There wasn't anybody at auction two weeks ago to stop me from buying MORE CHAIRS........
How could I resist? I had previewed this set of four mid-century pull-up chairs the day before the Thursday auction and was debating whether to buy them. They were marked Monteverdi-Young on the ticket and they had immediately caught my eye (if you have read "Blink" you will know what that means) which is usually an indication that the chairs are good. When they came to the block on Thursday I had just walked in and hadn't had time to check out the chairs a second time (never a good omen). The auctioneer even identified the chairs as Monteverdi-Young from the block...I ended up paying quite a bit more than I had intended and then had my doubts as to whether the chairs were truly fabricated by the highly desirable California mid-century furniture maker, Monteverdi-Young.
I started doing the usual guilt-trip and kicking myself for not being more prudent. I paid for the chairs and left, deciding to research them a bit more before picking them up. The more I researched the chairs, the more doubtful I became....but I kept on searching for similar examples. The auction house started calling me to remind me to pick up the chairs (not good).
Finally, I found what I was looking for--a pair of similar chairs, but of dining room chair proportions. My guys are indeed Monteverdi-Young, but an uncommon form. The defining characteristics of the chairs and the reason that I am convinced they were indeed made by Monteverdi-Young are the type of construction and materials used. The frames of the chairs are solid bleached mahogany (these chairs are very heavy), the shaping of the out-swept back legs together with the way in which the legs form one continuous line to join with the top back rail, plus the refined and exquisite workmanship of the joinery are all tell-tale signs of a Monteverdi-Young creation. The quality of these chairs is superb.
The upholstery is in almost mint condition with a bit of fading, but not much. Although the type of fabric chosen and the pale aqua tone are indicative of late 1950's design, it is hard for me to believe the upholstery on the chairs has survived 50 plus years in this condition....on the other hand, the frames are in almost mint condition, too.
Here are a few more detailed photos.
If I were to reupholster these chairs (which I am itching to do), I would choose a very textural linen/silk/wool boucle in ivory with bits of gold and black. Unfortunately, the designer or retail client who buys the chairs will get to have all of the creative fun with these guys. I think that I will sell them either as pairs or as the set of four.
It has been a gorgeous week-end here in Los Angeles (almost too beautiful, because my buyers are not coming indoors to shop).
Jones says "HI"--he has not gotten into the trash lately--maybe I am finally becoming better trained.
Have a wonderful Spring week.
Mary and Jones (& Cole)