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Best Of The Best 2006: Pinnacle Of Style

Sheila Gibson Stoodley

Paul Frankl’s Skyscraper bookcase commands attention. Standing nearly 8 feet tall and made from wood covered in gleaming black and orange-red lacquer, the 1926 piece is as striking as it is rare. “Frankl was the first designer to emulate the skyscraper form, even before the Empire State Building or the Chrysler Building was built,” says Daniel Morris, who, with Denis Gallion, co-owns the Manhattan gallery Historical Design, which has one of the bookcases in its inventory. “It’s one of the great forms in American furniture, and this is our third one in 20 years of business,” he says, adding that six or seven are known to exist. Historical Design, which was founded in 1985 and specializes in furniture and decorative objects produced from 1870 to the present, sold its first Skyscraper bookcase to the Wolfsonian museum in Miami Beach and the second to the Art Institute of Chicago. No doubt this one will find an equally illustrious home.

Historical Design

Copyright 2014 Infiniti
Photo by Pietro Carrieri
Photo by Pawel Litwinski
Photo by Aldo Ferrero
Darin Schnabel/RM Auctions