Fabulous, super rare, and monumental sculptural form 'Grand Prix' lounge set by prestigious French sculptor Maurice Calka (1921-1999) for Arflex, Italy, 1960.
The upholstery on this set has been fully restored inhouse including new high quality latex foam and 'Pirelli' rubber seat support webbing all as per the original specification . The set is finished in new elegant 100% mohair fabric which gives the surfaces an organic quality which complement the beautiful underlying sculptural form legs which are finished in their original nickel plated steel,
The set comprises a pair of super rare 'grand prix' lounge chairs plus the even rarer matching three seat sofa ,estimated to be one of only ten produced so this really is a unique opportunity for design conoisseurs and collectors alike .
The underlying sofa frame components bear hand painted artisan marks ' 10X' on each individual enameled steel component making up the overall structural frame. We have photos of the entire restoration process including photos of the bare enameled steel frames after removal of the original upholstery and crumbling dried out foam. Please see the last two photos in the listing which collage together a few of the restoration stages.
Each piece in this beautiful set has undergone a complete restoration of its upholstery by our inhouse workshop including completely new 'latex' foam as per the original specification which is expensive and hard to find today. We have also renewed the seat supports throughout with the original specification high quality 'Pirelli' rubber webbing from Italy as originally used by the manufacturer Arflex. The upholstery restoration was completed with super elegant 100% mohair 'Musco' fabric by DE Ploeg (color code 01/00).
Photos taken of the entire restoration process are available on request to seriously interested clients.
We have chosen not to refinish the nickel plating on the refined and beautiful sculptural form legs , a particular highlight of this stunning design, instead deciding to leave them in their current original condition in order to maintain the chair's vintage appeal and immediate visual authenticity . The nickel plate legs do exhibit small areas of plating loss and patination wear commensurate with age and use, please see detail photos. We feel that ideally they should not be tampered with or over restored as these are important collector pieces, However should the buyer wish to do so the bases can easily be removed from the seat and replated should the buyer wish to do so.
Calka devoted nearly all of his artistic career to sculpture, designing only a few examples of furniture, all in his vivid sculptural style, these are now highly regarded and sought after examples of design art. Collectors of his work include Kanye West who owns an example of his biomorphic form 'boomerang desk'. Calka's rare and iconic original free-form 'PDV' desk with matching chair achieved the astonishing price of $481,000 at Christies New York in December 2007 and Calka's beautiful little 'mandarine' coffee table sold for £25,000 sterling in 2015 at Philips, London.
Importantly the 'Grand prix' lounge chair and sofa appears to be Calka's earliest foray into furniture design. This rare model was produced in very small numbers and hence they are very rarely seen on the market. The beautiful 'Grand prix' design featured prominently in all the prominent Italian design journals of the time including 'Domus' and 'RIVISTA DELL ARREDAMENTO'.
The manufacturer, Arflex, had prior to 1959 only employed Italian designers and architects, in 1959 they expanded their search overseas for talented designers, and for a couple of years, employed some of Europe's most talented upcoming architects and sculptors including Maurice Calka and the also extremely talented architect and artist, Pieter De Bruyne, from Belgium who also designed iconic lighting for Gino Sarfatti's Arteluce and his own beautiful pieces of design art most of which were unique works made in his own atelier.
This really is a extremely rare opportunity . Please ask for additional photos. Copies of additional original period literature documenting this design will be provided to the buyer.
NOTE : The dimensions listed in the 'Dimensions' section of the listing are just for the lounge chairs. Dimensions of each piece are listed below.
Lounge chairs measure :
Depth 37 " ; Width 33.86 " ; height 35 " ; Seating height 17.32 "
Depth 94cm ; Width 86cm ; Height 89cm ; Seating Height 44cm
Three seat Sofa measures:
Depth 37 " ; Width 76 " ; Height 35 " ; Seating height 17.32 "
Depth 94cm ; Width 193cm ; Height 89cm ; Seating Height 44cm
‘Domus’, issue number 395, October 1962, page 41 (confirms the original production date as 1960 and confirms that the lounge chair was produced both with or without the special order headrests).
‘Rivista dell Arredamento’, issue number 96, 1962, pages 2-3.
‘Rivista dell Arredamento’, issue number 100, 1962. Page 38.; please see image 5
‘Rivista dell Arredamento”, issue number 109, 1964; please see image 2.