Paul Evans' Sculpture Front Cabinet up 79% at design auction

Sculpture Front Cabinet (1969) by Paul Evans has achieved $269,000 at Sotheby's Modern Design Visionaries auction in New York on December 18.

It realised an impressive 79.3% increase on its $150,000 estimate.

Paul Evans cabinet
Evans produced the cabinet at his workshop in Philadelphia

Evans (1931-1987) was a designer who worked in the American craft tradition, building large scale items of furniture through the use of unconventional, industrial methods and materials.

During the 1950s and 1960s his work grew in popularity and he exhibited widely - including at the Museum of Arts and Crafts in New York.

A Minguren II coffee table (1980) by George Nakashima achieved $197,000 - a solid 31.3% increase on a $150,000 valuation.

Minguren bench Nakashima
The Minguren bench is made from spalted Buckeye maple burl

A major force in the American arts and crafts movement, Nakashima was a designer who worked with the natural form of the wood he used - combining traditional Japanese carpentry with a simplified, modernist approach.

Sales of work by Nakashima have been significant this year. Earlier this week a "Slab" coffee table by Nakashima made $102,500 against a $12,000 estimate at Phillips.

A sound sculpture by Harry Bertoia also featured in the present sale, realising $100,000.

The artist is known for his sound installations, which like much of his work make use of metals as their primary material.

The piece is partially made from beryllium copper, commonly used in the manufacture of bullets. Bertoia's widow, Val Bertoia, commented prior to the sale: "Harry used beryllium copper rod, which was used primarily for military purposes, for a peaceful, friendly purpose - the movement and sound are so healing and soothing."

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