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Mullin Collection’s hoard of art and furniture set for Bonhams auction in Los Angeles

Words: Nathan Chadwick | Photography: Bonhams

A motoring trunk formerly belonging to Ettore Bugatti is among a collection of furniture, sculpture, paintings and more to be offered from the Mullin Collection by Bonhams.

The auction, which takes place in Los Angeles, California on July 24, features artwork and furniture from Carlo and Rembrandt Bugatti, plus mascots from René Lalique and travelling cases from Louis Vuitton. As might be expected, the collection is firmly in the Art Deco world, with 132 lots available. Although most of the cars were sold in April, there are several automotive-related items to be found in the Bonhams selection.

Among the lot list is a Bugatti Type 52 Baby dating from around 1927 (pictured above). Fully restored under the guidance of Bunny Phillips, it’s driven by a 12-volt electric motor and is estimated at between $100k and $125k.

This motoring trunk was owned by Ettore Bugatti, and is constructed from leather with impregnated canvas over a wicker frame, with reinforced leather corners. It’s stamped EB, and the Bugatti logo can be seen in the leather lid trim. It’s estimated at between $3k and $5k. Nine further vintage travelling cases, all by Louis Vuitton, are all being offered for sale, starting at a low estimate of $1500, rising to a high estimate of $4k.

The Bugatti family was an artistic one: Ettore’s father was a renowned decorator, designer and manufacturer of furniture, jewellry and musical instruments, and his brother, Rembrandt Bugatti, was a sculptor. Rembrandt is represented by five lots, four of them sculptures – including this bronze artwork, believed to date back to 1912 and cast by the AA. Hébrard foundry. It’s estimated at between $150k and $250k.

Carlo Bugatti makes up the bulk of the collection, with 60 items. Among them are exquisitely designed furniture, musical instruments, tablewear, paintings and much more, including the above throne. Constructed from walnut, hammered copper, painted parchment and inlaid pewter and brass, it was formerly a part of the Allan Stone Gallery in New York before it was acquired by the Mullin Collection. It’s estimated at between $12k and $18k. The Bugatti family is further represented with sculptures and car-related paintings from Lidia Bugatti.

Further sculptures and car mascots from the likes of Josef Lorenzl, Claire Jeanne Roberte Colinet, Michael Ghaui, Pierre Le Faguays, Marius-Ernest Sabino, Maurice Alexandre Osmond and many more are also available. This particular piece is one of two in the auction from Maurice Guiraud-Rivière, dating from 1925. Constructed from silvered bronze on a black marble base, it’s estimated at between $8k and $12k.

The collection also includes 30 lots from René Lalique, included those presented at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance – including the example above. This particular item dates back to 1928, and is estimated at between $500 and $700.

One of the most recent items is this J Paul Nesse sculpture, entitled Surprise at Monaco 1930. It’s estimated at between $5k and $7k.

For more details on the auction, head here.

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