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Harry Bertoia Decorative Objects

American, Italian, 1915-1978
American, Italian, 1915-1978

Sculptor, furniture and jewelry designer, graphic artist and metalsmith, Harry Bertoia was one of the great cross-disciplinarians of 20th-century art and design and a central figure in American modernism. Among furniture aficionados he is known for the wire-lattice Diamond chair (and its variants such as the tall-backed Bird chair) designed for Knoll Inc. and first released in 1952. As an artist, Bertoia is revered for a style that was his alone. Bertoia’s metal sculptures are by turns expressive and austere, powerful and subtle, intimate in scale and monumental. All embody a tension between the intricacy and precision of Bertoia’s forms and the raw strength of his materials: steel, brass, bronze and copper.

Fortune seemed to guide Bertoia’s artistic development. Born in northeastern Italy, Bertoia immigrated to the United States at age 15, joining an older brother in Detroit. He studied drawing and metalworking in the gifted student program at Cass Technical High School. Recognition led to awards that culminated, in 1937, in a teaching scholarship to attend the Cranbrook Academy of Art in suburban Bloomfield Hills, one of the great crucibles of modernism in America. There, Bertoia made friendships — with architect Eero Saarinen, designers Charles and Ray Eames and Florence Schust Knoll and others — that shaped the course of his life. He taught metalworking at Cranbrook, and when materials rationing during World War II limited the availability of metals, Bertoia focused on jewelry design. He also experimented with monotype printmaking, and 19 of his earliest efforts were bought by the Guggenheim Museum.

In 1943, he left Cranbrook to work in California with the Eameses, helping them develop their now-famed plywood furniture. (Bertoia received scant credit.) Late in that decade, Florence and Hans Knoll persuaded him to move east and join Knoll Inc. His chairs became, and remain, perennial bestsellers. Royalties allowed Bertoia to devote himself full-time to metal sculpture, a medium he began to explore in earnest in 1947.

By the early 1950s Bertoia was receiving commissions for large-scale works from architects — the first came via Saarinen — as he refined his aesthetic vocabulary into two distinct skeins. One comprises his “sounding sculptures” — gongs and “Sonambient” groupings of rods that strike together and chime when touched by hand or by the wind. The other genre encompasses Bertoia’s naturalistic works: abstract sculptures that suggest bushes, flower petals, leaves, dandelions or sprays of grass. As you will see on these pages, Harry Bertoia was truly unique; his art and designs manifest a wholly singular combination of delicacy and strength.

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Creator: Harry Bertoia
Harry Bertoia Hanging Willow Chandelier, 1968
By Harry Bertoia
Located in Chicago, IL
Harry Bertoia Hanging Willow chandelier, 1968. Abundant stainless steel strands reminiscent to a willow tree surround a cylindrical housing with uplighting functions creating a dram...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Harry Bertoia Decorative Objects

Materials

Stainless Steel

Sonambient Sculpture by Harry Bertoia
By Harry Bertoia
Located in Wappingers Falls, NY
Rare Harry Bertoia sonambient sculpture. Pair of off-axis bronze rod arrays silver soldered onto a solid bronze base, circa 1967. Sold with a certificate of authenticity by the Hary ...
Category

1960s North American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Harry Bertoia Decorative Objects

Materials

Gold Plate, Brass, Steel

Harry Bertoia Double Spray Sculpture with COA from Foundation
By Harry Bertoia
Located in West Palm Beach, FL
Harry Bertoia created numerous bundled wire sculptures from the late 1950s until the mid-1970s. This example is a large and interesting table-top variation. Sculpture comes with au...
Category

1960s American Vintage Harry Bertoia Decorative Objects

Materials

Stainless Steel

Harry Bertoia Bush Sculpture
By Harry Bertoia
Located in Wappingers Falls, NY
Rare patinated bronze bush form, circa 1970 Provenance: Mangel Gallery, Philadelphia, PA, 1970s; Descended in the family.
Category

1970s American Vintage Harry Bertoia Decorative Objects

Materials

Copper, Bronze

Midcentury Harry Bertoia Sonambient Sculpture
By Harry Bertoia
Located in BROOKLYN, NY
Midcentury Harry Bertoia Sonambient sculpture featuring seven black monel "cat-tail" tops silvered to beryllium. Copper rods silvered to brass base. In fine condition. Measures: ...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Harry Bertoia Decorative Objects

Materials

Brass, Copper

Harry Bertoia Gold Plated Bronze Sonambient Sculpture
By Harry Bertoia
Located in St. Louis, MO
Harry Bertoia gold plated bronze Sonambient sculpture, diagonal double tonal, circa 1965. Two groupings of thin rods at different angles on poured slab of bronze. Purchased from est...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Harry Bertoia Decorative Objects

Materials

Bronze

Harry Bertoia Bracelet Sculpted and Worn by Harry Himself
By Harry Bertoia
Located in Dallas, TX
In the 1970s Kaaren Berntsen of Oslo, Norway invited Harry Bertoia to create a line of jewelry produced in limited editions. The present lot was likely made by Bertoia for this proje...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Harry Bertoia Decorative Objects

