Los Angeles Times By David A. Keeps
What is this jaw-dropping (and, let’s face it, eye-rolling) creation made from intricately carved wood, covered in couturier fabric and bedazzled with jeweled button tufting? It’s a sofa by Italian designer Tino Cappelletti, a Milanese maestro of ornamentation, whose aim is to seduce consumers with traditional furniture influenced by the world of fashion, and it is expected to be sold for $2,000 to $3,000 at Abell Auction Co. in Los Angeles on July 16. While Abell, a fourth-generation auction house founded in 1916, has long been known for handling Southern California family estates, the firm has recently ramped up its celebrity offerings, selling property belonging to Olympian Louis Zamperini (subject of the book and film “Unbroken”) and actresses Lisbeth Scott and Bess Myerson. This Thursday, the firm’s weekly auction of antiques, furniture and decorative arts from estates includes items from Kris Jenner’s Calabasas residence and Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas’ Hancock Park mansion. So who, you might ask, once sat upon this sofa? Here’s a clue: You’ve never seen it on “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.” The Cappelletti couch once commanded center stage in Griffith and Banderas’ Italian Revival home, which sold for just shy of $16 million last month. The couple’s home, built in 1925 by Gordon B. Kaufmann, the architect of the Hoover Dam, was furnished with grand gilded French and Italian antiques, extravagant floor lamps and dinnerware that included dishes in the Hot Flowers pattern by Versace. The auction also includes some of their simpler furniture, such as a French country table, valued at $800. By contrast, Jenner, the notorious “mom-ager” of Kim, Khloe, Kourtney, Kendall and Kylie, favored more subdued home furnishings. True, she’s selling a Louis XVI-style settee covered in a bold burgundy and violet faux bois print fabric (estimated to sell for $1,500 to $2,500), but the auction also features Persian and Navajo carpets and a Beidermeier chest and table that are each valued at $500 to $1,000. Gallery preview on July 15 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m and auction at 9 a.m. on Thursday, July 16 at Abell Auction Co., 2613 Yates Ave., Commerce. (323) 724-8102.