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The Levin House, Parkwyn Village
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15570
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Craig provides this catalog page -- invaluable input on the subject:


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JChoate



Joined: 04 Feb 2016
Posts: 865
Location: Atlanta

PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool !

Still more mystery, though. In the auction photo we see a chair with the 'training wheel' wings (like the Atlanta chair) but unlike the Atlanta chair, it has arms.
Perhaps the Atlanta chair originally had arms that broke off (likening it to Venus de Milo), or there was yet another arm-less variant (?).
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8212

PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In order to sit in some of FLW's more challenging chairs without tipping over, one must assume the composure of Monsieur Bertin, as painted by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingers.
That stance in effect makes the chair 5- or 6-legged.
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JChoate



Joined: 04 Feb 2016
Posts: 865
Location: Atlanta

PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15570
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portrait_of_Monsieur_Bertin James beat me to it. Does M. Bertin have some extra fingers, to accompany his stabilizing stance ?


Craig writes: "Here is the page from the 1996 auction catalog with the Winn furniture. Note how the chairs with arms have the supports and the ones
without do not. This leads me to believe the armless chairs were to be used in tandem between the armed ones and thus be “self-supporting.” Just my
theory."

Now I wonder if that little ferrule (?) I saw under the seat of a Winn chair is part of a connection system . . .

So many mysteries. Were all those extras -- the arms, the wing legs, the connection system -- Wright's work (or the work of an apprentice), or did
some busy soul take on the corrections and additions after the fact ? It would be so helpful to have in situ photos, the older the better, to establish
the dates and the facts.

SDR
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JChoate



Joined: 04 Feb 2016
Posts: 865
Location: Atlanta

PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was thinking that the 'ferrule' looking thing was a loop of the fabric buckling the seat cushion to the chair, but now you're highly plausible logic has got me distrusting my lying eyes. I need to go back over to the museum for another look (damn that $15 parking).
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JChoate



Joined: 04 Feb 2016
Posts: 865
Location: Atlanta

PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's another website showing better photos of the Craig chair.
It has a zoom-in function that allows you to inspect the wood up close -- roll your mouse over the photo and it enlarges.

https://auctions.bidsquare.com/view-auctions/catalog/id/1477/lot/515639
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Craig



Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 512
Location: California

PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That auction photo from Rago is identical to my former chair. It's interesting because that is the same upholstery mine had when I bought it in 1997. I had it re-upholstered in the more richly textured fabric you see in the Wright auction.

The chair is solid wood not plywood. I have no idea what the specie of wood might be - mine appeared to have been re-stained at some point, perhaps this is the "cherry" wood reference?

The cushions are secured by snaps on both the chair and cushions. I have no idea of what he 'ferrule' looking thing does. Mine did not have one nor any holes indicating it once did.

Roderick - you are right about the seating stance. Perhaps this is why I seldom actually sat on the chair.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15570
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr Wright has to hold the record for a major architect whose chairs (and ottomans ?) have demonstrated stability issues. We love the man -- but . . .

I mention the ottomans because a number of them show, in photos, various added feet or bolsters of some kind at the bottom. Ones at T West have red
knobs on stems, like something from an insect. Peter reports no issues with his, at Lamberson; I suspect floor conditions, and user skill, have some part
in the equation ?

But, we have the man himself commenting on his own chairs, and black-and-blue marks on his body, to confirm some of this. And in "The Natural
House" he follows that with

"But we are accomplishing it now. Someday it will be well done. But it will not have metal spider-legs nor look the way most of the steel furniture these
days [1954] looks to me." And, "Finding a good comfortable chair in which to place one's trunk is never quite easy and so most sitting to date still lacks
dignity and repose. But it is possible now to design a chair in which any sitter is compelled to look comfortable whether he is so or not. And there is
no reason why he, or she, should not be comfortable in mind as well as body folded up or down."

The photo of Mr Wright sitting on a Ralph Rapson webbed arm rocker, seen on the cover of "Merchant Prince and Master Builder," shows a man trying to
look comfortable when he is not, I think. "Repose" is not likely in a lounge chair, when one is sitting up and holding conversation ?

SDR
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JChoate



Joined: 04 Feb 2016
Posts: 865
Location: Atlanta

PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While looking at Marmol Radziner's nice website, I ran across this chair in the restored Elliot House by Schindler. It bears a striking resemblance to the Winn chair we've been discussing, in particular the training wheel wings.





Do we think that maybe the chair in Schindler's Elliot House is one of the auctioned Winn chairs? See how it compares to the one in the Atlanta collection.

(I know our collective preference would be to keep the original chairs in the house for which they were designed, but in the event that they are dispersed, I guess it's nice that one would arrive in a sympathetic, semi-related setting like this.)
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15570
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, if a piece has to leave its home, it should at least find itself in sympathetic surroundings.

There's enough transparency to the red stain on the chair in the auction photo to show, I think, that the dark streak on the left-hand leg panel of the Elliot chair isn't present there. Perhaps more than one chair was auctioned ?

SDR
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JChoate



Joined: 04 Feb 2016
Posts: 865
Location: Atlanta

PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SDR,
Yes, I think more than one was auctioned. Looking at Craig's auction brochure it says that 6 armless versions were sold. Of those, we know of the one that was Craig's, the one in the Elliot house, and the one in Atlanta. 3 down, 3 to go. (pretty good "arm[less] chair" detective work for amateurs like us).


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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15570
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heh-heh. "You're either part of the solution, or part of the problem" . . .

If nothing else, Taliesin issued more furniture designs than any other architect's office, I imagine.

SDR
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8212

PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What I notice in the Elliot photo is that MR restored the fireplace to its (almost) original configuration. As the plan shows, the fireplace originally was open to both living room and outdoor terrace, a combination fireplace/raccoon entrance. When I saw the house in the 80s, when it was owned by a printer of art books (who had received an award which was a wall-hung piece by Louise Nevelson, today probably worth more than the house), the exterior opening had been closed off, possibly after an unwelcome visitation in the night, or even during original construction if the Elliots had their wits about them. As restored, there is a sheet of plate glass as can easily be determined, giving the owner the best of Schindler's idea without the mess of midnight marauders. Notice also the small fixed window to the left of the fireplace. Only Schindler would do something like that.

The chair is also nice.
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8212

PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another bit to note, the clock tucked into the nook at the top of the chimney. I don't know if that is original or not, I don't recall seeing it 32 years ago, but it is a nifty detail.
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