Roberto Matta "Malitte" Seating System

Value (2013) | $1,200 Retail$1,500 Retail
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GUEST:
What we have here is a set of furniture called Malitte that was produced by Knoll International.

APPRAISER:
Okay.

GUEST:
I think it was in the year ’66 to ’68. This is all thanks to my mom. She had studied architecture and design, and she was familiar with the name of the designer, and the furniture company. And she saw it in a classified ad in the Detroit News. Some of the stains and the wear and tear show it has been very well used. It was in a family of four kids and six cousins, and it was just quite amazing to grow up with this piece.

APPRAISER:
It's designed by Roberto Matta, the Chilean artist, who's paintings sell for millions of dollars. It's really interesting that he designed this line of furniture, the Malitte line. Polyurethane foam with this con covering. In 1966, when you had people like Alexander Calder designing great colorful sculptural pieces, it was a time of experimenting with new materials. So you had foam, you had plastic. They were reusing aluminum in different ways, and here of course you have interchangeable, interlocking pieces that could be used and then put away, and could not only be furniture, but could be sculpture. There's an example of this seating system at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

GUEST:
Yeah.

APPRAISER:
There's one at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and they're written up and described as an important part of the ‘60s. You do have the rips. Some stains, some discoloration. When these were in good condition, they could bring a little bit of money. What do you think it's worth?

GUEST:
I've seen some that are in nicer condition.

APPRAISER:
Yeah.

GUEST:
Online for about 3,000.

APPRAISER:
You've got a good idea of what it's probably worth. Sets like this retail in perfect condition for about $3,000 or $3,200. But unfortunately in this condition with the staining for about half of that, 1,200 to 1,500. But of course you're going to keep it forever I hope. You know it's your childhood fort. It's your teeny furniture growing up. You've got something that is really special.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Keno Auctions
New York, NY
Appraised value (2013)
$1,200 Retail$1,500 Retail
Event
Detroit, MI (June 01, 2013)
Category
Furniture

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