• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 1942

    Important 20th Century Decorative Art & Design

    18 December 2007, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 351

    MAURICE CALKA (1921-1999) FOR JEAN LELEU-DESHAYS

    A FIBERGLASS 'BOOMERANG' DESK AND LEATHER UPHOLSTERED SWIVEL CHAIR, CIRCA 1969

    Price Realised  

    MAURICE CALKA (1921-1999) FOR JEAN LELEU-DESHAYS
    A Fiberglass 'Boomerang' Desk and Leather Upholstered Swivel Chair, circa 1969
    30 in. (76.2 cm.) high, 86½ in. (221.5 cm.) wide, 67 in. (170.2 cm.) deep (2)


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    French sculptor Maurice Calka (1921-1999), a laureate of the Grand Prix de Rome, achieved an international reputation which saw his works in many media installed in major centers around the world. His revolutionary design for the Boomerang desk was commissioned by the prestigious firm of Leleu-Deshays, and was first realized in 1969. In a full page advertisement and feature article from this same year announcing the launch of the new design, Leleu-Deshays invited clients to order the desk with the latest electronic circuitry for telephone, intercom, and a television monitor. The rounded form and curving, sculptural shape of the Calka's design for the Boomerang desk has come to epitomize the playful technological imaginings and aesthetic of late 1960s design. Versions of this model have been included in major recent international exhibitions examining not only the Pop Art period, but also the revolution in workspace design which occurred during the late 20th century.

    cf. D. Klein and M. Bishop, Decorative Art 1880-1980, 1986, p. 234, pl.1.
    A. Dinoto, Art Plastique: Design for Living, 1987, p. 165. V. Jutheau, Jules et André Leleu, 1996, p. 165 for illustrations of this model.