Appliqué Murale, Axel Johann Salto, blue crater glazed earthenware, cobalt blue crystalline glazed earthenware, Cylindrical Vessel, Dale Chihuly, George Nakashima, Gertrud and Otto Natzler, Paul Evans, Serge Mouille
A group shot of Gertrud and Otto Natzler (Austrian, 1908-1971 and 1908-2007) ceramics. Estimates vary from $900-40,000. Photo: Courtesy of Bonhams.
Los Angeles – Bonhams, one of the largest international fine art auction houses, is excited to highlight a stunning group of ceramics by Austrian duo artists Otto and Gertrud Natzler in its upcoming 20th Century Decorative Arts auction on October 27 in Los Angeles. The top valued item being offered in this impressive group is a rare 1960 Volcanic Blue Ceramic Cylinder (est. $30,000-40,000), measuring at more than a foot tall and six inches in diameter.
Gertrud and Otto Natzler (Austrian, 1908-1971 and 1908-2007), Cylindrical Vessel, 1960, blue crater glazed earthenware, signed NATZLER in black, later inscribed 1960 and L007 in black ink; height 13 1/2in (34cm); diameter 6in (15cm). Estimate US$ 30,000 – 40,000 (€24,000 – 32,000). Photo: Courtesy of Bonhams.
Since the late 1930s the husband and wife team, mostly self-taught in ceramics, produced fine vessels through a distinctive division of labour. Gertrud excelled at her talent for « throwing clay » and Otto accentuated the pieces through a mastery of glazing. The result was the creation of works of art that were interconnected and complemented each other’s talents. In March of 1938, the Natzlers were awarded a silver medal at the World Exhibition in Paris, the same time that Germany took over Austria during the Anschluss. They then fled to escape the Nazi threat and settled in California, where they also achieved great international success over more than four decades that includes approximately 25,000 works and 2,500 glazing techniques. Numerous exhibitions and awards followed such as retrospectives at the Los Angeles County Museum and the Museum of Arts and Design in New York.
Gertrud and Otto Natzler (Austrian, 1908-1971 and 1908-2007), Cylindrical Vessel, 1960, cobalt blue crystalline glazed earthenware, signed NATZLER in black and bearing paper label with typedL095; height 6 1/4in (16cm). Estimate US$ 5,000 – 7,000 (€4,000 – 5,500). Photo: Courtesy of Bonhams.
Bonhams Director of 20th Century Decorative Arts in Los Angeles, Dan Tolson, commented, « We are thrilled to be offering such an expertly curated private collection whose range and breadth perfectly articulates the immense talents of arguably two of the greatest ceramic artists of the 20th century. »
The auction also features glass, metalware, sculptures, ceramics and furniture from the late 19th century to the present day. Top highlights include Dale Chihuly’s Postrio Persian Installation (est. $70,000-100,000), made of 13 bright coloured glass discs on a bronze framework. An important and unique glazed stoneware bowl in the « budding style, » from the 1940s by Danish artist Axel Johann Salto is being offered (est. $15,000-25,000). Also offered are ceramics by Beatrice Wood (who at the beginning of her potting career was under the tutelage of the Natzlers), George Nakashima furniture as well as a striking group of Serge Mouille light fixtures and lamps.
Dale Chihuly (American, born 1941), Postrio Persian Installation, 1996, blown glass, plate glass and bronze; height overall 110in (279cm); width 102 1/2in (260cm). Estimate US$ 70,000 – 100,000 (€55,000 – 79,000). Photo: Courtesy of Bonhams.
Axel Johann Salto (Danish, 1889-1961), Important and Unique Bowl in the Budding Style (Spirende Stil), executed circa 1940s, glazed stoneware, underside incised SALTO, and with the Royal Copenhagen wave mark in blue; height 5 1/2in (14cm); diameter 13 1/2in (34cm). Estimate US$ 15,000 – 25,000 (€12,000 – 20,000). Photo: Courtesy of Bonhams.
George Nakashima (American, 1905-1990), Double Drawer Chest, 1968. American black walnut, together with a copy of the original completion invoice, dated September 2nd, 1968, and a copy of a letter of authenticity signed by Mira Nakashima, dated July 21, 2014; height 32 1/2in (83cm); width 22in (56cm); length 72in (183cm). Estimate US$ 7,000 – 10,000 (€5,500 – 7,900). Photo: Courtesy of Bonhams.
A Serge Mouille enameled aluminum, steel and brass Appliqué Murale, designed circa 1953, manufactured by the Atelier Serge Mouille; height 34in (86cm); width 70in (178cm); depth 14 1/2in (37cm). Estimate US$ 12,000 – 18,000 (€9,500 – 14,000). Photo: Courtesy of Bonhams.
Also noteworthy is a set piece interior of 1970s luxurious opulence collected by the late Larry Harmon for his apartment on the Wilshire Corridor. Harmon, who popularised the beloved children’s character Bozo the Clown, brought it to television in the 1950s after buying the rights from Capitol Records. The highlight of the group is a Paul Evans walnut burl and brass wall-mounted Faceted credenza, designed circa 1975 (est. $30,000-50,000).
A Paul Evans walnut burl and brass wall-mounted faceted credenza, designed circa 1975 for Directional; height 23in (58.5cm); width 86in (218cm); depth 23in (58cm). Estimate US$ 30,000 – 50,000 (€24,000 – 40,000). Photo: Courtesy of Bonhams.