London, UK: Yet another piece of Chandigarh heritage set for auction in UK

Yet another piece of Chandigarh heritage set for auction in UK

Neelam Raaj, TNN, Aug 11, 2010, 02.00am IST

NEW DELHI: Even as a magisterial panel probes the alleged theft of items designed by Le Corbusier and his cousin Pierre Jeanneret, another piece of Chandigarh’s heritage is set to go under the hammer in London.

Bonhams is planning to auction a collection of furniture designed by Jeanneret, second cousin of internationally renowned architect Le Corbusier, as part of its Post-War and Contemporary Art and Design sale on September 22.

Highlights from the sale are an Indian rosewood and leather desk and teak and cane chair from the administrative buildings, Chandigarh (estimate 4,000-6,000 pounds); a magistrate’s chair (estimate 3,000-5,000 pounds); three Senate chairs from the legislative assembly (estimate 7,000 10,000 pounds); a set of six library chairs (estimate 5,000-7,000 pounds); and a pair of easy chairs from Panjab University (estimate 4,000-6,000 pounds).

Jeanneret artefacts have been regularly popping up at international auctions and prices have skyrocketed. A manhole cover fetched as much as $20,000 at Christie’s two years ago. Since then, several other auction houses such as Artcurial have also put his work on the block.

Jeanneret designed a whole range of furniture — office chairs, tables and stools — that fit in with Corbusier’s vision for Chandigarh. Even after Le Corbusier left, Jeanneret stayed on to advise the government in his capacity as chief architect until 1965. On his death in 1967, his ashes were scattered, in accordance with his will, in Chandigarh’s central lake.

Today, most of his functional yet distinctive pieces have disappeared from from government and public buildings in Chandigarh and made their way abroad.

Read more: Yet another piece of Chandigarh heritage set for auction in UK – Chandigarh – City – The Times of India

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