Revere Auctions
Live Auction

January Day 2: Postwar & Contemporary Art

Wed, Jan 25, 2023 11:00AM EST
Lot 422

Harry Bertoia Dandelion Sunburst Sculpture

Estimate: $120,000 - $180,000

Bid Increments

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$0 $25
$300 $50
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Harry Bertoia (Italian/American, 1915-1978). Large sunburst dandelion sculpture. Gilt stainless steel, brass, and a slate base, ca. 1960s. The head of the dandelion is comprised of hundreds of thin metal rods affixed to a central ball that sits atop a single vertical rod on a square base. This sculpture was originally located in John Pillsbury's office on the top floor of the Northwestern National Life Building in downtown Minneapolis, now known as Voya Financial 20 Washington. The lobby contained another monumental Bertoia sculpture titled "Sunlit Straw" (1964-65), previously offered through Revere Auctions, that tied the two sculptures together. With a custom-built crate.

Provenance: Distinguished Corporate Collection, Minnesota.

Harry Bertoia is known for his large-scale metal sculptures, which demonstrate his impressive blend of artistic vision and technical skill.

Born in 1915 in San Lorenzo, Italy, Bertoia moved to the United States in 1930 to stay with his older brother in Detroit. He enrolled in Cass Technical High School, where he studied jewelry making, and was immediately taken with the technical and artistic aspects of the craft. Following his high school graduation, he enrolled in the Art School of the Detroit Society of Arts and Crafts. After one year of study there, he received a scholarship to the Cranbrook Academy of Art.

At Cranbrook, he helped reopen the school’s metal shop, and became friends with many influential designers of the day, including Ray and Charles Eames, Eero Saarinen, and Florence Knoll. These friendships helped Bertoia to break into a successful design career, creating furniture with the Eameses and Knolls for their successful companies. He began studying welding during this period, a skill that soon would become a cornerstone of his artistic practice.

Following professional success as a designer, he turned to sculpture full-time. Putting the metalworking skills gained earlier in his career to good use, he created massive metal constructions, using welded pieces to create dazzling forests of abstract forms. These works soon gained recognition throughout the art world, and he received many commissions for museums and public buildings.

Height: 82 in x diameter: 34 in.


Please contact us for a detailed condition report. Please note that the lack of a condition statement does not imply perfect condition. Email with any condition questions.

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