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Rare 'Unicorn' Leather and Aluminum Curved Sofa by Vladimir Kagan, c. 1963

$51,600
$65,50021% Off

About

This extremely rare and highly sought-after collectors piece by Vladimir Kagan is his Model #U-522 'Unicorn' curved sofa by Vladimir Kagan Designs Inc. designed and produced circa 1963, shortly after Kagan separated from Hugo Dreyfuss of Kagan-Dreyfuss. This investment grade collectible design features soft and supple light grey tufted leather over two aluminum 'Unicorn' bases, large enough to seat four people. There is not much comparison for this awe inspiring statement piece, ideal for an interior designer looking for a show-stopper that is fitting for the most demanding and critical client. Incredible design of utmost rarity and fabulous ready-to-use condition with that light patina you want to see. From an art/ design collector's perspective - this sofa is simply the bees knees. Vladimir Kagan began experimenting with Aluminum in the 1950s when he was partnered with Hugo Dreyfuss, first with the 'Tri-Symmetric' line then translating the 'Unicorn' table which was first designed in wood in 1957. In the early 1960s, after Kagan separated from Kagan-Dreyfuss, he developed the entire line of Unicorn seating which was inspired by Constantin Brancusi's 'Bird in Flight' sculpture exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The Unicorn line which includes a table, armless chair, armchair, sofa of different sizes ranging from loveseat to semi-circle / half-circle room sized couches remain as one of his most rare and coveted designs for collectors and art/design investors. But on top of all that - this sofa is incredible comfortable with leather that is so soft you might think you are actually sitting on an actual Unicorn. This leather and aluminum Model U522 Unicorn sofa by Vladimir Kagan for Vladimir Kagan Designs Inc would be ideal in a Mid-Century Modern, Scandanavian Modern or Danish Modern home or penthouse apartment but could also look fantastic in a Contemporary or Post-Modern room. Also consider mixing it up in a Traditional, Transitional, Classical or Art Deco room with a splash of juxtaposition. Would also be an apt choice in a high-end entertainer's home, a luxury commercial project such as a boutique hotel lobby lounge or members club, a leading creative design studio or a high-rise executive office or suite. DOCUMENTATION: "The Complete Kagan, A Lifetime of Avant-Garde Design" by Vladimir Kagan MEASUREMENTS: H 30" x W 104" x D 29" / D 46" (overall due to curvature) Seat Height: 16" CONDITION: Overall excellent vintage condition with light patina and wear. Leather is in excellent vintage condition with light patina. Two small hard to notice scuffs to leather which have been touched up. Some minor creasing on backside. Leather is very attractive and does not need replacement. No tears and no issues to tufting. Aluminum is in very good vintage condition with light patina and wear, some light scratching and minor scuffs, can be polished if desired. Each leg has one missing plastic foot pad underneath, does not affect functionality and the small plastic pads can be replaced. Sofa is sturdy and sound, no structural issues. Wonderful example, ready to be used, and enjoyed, immediately.

Details

  • Creator
    Vladimir Kagan (Designer)
  • Dimensions
    Height: 30 in. (76.2 cm)Width: 104 in. (264.16 cm)Depth: 46 in. (116.84 cm)Seat Height: 16 in. (40.64 cm)
  • Style
    Mid-Century Modern (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
    circa 1963
  • Condition
    Excellent vintage condition with light patina and wear. See description for more details. Beautiful example, ready for immediate use.
  • Seller Location
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU1330222930102

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Ships From: Long Beach, CA
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 14 days of delivery.

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About the Designer

Vladimir Kagan

The pioneers of modern furniture design in America in the mid-20th century all had their moments of flamboyance: Charles and Ray Eames produced the startling, biomorphic La Chaise; George Nelson’s firm created the Marshmallow sofa; Edward Wormley had his decadent Listen to Me chaise. But no designer of the day steadily offered works with more verve and dynamism than Vladimir Kagan. While others, it seems, designed with suburban households in mind, Kagan aimed to suit the tastes of young, sophisticated city-dwellers. With signature designs that feature sleekly curved frames and others that have dramatic out-thrust legs, Kagan made furniture sexy.

Kagan’s father was a Russian master cabinetmaker who took his family first to Germany (where Vladimir was born) and then to New York in 1938. After studying architecture at Columbia University, Kagan opened a design firm at age 22 and immediately made a splash with his long, low and sinuous Serpentine sofa. Furniture lines such as the Tri-symmetric group of glass-topped, three-legged tables and the vivacious Contours chairs soon followed.

Kagan’s choices of form and materials evolved through subsequent decades, embracing lucite, aluminum and burl-wood veneers. By the late 1960s, Kagan was designing austere, asymmetrical cabinets and his Omnibus group of modular sofas and chairs. For all his aesthetic élan, Kagan said that throughout his career, his touchstone was comfort. “A lot of modern furniture was not comfortable. And so comfort is: form follows function. The function was to make it comfortable,” he once commented. “I created what I called vessels for the human body.”

A diverse group of bodies have made themselves at home with Kagan designs. Among the famous names who commissioned and collected his designs are Marilyn Monroe, Gary Cooper, Andy Warhol, David Lynch, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, and firms such as Gucci and Giorgio Armani. His work is in numerous museum collections, including those of the Victoria & Albert and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Because of its idiosyncrasy, Kagan’s work did not lend itself to mass-production. Kagan never signed on with any of the major furniture-making corporations, and examples of his designs are relatively rare. As you will see from the offerings on 1stDibs, even decades after their conception, Kagan pieces still command the eye, with their freshness, energy, sensuality and wit.

About the Seller
5.0
Located in Los Angeles, CA

Automaton is the premier source for early-production originals of hard-to-find 20th-century designs and functional art, serving a range of clients, from celebrities and interior designers to aficionados with modest budgets. Its 20,000-square-foot Los Angeles space is packed with rare examples of designs from a large repertoire of such designers as Philip and Kelvin LaVerne, Vladimir Kagan, Eero Saarinen, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Jorge Zalszupin, Sergio Rodrigues and Giuseppe Scapinelli.

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Established in 2012
1stDibs seller since 2015
1,732 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: 2 hours
Associations
20th Century Specialists
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