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Philip and Kelvin LaVerne Rare Large Romanesque Coffee Table, USA, 1960s

$25,000

About

Philip and Kelvin LaVerne's sculptural Romanesque coffee table composed of hand-crafted acid-etched and patinated bronze over wood, USA, 1960s. This exquisite coffee table is a rare model not only because of its large size but also the unusual rich mottled reds and browns coloration in the ground and legs - it's more often seen with plain mottled white background. The finely patinated bronze pictorial playfully depicts Roman figures in different poses reminiscent of Michelangelo's drawings. Incised signature to tabletop "Philip Kelvin LaVerne". Literature: The Art of Philip LaVerne: Sculpture II, Bronze and Pewter Tables, studio catalog, p. 12 Father and son duo Philip (1907—1987) and Kelvin (born 1936) Laverne were widely recognized for their sculptural and historically influenced furniture although their oeuvre also included fine art and sculpture. From the mid-1950s through the 1980s, they utilized the centuries-old bronze casting techniques using low relief sheets in their works including cabinets, coffee and occasional tables among many other objects. They created a distinct blend of function and artistry while incorporating ancient Egyptian, Chinese, and Greek archaeological and art historical references. Their uncommon techniques included applying patina and acid etching to mixed metals such as pewter, brass, and bronze. The furniture and sculpture of Philip and Kelvin Laverne is highly sought after today for its one-of-a kind quality and demonstrated mastery of functional decor.

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    Ships From: New York, NY
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About the Designer

Philip and Kelvin LaVerne

Look closely at any vintage furniture designed by father-son duo Philip and Kelvin LaVerne and a cacophony of stylistic influences reveals itself.

The LaVernes’ position at the intersection of art and design was the result of their combined backgrounds: Philip (1907–87) studied painting with Ashcan School artist John Sloan at the Art Students League of New York, while his son, Kelvin (b. 1937), attended the Parsons School of Design, taking classes in art history, furniture design and metalwork. The resulting merge of stylistic elements and innovative processes make for singular designs that defy categorization, striking a balance between modern and traditional, intricate and minimal, art piece and functional item. Their work was also strikingly different from the modern furniture created by Philip’s brother Erwine and his wife, Estelle, of Laverne Originals.

The LaVernes began producing one-of-a-kind furniture and sculpture in the mid-1950s out of a studio on Wooster Street in New York City before opening a showroom on Manhattan’s East 57th Street. As their 1960s advertisements declared: “It’s not just functional and not just art, it’s an investment.”

The LaVernes married a stunning array of techniques and styles to achieve their singular, deeply layered look for one-of-a-kind and limited-edition pieces. Chinoiserie motifs abound on many of their acid-etched tables, but art from ancient Greece and Egypt also served as inspiration. The influence of figurative sculptors is evident in designs like coffee tables and side tables with bronze bodies serving as frames or bases; other pieces, meanwhile, have deeply detailed surfaces and strikingly simple silhouettes.

The duo developed their own unconventional methods — sometimes to an extreme — for finishing their pieces: Techniques employed by the LaVernes included acid washing and burying furniture underground in a mixture of soil and chemicals to achieve a desired patina through oxidation. While they sometimes used pewter and silver, bronze was one of their most commonly employed materials, either etched or cast and sometimes paired with glass tops. Their partnership ended when Philip died in 1987 and Kelvin shifted his practice to sculpture.

Find an extraordinary range of vintage Philip and Kelvin LaVerne tables, decorative objects and other furniture on 1stDibs.

About the Seller
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Located in New York, NY
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