A Return to Design

Charles Pollock's Cp.1

At the age of eighty-two—and forty-seven years after the introduction of his Executive chair— Charles Pollock introduced the CP.1 chair to the market. While the Pollock executive chair became one of the most recognizable and successful chairs of that era, the designer fell into obscurity until 2011, when Bernhardt Design President Jerry Helling convinced him to return to design. The resulting collaboration was the CP.1 chair, which launched in 2012 and features the signature continuous line of his previous work. Pollock continued to design products for Bernhardt Design, including table, bench, and lounge collections, until his death in 2013.

This lot offers the unique opportunity to own two artifacts of design history: one of Bernhardt Design’s expertly tailored CP.1 chairs, as well as an original CP.1 concept drawing by Pollock demonstrating his creative process.

Charles Pollock seated in an iconic CP.1 chair

The large loop stitch, made of he same material as the chair, is more subtle and adds a new dimension. It also brings a higher level of craftsmanship to the chair. It is a lot like an old Jaguar. The profile of the frame makes it look racy and fast, but you look inside and you see hand-sewn leather and burl. The chair has speed and craft.

Charles Pollock

Rago, Wright, and LAMA are proud to host the Be Original Americas benefit auction. All proceeds including the 26% buyer's premium go to Be Original Americas in support of their mission to raise awareness about the value and significance of authenticity.

Be Original Americas is a non-profit creative advocacy committed to informing, educating, and influencing manufacturers, artisans, design professionals, and consumers about the economic, ethical, and environmental value of authentic design.

View Website

Originality and authenticity are two of the most important qualities of designs to hit the auction block. They are also the foundation of all works that have become iconic markers in the history of design. Rago/Wright is proud to support Be Original Americas and their mission to inform and educate makers, designers, and consumers about the economic, ethical and environmental value of authentic design.

Richard Wright

Charles Pollock

At their first meeting, Charles Pollock made quite an impression on Florence Knoll, literally crashing into her as she stepped off the elevator. She had denied a meeting with the burgeoning designer for some time, and finally relented after reading an article about Pollock in a design magazine. Pollock came prepared with a chair prototype in tow and toppled the company founder in the hallway. Knoll hired him anyway, marking the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship.

Pollock was born in Philadelphia in 1930. As a child, his family moved to Detroit and again to Muskegon, Michigan when Pollock was sixteen. He decided to stay in Detroit on his own and worked on the Chrysler assembly line when he was not in school. After graduation, he received a scholarship to the Pratt Institute and shaped furniture designs with wire. His sculptures caught the eye of a visiting lecturer George Nelson, who offered Pollock a job after graduating. Upon his being discharged from the Army, Pollock went to work for Nelson and together they designed the Swaged-Leg chair, an example of which resides in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art today.

Learn More