Uncovering the staging of the ‘Design’ sale at Leclere is like entering a cabinet of curiosities. The Paris auction on 25 October is not only full of originality but it also presents creations from great designers that could not be more singular.

Photo: Leclere Photo: Leclere

Browsing Leclere’s exceptional catalogue, we can already see some remarkable stagings. However, several pieces of design stand out as more curious than the others: design as you’ve never seen it.

We start with a piece that is as historic as it is strange, the ‘Vertebre’ armchair by Pierre Vandel. This armchair stems from an original concept by ​​the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer (resident in Paris between 1965 and 1985), who in the late 1960s designed the seat of the Communist Party of the French capital in collaboration with Vandel. Vandel then inherited the sketches of the chair and finalised the piece, which only produced 400 copies in 1972 as a version without armrests.

The Hungarian ceramist Simon Zslot Jósef is the designer of these sculptures which, even if they don’t appear as such, are porcelain. The artist metaphorically and literally required movement to create his pieces. His singular technique, an advanced method of slip casting, consists in deliberately letting the liquid (the clay) escape from its mould, in order to create unexpected shapes that are reminiscent of those present in nature.

The ‘Onda’ bench by Jorge Zalszupin is original but maintains a relatively simple structure. The seats stand out from each other by waves which, thanks to the brilliance of the rosewood, create an impression of movement. The bench, created in 1960, is also equipped with a magazine rack at its end, where the wood is cut to accommodate in its frame a support of camurca and green leather.

In 1986, the luminary Matteo Thun and Andrea Lera designed a set of seven unusual table lamps, reminiscent of the legendary LEGO block-building toys. These metal and glass lamps mimic urban architecture, for instance a skyscraper and factory-like building. Together they offer a futuristic landscape at the edge of game and reality.

This pair of armchairs from 1986 is designed by the couple Raili and Reima Pietilä. Their unique silhouette strongly resembles that of airplane seats, minimal and metallic. The fine structure gives the impression that the chairs can tilt back at any time, while the headrest has a cushion-like appearance.

We end with a beautiful chest of drawers from the Maison De Coene of 1980 which, because of its materials and composition, evokes industrial design. The activity of the carpenters Brothers De Coene took off after the First World War, while the demand for artisans was at its height. After an observation trip to America alongside, Joseph De Coene decided to develop a line of laminated wood furniture pieces, which have since been exhibited around the world.

Aside from these wonderful oddities, collectors will find creations creations by top designers, such as Jean Prouvé, Ettore Sottsass, Charlotte Perriand, Pierre Jeanneret, Gio Ponti or George Pelletier.

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