Calder Boomerang On Table Mobile/Stabile

Alexander Calder, Boomerang on Table, 1949, 29 x 38 x 11 in. or so, to be sold at Sotheby’s NY in the Modern Day Sale, Lot 109, on 14 Nov 2023 from the Collection of Richard and Kathy Feld [sic?]

A hundred years ago or last February, who can even say at this point, Pace had a show of little platform/companion/interventions Richard Tuttle made for a series of Alexander Calder sculptures. My favorite from that show was a little pile of cubes Tuttle made for Little Mobile for Table’s Edge, a c. 1939 work with an unusual stabile/mobile dynamic of perching on the edge of a table.

Richard Tuttle enactment [?] for Alexander Calder’s Little Mobile for Table’s Edge, 2022/1939, as seen at Pace LA in early 2023.

However rare it was, it turns out Calder used this hanging-off-a-table mechanism at least one more time than I thought: in Boomerang on Table, a 1949 work that was acquired by Nelson Rockefeller. In the undated photo Sotheby’s published of Rockefeller’s modernist house in Seal Harbor, Maine, Boomerang is on the glass coffee table—perched on a tiny little stick. Maybe any Calder can hang off the table, if you try, and vice versa.

Boomerang on Table on a stand on a table, in Nelson Rockefeller’s Seal Harbor house, photo: Lee Bolton via Sotheby’s

One thing I wonder about in the Sotheby’s sale: this Calder is listed as from the “Collection of Richard and Kathy Feld,” who bought the work at Rockefeller’s estate auction in 1980. And I’m sure that’s exactly who is selling it, not Richard and Kathy Fuld, the former CEO of Lehman Brothers and longtime MoMA trustee, respectively. There was a children’s clothing wholesaler and contemporary collector Richard Feld who gave the Times a couple of quotes about buying art in a bubble, and that was about it. No mention of his wife. But the catalogue’s been out a month; if Sotheby’s really had misspelled their own prominent client’s name, someone would have corrected it by now. Right?

Lot 109, 14 Nov 2023: Alexander Calder, Boomerang on Table, 1949, est. USD500-700,000 [update: sold for just $635,000] [sothebys]
Previously, related: Little Mobile for Tuttle Pyramid