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Press Release - April 8, 2021

Influenced by Art and Architecture, Espenet Wishbone Chairs Coming to Heritage Auctions

Utilitarian style inspired a generation of woodworkers


Arthur Espenet Carpenter Rare Set of Six Wishbone Armchairs, circa 1987
DALLAS, Texas (April 8, 2021) — A set of rare Wishbone chairs that became the signature work of a bicoastal craftsman whose simple, elegant furniture influenced an entire generation of craftsmen and woodworkers will grab a share of the spotlight in Heritage Auctions' Design Auction April 27.

Acquired directly from the artist, Arthur Espenet Carpenter Rare Set of Six Wishbone Armchairs, circa 1987 (estimate: $30,000-50,000) is a rare set of the artist's most famous design. Because of their aesthetic and functional quality, the wishbone chair has become rare and sought-after throughout the art and design world. Made of sculpted, strong walnut, the chairs are rounded and smoothed for maximum comfort and support.

"While in college, Arthur Carpenter became fascinated by artists and architects," Heritage Auctions Design Director Brent Lewis said. "After serving in the Navy during World War II, he bet on himself, taking his money that he got from the GI Bill and opening a woodworking workshop near San Francisco, a city full or artists and craftsmen who served as inspiration."

He eventually moved to Bolinas, outside of San Francisco, where he created a circular house for himself, a home that has become a local landmark and is representative of his aesthetic, a simple, utilitarian design that doesn't sacrifice its aesthetic elegance.

The auction also features a Unique Dining Table, 1987 (estimate: $10,000-15,000), also acquired directly from the artist. Made from Walnut with enameled steel and glass inlay, the table stands 28-1/2 inches tall and measures 67 inches through the diameter, and is signed "Espenet 8706."

For images and information about all lots in the auction, visit Auctions is the largest fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States, and the world's largest collectibles auctioneer. Heritage maintains offices in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Chicago, Palm Beach, London, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.

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Steve Lansdale, Public Relations Specialist

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