On The Square

Off the Seatin Path: Chair Design at Rago Auctions

By Jessica Helen Weinberg

Sep 06,2017 | 13:00 EDT

Chairs. We sit in them. Yet, their basic function has been a focal point of reinvention by artisans and designers for millennia. An inexhaustible object that identifies status, mirrors fashion and best of all serves an enjoyable purpose. Its how you choose to sit that presents an outstanding (pun intended) array of artistic options.

We've selected several outlandish chairs from Rago Auctions upcoming Mid-Mod (09/23) and Modern Design (09/24) sales that challenge and inspire the ordinary act of resting your bum. 

Lot 879, Forrest Myers, Cut Out easy chair, Anodized aluminum, USA, ca. 1971; Estimate $2,000 - $3,000

A paper airplane is what first came to mind with American sculptor, Forrest Myers angular construct. For those of us who like to get straight to the point of things - this ought to satisfy your seating needs. 

Lot 837, Frank Gehry, Vitra, Pair of Wiggle Chairs, Corrugated cardboard, masonite, Germany, 2000s; Estimate $1,200 - $1,600

Trace your eyes along these curves all you want! Known for his unusual use of materials, Frank Gehry enlisted cardboard to do the job. Don't worry, these easy chairs are known for being as robust as they are comfortable. 

Lot 1287, Gaetano Pesce, Zerodisegno, Four Nobody’s Perfect chairs, Italy, 2000s, Resin; Estimate $1,500 - $2,500

In some cases, upholstery is attached via concept opposed to the literal. This series of chairs, collected by museums such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art, were designed to highlight their differences and inherently imperfect forms. This "imperfect" commentary was poured into the process by casting resin into handmade molds without a uniform shape or color.

Lot 1291, Fernando Campana + Umberto Campana, Erda, Favela chair, Brazil/Italy, 2000s, Pine, birch plywood frame; Estimate $2,000 - $3,000

On the topic of materials, this contemporary design is made up of the most commonly used verities of wood in the most uncommon of ways! 

Lot 1369, Clare Graham, Pop Top arm and side chair, Lost Angeles, CA 200s, Tin can tabs over metal frames; Estimate $2,000 - $3,000

Ever pluck off the top of a soda can and do nothing with it? You'll be thinking about these tin thrones the next time you do!

Lot 851, Milo Baughman; Thayer Coggin, Tilt-swivel lounge chairs, Chromed steel, upholstery, High Point, NC, 1970s; $2,000 - $3,000

Reflect your "all-around" style with these Mid-Century Modern beauties. With chromed steel holding it down in the back, there are no wrong sides to swivel away from here.

Browse similar items in Rago Auctions upcoming catalogs on Bidsquare to find the seat that best suits you! Don't have a Bidsquare account? Sign up here!

Rago Auctions, Mid-Mod (09/23); Rago Auctions, The Danziger Collection of Early 20th C. Design (09/23); Rago Auctions, Early 20th C. Design (09/23); Rago Auctions, Modern Design (09/23); Rago Auctions, The Hudson Years: Collection of Mark McDonald (09/24)

Jessica Helen Weinberg | Senior Content Editor at Bidsquare