By: Christy Grosz
With an angular roof that pitches dramatically toward the blue sky above it, Frank Lloyd Wright Jr.’s 1965 Bowler residence in Palos Verdes, Calif., represents the distinctive style the architect carefully developed outside his father’s shadow. Taking père’s penchant for angles and use of inexpensive materials like concrete and corrugated fiberglass, Wright, known as Lloyd, created living spaces separated by geometric wood room dividers and designed furniture for each area that mimicked its surroundings.
Although the home sold in January for $1.9 million, its new owners decided not to keep the custom furnishings, which will headline the Design of the Century auction at Bonhams & Butterfields April 6 in Los Angeles and June 8 in New York.
Among the pieces featured in the sale is a hexagonal walnut dining table (est. $3,000–5,000) with a set of 12 velvet and brass chairs (est. $2,500–3,500). “When you look at the back of the chairs (they) come to this faceted point. Nothing is just a straight line; it meets another angle,” says Bonhams’ Angela Past, a specialist in 20th-century art. “It could go into any modernist interior and really hold its own.”
In addition to Wright’s studio pieces, Past points to a “whimsical” Tony Duquette three-masted papier-mache galleon (est. $1,000–1,500), a rare Gustav Stickley print stand (est. $7,000–10,000) and a footed ceramic bowl by Beatrice Wood (est. $1,800–2,500) as highlights of the auction.