On The Square

Bidsquares Gone Mad! Rewind to Retro

By Jessica Helen Weinberg

May 18,2017 | 14:00 EDT

"Going up?" asks the cherry lipped girl in the elevator, her powdered face is crowned by a beehive hair style which oddly personifies the question. You step in and notice another occupant whose substantial mustache, blue-toned sunglasses and a pungent scent of aftershave enhances the developing confusion. As the elevator climbs, you watch the buttons light up (ting, ting, ting) and silently wonder how much caffeine the barista injected into your latte this morning. 

The doors open...your office computers have been replaced by metal boxes with springing keys and metal hammers, wildly dragging papers to and fro! Earth toned optical illusions pop off the walls - stacked folders swallow up wooden desks and globed lights hang from the ceiling - according to The New York Times, its May, 1963! Hot dog! Youve rewound to retro!

Bidsquare is excited to roll out all of the shag, vinyl, mohair, teak, lucite and polyester that your little Midmod heart can handle in our second multi-dealer auction, Gone Mad: Rewind to Retro, Timed Auction, available to bid and browse now until May 31st. Weve selected several items being offered by top east coast dealers; Marlene Wetherell, Nicholas Brawer, Orley Shabahang, ModeModerne and Lampedo - its Watusi time!

Lot 82, Danish Mid-Century Lounge Chair in the Style of Kurt Ostervig and Geo Thams, Teak legs with refurbished upholstery, 1960s; JenMod; Estimate $400 - $600

If youre traipsing through an antique store and see or hear the words Danish Teak and Midcentury, in no particular order, gravitate quickly toward that object. There is no better region for the period than Scandinavia - popularized in the Mid-20th Century, the minimalist wooden designs coming out of Denmark were especially noted for their simple lines and innate sense of functionality. Lot 82 comes complete with a removable pillow and has been playfully refurbished in a fabric reminiscent of 1960s Op Art aesthics. 

JenMod, the dealer offering this item amongst many others, represents Midcentury Modern Danish furniture brands as well as iconic Danish designer brands by directly importing all of their goods from Denmark. As the North American agent and distributor for GETAMA, who has been manufacturing high end furniture in contemporary design for 60 years including designs by Hans J. Wegner and Nana Ditzel, JenMod stylishly adds a polished and authentic flare to this retro inspired catalog. 

Lot 14, Duality Carpet, Hand-knotted pure wool pile carpet with natural vegetal dyes; Contemporary; Orley Shabahang; Estimate $4,500 - $6,000

The delicate lines that weave and trace their way around this imaginative pictorial carpet has just enough negative space to draw interest but not overwhelm any floor that needs dressing. The open mouthed, double headed lion-like figure, featured in the center of this wool carpet, presents a touch of indigenous charm while maintaining a generalized genre.

All of the carpets found in this catalog hail from the impressive Manhattan showroom of Orley Shabahang. Bahram Shabahang, with the support of his long-time friend and business partner, Geoffrey Orley traveled back to Bahrams native Iran to resurrect the regions pinnacle art form; rug making. Discontinued knotting techniques have been reapplied, as well as the hand spinning of wool and natural color dyeing process - accomplished in a newly built facility. All of Orley Shabahangs carpets are made in the villages and homes of the weavers that they individually contract - by hand, from start to finish. 

Lot 64, Vintage Chris Craft Gas-Powered Racing Boat, Model, American, circa late 1950s; Nicholas Brawer; Estimate $5,000 - $7,000

Chances are, if you have this stunning piece of 1950s craftsmanship adorning your gentlemanly office desk, you might also be James Bond 007, turning around in an Eames chair whilst smoking a Lucky Strike...we rewound to retro, remember? Cigarettes arent bad for us yet. This one-of-a-kind tether racing boat is modeled after a 1950s Chris Craft Runabout-the very height of elegance. The model was made with inlaid "blonde" maple decking and sports a European-style rolled rear deck. 

After nearly a decade of experience dealing in antiques, Nicholas Brawer opened his current gallery in 2008, located in a Madsion Avenue, Neo-French Renaissance townhouse. Described as ‘distinctly masculine’ Brawer’s collection only features the most intriguing objects of their kind. He is especially noted for his giant binoculars and sporting antiques which have been acquired by some of the world’s leading architects, designers and private collectors and grace some of the finest private homes, jets, and yachts around the world. 

Lot 69, Adrian Pearsall Biomorphic Coffee Table in the Shape of Noguchi, 1960; ModeModerne;  Estimate $800 - $1,200

Say it with us now, bio-morphic-coffee-table...yes, you can show off your green thumb to all who congregate around this glorious table. Thanks to the beloved, modern architect and furniture designer, Adrian Pearsall, a small holder for potting soil is conveniently located at the foot of the table. Accenting greenery along side the sleek, natural wooden designs from this era are as common now as they were then. The base of this organic design is made of walnut and beautifully supports the oblong glass surface. 

ModeModerne, is a vintage Midcentury Modern furniture showroom located in Philadelphias historic Old City. The owners Michael Glatfelter and Michael Wilson have been selling the style since 1979.

(Left to Right) Lot 35, Pierre Cardin Clear Lucite Sunglasses, ca. 1970; Marlene Wetherell; Estimate $400 - $500. Lot 37, Yves Saint Laurent Printed Day Dress; Marlene Wetherell; Estimate $700 - $800

If its any other material besides teak that brightens the surface of any retro lovers face - its the lovely Lucite. First developed in the 1930s - the clear acrylic resin, which is basically the same as Plexiglass, was first widely used during World War II as a durable glass replacement for airplane windshields, submarine periscopes and other areas that need protection from water, wind and UV Ray light. However, after the war, manufacturers released the material to the design world and we clearly know how that turned out; whats more minimal than something that you can see through?

In the 1960s the fashion world also took notice of Lucites chic appeal and created wearables such as; bangles, earrings, necklaces, purses and as seen in lot 35 - fab sunglasses. If you want to be the coolest person sitting poolside this summer, I would take a closer look at these spectacles. Also offered in this catalog are dozens of vintage dresses from Marlene Wetherells retro clothing rack. Marlene Wetherells Manhattan store offers the highest quality fashions, suited for celebrity clientele and noticed as a vintage hot spot by Vogue and Glamour. Imagine the likes of Sophia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe and Doris Day wiggling into these designer ensambles.

Lot 70, Ico Parisi, A Dresser from the Urio series for MIM, Italy, 1958; Lampedo; Estimate $2,000 - $2,500

If you dont have the proper vintage dresser to house your killer threads, this rare, teak and aluminum, design from Ico Parisi will spark a new Italian love affair between you and your monogrammed pajamas. Designed for MIM (Mobili Italiani Moderni) Parisi introduced the office style to the domestic landscape. The Italian architect and designer is one of the most important style formers of 1950s Italian furniture who self identified as a Renissance artist by expressing his vision through furniture, installation art, photography, painting as well as industrial architecture.  

This offering comes through Lampedo, located in lower Manhattan. For the past two decades owner Markus Winter has catered to the most inspired designers of the industry. He has introduced furniture by architects such as Karl Friedrich Schinkel, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Bruno Paul or Gio Ponti into both public and private collections.

Now that weve zipped you around the catalog to introduce you to our cast of dealers - its your turn to browse! Click here to view the full catalog for Bidsquares Gone Mad: Rewind to Retro available now through May 31st.