Philip & Kelvin Laverne were a dynamic father son duo. Each studied art; Philip studied painting at the Arts Student League in New York, and Kelvin studied at Parsons School of Design, also in New York. Kelvin’s focus was on Art History, Metal Sculpting, and Furniture design. Once Kelvin finished his studies, the duo saw an opportunity to combine their skills to create high-end furniture that would also function as fine art, often becoming the focal point to many luxurious interiors.
They started in Pewter and Bronze, making tables, cabinets, and decorative pieces in their Wooster Street Studio. Later displaying their work at their gallery on E. 57th Street. While Philip was more concerned with the materials and graphic elements, Kelvin focused on the shape and form of their masterpieces.
Their first series of work was inspired by many historical civilizations including China, Greece, Rome and Egypt and eventually progressed to involve more mythological story telling.
Greenwich Living’s curators travel far and wide to curate our collection of Laverne pieces. Above is one of our oriental console or sofa tables. It is a bronze clad table with a polychrome oriental village motif, signed by Philip & Kelvin LaVerne.
We also acquired this Chan coffee table. Made in New York, circa 1960s, it has patinated and enameled bronze and pewter. The asian decorated top is on an octagonal base. Acid-etched and enameled patinated brass over pewter over wood.
Another favorite here is this Philip and Kelvin LaVerne figural cube end table. This signed, circa 1970s bronze cube table on casters is said to be the only ones ever produced. This stunning bronze cube table has a naked woman with flowing hair wrapped around the chair-like base.
All of their work embodied centuries old bronze casting methods which gave them their signature antiqued finish. They experimented with metals and chemical reactions, burying their pieces for up to 6 weeks in a secret mixture of soil and chemicals. Below are some examples of the finishes that they achieved.
They created many works from the 1950’s to 1980’s. Philip passed away in 1987. After Philip passed, Kelvin completed their orders and focused solely on sculpture. Over time the legend of Philip and Kelvin grew as people became more aware of their one of a kind work which continues to increase in value today.