Illuminated Vision: The Ed Hardy San Francisco Collection at Bonhams & Butterfields in May

Bonhams & Butterfields is honored to announce the May 5, 2009 auction of The Ed Hardy San Francisco Collection. Amassed over the decades at the firm’s iconic Italian Palladian style headquarters, the Collection will feature eclectic and unique examples of period furniture and decorative arts from the 17th through 20th centuries with a particular focus on the Italian aesthetic.

For decades, the firm of Ed Hardy San Francisco has been synonymous with old world craftsmanship and artistry in harmony with modernist innovation and design. Included among the company’s loyal clientele is a virtual who’s who of the international design and private collecting communities. Since 1976, Ed Hardy San Francisco has inspired and illuminated the vision of both designers and connoisseurs, moving far beyond a local resource to become an international institution.

Located in the avant-garde South of Market (SoMA) design district in San Francisco, California, the firm’s gallery, also known fondly as “the villa”, has been the center of numerous fashionable events and parties including: book signings, lectures, receptions and the annual themed holiday costume soiree. Most recently, figures such as Michael Smith and Stephen Salny have held book signings at the villa.

Ed Hardy’s personal journey of exploration into the world of art, architecture and history began in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He received a Bachelor of Arts from Colgate University, Hamilton, New York, majoring in European history and went on to serve in the United States Navy as a communications officer for three years in the Far East. Following Hardy’s time with the armed forces, he attended the California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland, California, where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Environmental Design. Hardy went on to head the Oriental Works of Art Department at an auction house in Los Angeles, California for four years before opening Ed Hardy San Francisco in 1976.

Each item on offer has been personally selected by Hardy and his firm to reflect an esoteric perspective and the time-honored tradition of superior craftsmanship. The 700-lot sale was assembled with an eye to distinctive character and an ear to the “intangible” voice of each object. Featured works include a discerning selection of rare and unique pieces of Italian 20th Century design, antiquities, carpets, and books as well as diverse array of European furnishings and decorative pieces. The Collection also includes exotic examples of Japanese and Chinese objects from porcelain to wallpaper panels and screens, which originated from Hardy’s vast experience with Eastern cultures.

“The Ed Hardy San Francisco Collection represents over 30 years of a passionate and detailed search for excellence in design and decoration. The firm’s distinct style combined with Hardy’s personal intuitive artistic sensibilities is clearly reflected within the Collection. Bonhams & Butterfields is pleased to offer both designers and private buyers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire an item from a legendary design institution,” said Jeffrey T. Smith, Vice President and Head of the Furniture and Decorative Arts Department at Bonhams & Butterfields.

The marquee lot of the sale is a magnificent pair of 19th century Venetian Tempietto tole, iron and glass standing lanterns on Botticino marble bases (est. $70,000-90,000). Previously in the collection of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco bequested by Whitney Warren Jr., son of famous New York architect Whitney Warren, the lanterns boast an architecturally intricate temple form accentuated by clear, amber and cobalt glass lanterns.

According to Smith, “The Venetian standing lanterns are two of the most impressive examples of Tiempetto tole to be offered at public auction in recent years. Bonhams & Butterfields is delighted to present these items along with many rare and unique works from the Collection spanning the 17th through 20th centuries.”

Additional sale highlights from the May 5, 2009 auction of The Ed Hardy San Francisco Collection will include a superb Italian Baroque giltwood console with Sicilian jasper veneered top, early 18th century (est. $20 000-30 000) ; a majestic pair of Spanish Baroque painted heraldic eagles, early 18th century (est. $15 000-20 000) ; a magnificent set of three Spanish style patinated limestone urns and covers (est. $18 000-25 000) ; an impressive Piero Fornasetti lacquered aluminum and faux malachite table, second half 20th century (est. $12 000-18 000) and a Sabino frosted glass three-tier chandelier, circa 1930 (est. $15 000-20 000).

The preview and auction will be held on-site at the headquarters of Ed Hardy San Francisco, 188 Henry Adams Street, San Francisco, California.

Preview dates: May 1-4, 2009, Fri 10:00am – 5:00pm, Sat 12:00pm – 5:00pm, Sun 12:00pm – 5:00pm, Mon 10:00am – 5:00pm

Sale date: May 5, 2009, 10:00am, San Francisco

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Published in: on April 28, 2009 at 8:27 am  Leave a Comment  
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