Summer Modern + Contemporary Design Highlights

  • Auction
  • Modern + Contemporary

The June 15th Modern + Contemporary Design Auction will include master craftsman from across genres and cultures.

California has a lengthy history of woodworking and studio furniture design. One of the most renowned master woodworkers was Arthur Espenet Carpenter. Born in 1920, Arthur Espenet Carpenter was a self-taught furniture maker. He began with making wood turned bowls at his studio in San Francisco in the late 1940s to early 1950s. However, by the mid-1950s, he had expanded to build custom furniture. Carpenter found that production was so busy that he felt disconnected from the furniture building process.


Arthur Espenet Carpenter, Wishbone Chairs, eight, and Dining Table.
Arthur Espenet Carpenter, Wishbone Chairs, eight, and Dining Table.
Estimate: $30,000–$45,000

In 1957, he decided that it was time to relocate to Bolinas, California, where he custom built his own house for his family. At his Bolinas studio, Espenet would create unique one-of-a-kind pieces for his clients, but would also create his most well-known iconic pieces — such as the Wishbone armchair. Clars is excited to offer a suite of eight Wishbone chairs, including two armchairs, in our June 15th Design auction. The suite has an auction estimate of $20,000–$40,000. Also to be featured is a stunning dining table having five butterfly inlays, estimated at $10,000–$15,000.


Philip and Kelvin Laverne, “Marriage Whirl” Table.
Philip and Kelvin Laverne, “Marriage Whirl” Table.
Estimate: $15,000–$20,000

Another highlight from American designers in the auction is a Philip and Kelvin Laverne ‘Marriage Whirl’ table, estimated at $15,000–$20,000.


Finn Juhl NV-45 chairs.
Finn Juhl NV-45 chairs.
Estimate: $20,000–$40,000

Danish Modern will also have a prominent role in the auction. Highlights include a pair of Finn Juhl NV-45 chairs, estimated at $20,000–$40,000, and a single chair, estimated at $8,000–$12,000. The auction will also include an extensive Georg Jensen ‘Acorn’ pattern table service, estimated at $5,000–$7,000, and an Illum Wikkelso Leather V-11 Sofa, valued at $4,000–$6,000.


Finn Juhl NV-45 chair.
Finn Juhl NV-45 chair.
Estimate: $8,000–$12,000
Georg Jensen “Acorn” sterling flatware service.
Georg Jensen “Acorn” sterling flatware service.
Estimate: $5,000–$7,000
Illum Wikkelso Leather V-11 Sofa.
Illum Wikkelso Leather V-11 Sofa.
Estimate: $5,000–$7,000

The Summer Design sale features master craftsman from across genres and cultures. Clars is pleased to present a monumental Tony Hunt Totem pole, measuring 8’11”, and estimated at $4,000–$6,000. A part of the Kwakwaka’wakw community in British Columbia, Hunt was born into a family of professional woodcarvers and started training at an early age.


Tony Hunt Monumental Totem Pole.
Tony Hunt Monumental Totem Pole.
Estimate: $4,000–$6,000
Alain Chevret table.
Alain Chevret table.
Estimate: $4,000–$6,000

Also on offer will be an Alain Chevret table, estimated at $4,000–$6,000.


1930 Model A Tudor with a Chevrolet 350ci Vortex Turbo engine.
1930 Model A Tudor with a Chevrolet 350ci Vortex Turbo engine.
Estimate: $25,000–$30,000

There will be two custom roadsters from a single owner advanced collector in Sonoma Valley, CA. One is a 1930 Model A Tudor with a Chevrolet 350ci Vortex Turbo engine, estimated at $25,000–$30,000, and the other is a 1927 Model T with a Ford 302ci 40 over engine with comp cam, valued at $25,000–$30,000. Both have custom paint and interiors and many added performance features which make these hot rods very fast, street legal machines.


1927 Model T with a Ford 302ci 40 over engine with comp cam.
1927 Model T with a Ford 302ci 40 over engine with comp cam.
Estimate: $25,000–$30,000

Clars is also proud to represent select items from the personal collection of EGOT winning actress, the legendary Rita Moreno. Rita’s remarkable career ranges from music to film and dance, though she is arguably best known for her Academy-Award winning performance as Anita in the 1962 motion picture, West Side Story. Later in her career, she would work in both television and the stage. Items in the auction range from stage worn dresses by designers including Bob Mackie, scripts and awards, as well as fine artworks.


Rita Moreno, mini dress with pink and purple fringe, likely worn at the 1988 Ice Capades T.V. Special.
Rita Moreno, mini dress with pink and purple fringe, likely worn at the 1988 Ice Capades T.V. Special.
Estimate: $500–$700
Rita Moreno, Robe and dress, 1990s, West End London Production of Sunset Blvd.
Rita Moreno, Robe and dress, 1990s, West End London Production of Sunset Blvd.
Estimate: $1,500–$2,000

The auction will include a host of other well-known names in design including Stan Bitters, Peter Voulkos, Gertrud and Otto Natzler, Frank Gehry, Mario Bellini, Liberty & Co, and Tiffany Studios, among others.

Bidding for Clars’ June 15th, 2023 auction is available by phone, absentee bid, live online at Live.Clars.com and through Liveauctioneers.com and Invaluable.com. For more information about this auction, please contact [email protected].

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