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In the Style of Isamu Noguchi.

Dining Table in the style of Isamu Noguchi

In the upcoming Wright Auction sale “Design” slated for December 14, 2017 in Chicago, is an amazing sculptural dining table possibly by Isamu Noguchi Lot #131.  This extraordinary dining table of solid Rosewood, Walnut and Copper is an unsolved mystery and lacks a direct attribution to the famous mid-century sculptor.  The design of the table is exactly the same as one Noguchi created for one of his most important clients Mr & Mrs. Samuel Dretzin summer house in Chappaqua, NY. in 1948. The important differences between the original Dretizen table and the one offered by Wright Auctions is the grain direction of the trapezoid top and the butterfly joinery inlayed into the edge.  Both pieces had the copper planter inset into the top that can be removed and fitted with a wood cover.

In the style of Isamu Noguchi.

In the style of Isamu Noguchi. Wright Auctions Chicago. Dec. 14,2017. Lot 131 Estimate $10,000 -15,000. Circa. 1951. Photo courtesy Wright Auctions.













Noguchi Dining Table

Mr & Mrs. Samuel Dretzin Residence, Chappaqua, NY. 1951. Original Noguchi Dining Table. Cloud Chandelier. Location unknown. Sydney Kaltz Architect. Ezra Stoller Photography

The original table as seen in the photograph of the Dretzin Residence from 1951 clearly shows the original table with the grain running the length of the top. The edge detail is plain with no visible detail. The whereabouts of both the Dretzin Table and the amazing Cloud chandelier designed by Noguchi hanging above it are not known.  Only adding to the mystery!

The dovetail key in the edge of the top is really interesting because it is such a cabinetmakers detail and not very reminiscent of Nouchi work in its style.  I wonder if the detail is hiding a tongue and groove or a spline used to join the tops together. The single table top in solid Rosewood at over 10ft in width would be really expanding and contracting during the changes in seasons.

In the style of Isamu Noguchi

In the style of Isamu Noguchi. Photo courtesy of Wright Auctions. Chicago.

The sub top construction is extraordinary in its conception and execution. It is both architectural and boat like in the same breath.

In the style of Isamu Noguchi

Detail of Dovetail keys used as both a functional and decorative element along the edge of the Rosewood table top. Photo courtesy Wright Auctions.



The Magic of Mario Buatta

The Magic of Mario Buatta

On this day October 20, 1935, the history of Interior Design would be changed forever.

The Magic of Mario Buatta

Mario Standing on his desk in his office in New York

I was first introduced to Mario in New York in 1988 to discuss the development of his first signature furniture collection for John Widdicomb, in Grand Rapids.  My colleague Diane Granda and I stood nervously at the entrance to his townhouse on E.80th St.  We rang the buzzer and garbled speaker blared who is it?  Who!  Don’t let anybody in it sounded again. The door latch snapped open.  Mario’s office was overflowing, working with one assistant across the desk from him we looked at each other for a place to sit down. There wasn’t!  That was the start of a wonderful collection of English 18th and 19c. furniture in Marios’s casual English country house style that would run for 10 years.

The Magic of Mario Buatta

Mario Buatta. Living Room E.80St. NYC 1980’s

The Magic of Mario Buatta









The apartment was amazing with the living room dressed in signature Buatta yellow with a swirl of coral and floral chintz. The famous Red Lacquer Secretaire with its pigeonholes stuffed with glazed cabbage ornaments. Black lacquer export furniture spread throughout. Culminating with the magnificent English Regency lacquer four poster bed with its twin in the Royal Pavilion at Brighton. Many years later I would study its history while I was working in England.  The kitchen was big enough to make a cup of tea.


The Magic of Mario Buatta

Mario Buatta for John Widdicomb Co. 1989

The first furniture collection in 1989 in High Point was an immediate success. With Mario working with Diane on both the showroom design and new furniture pieces.  Mario who I consider to have one of the worlds greatest sense of color captivated the throng of press and John Widdicombs clients.  His extraordinary talent for interior design second only to his irreverent sense of humor on full display.

Mario and I would continue to meet when I was in New York. We would frequent  Park Avenue sweet shops, client homes, bookstores, antique shops, fairs, and showhouses.  I learned so much from him about furniture, fakes, and friendship.


Mario Buatta

Mario with his wonderful book of interior designs.

Mario loves to tease me about my Russian Furniture Collection that I designed for John Widdicomb, “Chad that Russian Furniture is just rushing down the river”.  I really don’t think I would have designed my British India Collection for John Widdicomb if I was not steeped in his influence of English furniture and interior decoration.

When I moved to England in 1998 to work for Arthur Brett as Director of Design we would meet up in London and visit Fairs and Antiques Shop. I remember one time going thru a fair with him and being enthralled with a piece of furniture and he whispers it’s a fake. What an education! We visited Stephens Long’s Antique Shop on Fulham road which was a haunt  I believe for John Fowler.  It was quintessential Mario, decorative rabbits, cabbage plates and quirky small pieces of painted furniture.

Most notably we visited the famous and now I think renovated  Colefax & Fowler premises on Brook Street.  The famous “Yellow Room” with the interior designed by John Fowler which has been a huge influence on Mario’s work and his signature color. What a treasure it is to have visited it with you!

I just want to wish you the very best of Birthdays.

I will call first before I visit. So you can be out of town.


Great video about Mario’s work from 1981