Auction Highlights: 10 Must-See Pieces from Leon Gallery’s Heiress’ Homes and Tables—including One with ‘a Scandalous Past’ - Lifestyle Asia

The couple behind Mr. Chair curated a total list of 50 for the gallery’s quarterly auction, which runs from October 15 to 17.

On October 17, Mr. Chair will be joining Leon Gallery’s quarterly auction, under the Heiress Homes and Tables category of the event’s third day.

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This upcoming online auction is Leon Gallery’s fourth for this year, and it will feature a large list of items—from artworks and furniture to watches and collectible toys. Included in this lineup are 50 pieces from Mr. Chair.  

Founded in 2017 by husband and wife tandem Torto and Meryll Canga, Mr. Chair started out as a hobby then a passion project then a full-fledged vintage furniture business. As advocates of good design, they search the world for exceptional, vintage collectibles that would suit the Filipino home.

Mr. Chair celebrates vintage connoisseurs and advocates for breeding new collectors as well. For Torto and Meryll, furniture and art merge beautifully with function in the thoughtful living space. 

“A vintage collectible piece for your home is an investment piece that increases in value over time,” Torto explains. “The wear of a cared-for collectible adds to the history of the piece and the warmth and story of your home.” 

The 50 pieces that the couple is vetting for Leon are composed of collectibles, with a mix of rare, vintage, and function-form inventory pieces. Out of these sizeable lineup, they have singled out 10 that they foresee will draw the most interest:

First Production Norman Cherner Bernardo Marked Chairs for Plycraft

Known as the chair with a “scandalous past,” the Cherner Chair was once at the center of controversy with its fair share of deceit and drama, shrouding it with scintillating history. The fabricated name “Bernardo,” only found in the earliest models, was perpetuated by Plycraft to defraud Norman Cherner of his creation. All six chairs, in original and unrestored condition, bear the “Bernardo” label, consider making the set the holy grail of Cherner chairs. The Cherner Chair is a popular figure of mid-twentieth century design and can be found in galleries and design collections worldwide, including the Vitra Museum.

From left: Norman Cherner Bernardo Marked Chairs for Plycraft; Pelican Chair by Finn Juhl for the House of Finn Juhl

Pelican Chair by Finn Juhl for the House of Finn Juhl     

Finn Juhl’s fascination for surrealism became apparent in the design of the Pelican Chair, which is considered ahead of its time. The chair’s characteristic soft and organic shape is reminiscent of a body cradling a body, making it purposefully comfortable to rest on. The Pelican generates a space within itself, which implores for immersion and closeness. Aside from its curious shape and stubby legs, the piece stands out due to its bold-colored, hand-upholstered wool with complementing tufting buttons. 

Qvist Rocking Chair by Peter Qvist, Denmark

Designed by  Peter Qvist, the Danish architect combines structural stability with a transparent design to create a future-forward modern classic that is functional and unique. This wooden chair is made from laminated birch veneer and polyester.   

From left: Qvist Rocking Chair by Peter Qvist; Vintage Model 925 3-Seater Leather and Rosewood Sofa by Arne Norell for Coja

Vintage Model 925 3-Seater Leather and Rosewood Sofa by Arne Norell for Coja, 1960s     

This model 925 sofa by Swedish furniture designer Arne Norell for Coja is made of rosewood with brown leather upholstery.

Vintage Kai Kristiansen Hydraulic Bar in Rosewood

Designed by prolific Danish furniture designer Kai Kristiansen in 1968, this showstopper rosewood bar cabinet is simple yet elegant.  With a turn of a key, the hydraulic system kicks in and the bar cabinet slowly rises, revealing its beautiful interiors with built-in orange plastic bar accessories that can hold several glasses and bottles. The natural rosewood grain on this piece is also unique as some of the gain patterns at the front resemble dog faces. The piece is in good vintage condition with minor signs of wear consistent with age and use.

From left: Vintage Kai Kristiansen Hydraulic Bar in Rosewood; 1980s Original Production First Chair by Michele de Lucchi for Memphis Milano

1980s Original Production First Chair by Michele de Lucchi for Memphis Milano

A staple in the collection of design museums around the world, the First Chair was designed in 1983 by architect and designer Michele de Lucchi for the Memphis group, founded by his friend and mentor Ettore Sottsass. Balancing line, plane, and sphere, De Lucchi created a chair that is both post-modern sculpture and furniture. The First Chair utilizes bright colors and geometric forms in an attempt to foster different sensations and responses from the viewer, somewhat a connotative of a child’s toy.

Vintage Paimio Alvar Aalto Lounge Chair for Artek

Designed by Alvar Aalto in the 1930s, the Paimio Chair is a tour de force in bentwood that tested the limits of plywood manufacturing in that period. It is the best-known piece of furniture by Aalto and is named after a town in southwestern Finland for which he designed a tuberculosis sanitarium. The chair was used in the patient’s lounge, and was designed to help the patients breathe more easily. This particular piece is one of the most iconic chairs ever produced and can be found in museums worldwide, MoMA included. 

From left: Vintage Paimio Alvar Aalto Lounge Chair for Artek; Verner Panton System 1-2-3 Deluxe Lounge Chair

Verner Panton System 1-2-3 Deluxe Lounge Chair     

Original production Verner Panton Delux Lounge chair with tufted upholstery.  The chair is in good condition with only the foam cushion restored.  

Vintage Danish Rosewood Highboard With Mini-Bar      

Vintage high board with exquisite rosewood grain patterns resembling bird feathers, which adds texture to its robust cubist shape. In addition, the built-in mini-bar is illuminated by a built-in lighting system that is automatically triggered when the sliding doors are opened, these features add to the dynamism of the piece. The high board is in its original vintage condition but can be refinished by Mr. Chair at the client’s request.

From left: Vintage Danish Rosewood Highboard With Mini-Bar; Rare Vintage Teak Dining Table With Butterfly Extensions by Sven Aage Madsen for K. Knudsen

Rare Vintage Teak Dining Table With Butterfly Extensions by Sven Aage Madsen for K. Knudsen

Scandinavian vintage teak dining table with two hidden butterfly extensions built into the underside of the tabletop for easy access. The table can be expanded into three different lengths to suit the appropriate number of guests. The item is in good vintage condition.

For more details, visit MrChairph.com and LeonExchange.com.

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