Old L.A. restaurant group (See lots 263, 265, 266 and 267).

Other highlights include:

• Karen LaMonte (born 1967), Young Bijin, 2012. Estimate: $40,000 - 60,000.
• Harry Bertoia (1915-1975) Untitled (Sonambient), circa 1965. Estimate: $30,000 - 50,000.
• René Lalique (1860-1945), Rare Poissons Fountain, model created 1937, produced 2010. Estimate: $25,000 - 35,000.
• American Arts & Crafts Tennyson Window 1923 for the First Presbyterian Church of Santa Monica. Estimate: $25,000 - 35,000.


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