Materials

Brass

Original Harry Bertoia Sculpture "SPRAWLING BRONZE"
By Harry Bertoia
Located in Dallas, TX
Original "Sprawling Bronze" by Harry Bertoia (1915-1978). Rare molten bronze spill cast with three feet to make it free-standing. Green patina adds to the organic feel of the sculp...
Category

Late 20th Century American Harry Bertoia Decorative Objects

Materials

Bronze

Harry Bertoia Bronze 1970's 2 Eye Flat-Head Figural Sculpture
By Harry Bertoia
Located in West Palm Beach, FL
Original miniature melt pressed bronze sculpture by Harry Bertoia of a 2 eyed figure, with certificate of authenticity from Val Bertoia. Unsigned.
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Harry Bertoia Decorative Objects

Materials

Bronze

Val Bertoia Relaxing Spray Sculpture, 2014
By Val Bertoia, Harry Bertoia
Located in New York, NY
Contemporary artist Val Bertoia's Relaxing Spray Sculpture made in 2014. This kinetic sculpture is made of two groupings of stainless-steel wires that were made by Harry Bertoia (cir...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary American Mid-Century Modern Harry Bertoia Decorative Objects

Materials

Steel

Harry Bertoia Sonambient Sculpture Sound Record Collection
By Harry Bertoia
Located in Cincinnati, OH
A set of ten sealed unplayed Sonambient LP records by Harry Bertoia of his sound sculptures these ten from the period albums trace his different handcrafted sculptures making the sou...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Harry Bertoia Decorative Objects

Materials

Plastic

Large Willow Sculpture by Harry Bertoia
By Harry Bertoia
Located in Atlanta, GA
Stunning wire sculpture by Harry Bertoia (American, 1915-1978). Made of stainless steel in free standing form. Provenance: Purchased directly from the artist by the current owner in ...
Category

1970s American Vintage Harry Bertoia Decorative Objects

Materials

Stainless Steel

Val Bertoia Double Vertical Spray Sculpture, Steel Wires with Brass Base, 2014
By Val Bertoia, Harry Bertoia
Located in New York, NY
Contemporary artist Val Bertoia's Double Vertical Spray Sculpture made in 2014. This Kinetic sculpture was made by cutting one grouping of stainless-steel wires that were made by Har...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary American Mid-Century Modern Harry Bertoia Decorative Objects

Materials

Stainless Steel, Brass

Harry Bertoia Bronze Multi-Plane Cube Sculpture
By Harry Bertoia
Located in West Palm Beach, FL
A fine example from this series of work. The surface of the brass-coated bronze plates show a stunning Patinated irregular surface in rouge reds, gold and Verdi gris green Possibl...
Category

1960s American Vintage Harry Bertoia Decorative Objects

Materials

Bronze

Harry Bertoia "Six Branches" Stainless Steel Sculpture, 1960s
By Harry Bertoia
Located in New York, NY
"Six branches" sculpture, with stainless steel wires silvered together in two clusters per "branch" onto stems of stainless steel, by Harry Bertoia, American 1960s. This sculpture co...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Harry Bertoia Decorative Objects

Materials

Stainless Steel

Val Bertoia Corner Sound Sculpture, 2008
By Val Bertoia, Harry Bertoia
Located in New York, NY
Contemporary artist Val Bertoia's Corner Sound Sculpture made in 2008 is part of the Bertoia Sonambient series. It's made of 11 copper tops silvered to monel rods then silvered to a ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary American Mid-Century Modern Harry Bertoia Decorative Objects

Materials

Brass, Copper

Harry Bertoia Patinated Silver Brooch with Coral and Ebony, USA 1943
By Harry Bertoia
Located in New York, NY
An unusual piece of Bertoia's jewelry with a figurative quality. This brooch was included in an exhibit, "In Nature's Embrace: The World of Harry Bertoia" at the Reading Public Museu...
Category

1940s American Vintage Harry Bertoia Decorative Objects

Materials

Coral, Silver

Harry Bertoia Hand-Forged Silver, Ebony and Silver Wire Pendant, USA 1942
By Harry Bertoia
Located in New York, NY
This early wire wrapped pendant was likely made by Harry Bertoia while he was at Cranbrook.
Category

1940s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Harry Bertoia Decorative Objects

Materials

Silver

Double Hanging Willow from the Seattle First National Bank
By Harry Bertoia
Located in New York, NY
Harry Bertoia. Double hanging willow from the Seattle First National Bank, Seattle, Washington, 1968. Stainless steel.
Category

1960s American Vintage Harry Bertoia Decorative Objects

Materials

Stainless Steel

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Harry Bertoia decorative objects for sale on 1stDibs

Harry Bertoia's decorative objects are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive objects are frequently made of metal and designed with extraordinary care. In our collection of Harry Bertoia decorative objects there are many options to choose from, although gray editions of this piece are particularly popular. In stock are 38 vintage editions of these items, while there are 3 modern editions to choose from as well. Many original decorative objects by Harry Bertoia were created in North America during the 20th century in the Mid-Century Modern style. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider decorative objects by George Nelson, Karl Springer and Howard Miller. Prices for Harry Bertoia decorative objects can vary depending on size, time period and other attributes. Price for these items starts at $2,400 and tops out at $295,000, while pieces like these can sell for $46,000 on average.

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