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ONE-OF-A-KIND DESIGN BY FRANÇOIS-XAVIER LALANNE MAKES A SPLASH SELLING FOR $2.4 MILLION AT AUCTION

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    ONE-OF-A-KIND DESIGN BY FRANÇOIS-XAVIER LALANNE MAKES A SPLASH SELLING FOR $2.4 MILLION AT AUCTION
    28.06.2020

IN SOTHEBY’S PARIS $33,6 MILLION SALES OF CONTEMPORARY ART AND DESIGN INCLUDING SEMINAL PAINTINGS BY PIERRE SOULAGES AND ZAO WOU-KI

PLUS NEW AUCTION RECORDS FOR HERMANN NITSCH AND JÖRG TIMMENDORF

Sotheby’s sale of ‘Important Design’ was led by a one-of-a-kind hippopotamus themed bathroom suite, which sold for €2.1 million / $2.4 million (lot 115, est. €2-2.5 million). Designed by François-Xavier Lalanne, an artist renowned for his ability to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary, the three bronze life-size hippopotamuses - a mother and children – feature moveable parts that reveal a bathroom set like no other, comprising a bathtub, working sink and vanity, toilet and bidet. Commissioned in the nineties by the present owner, the sale marked the first time the spectacular piece has been offered at auction.

A further five works by the designer were offered in the ‘Important Design’ sale, which totalled €11.2 million / $12.6 million, soaring above its pre-sale estimate of €7.1-10 million. 82% of the lots offered were sold, with 70% of those exceeding their high estimates. The auction saw 52% of its participants bid online, and over a third of all bidders were aged 40 or younger. Among the other pieces offered by Lalanne was Lapin à Vent, which leaped beyond its high estimate to sell for €1.9 million / $2.2 million (est. €1-1.5 million) – the second highest price achieved in the sale.

Further Highlights: Aigle Vase by Alberto Giacometti more than doubled its high estimate to bring a total of €1.5 million / $1.6 million (lot 51, est. €400.000-600.000) in its auction debut. This is the second highest price realised for a vase by the artist, following Giacometti’s "Aigle” Vase that sold for $1.9 million at Sotheby’s New York in December 2019.

Two tables from the Art Déco period both exceeded their estimates in yesterday’s sale: made in 1930, Eugène Printz and Jean Dunand’s table tripled its high estimate, bringing a total of €225.000 / $252,662 (lot 30, €60.000-80.000), while Eileen Gray’s pine design reached €275.000 / $308,808 (lot 35, est. €120.000-150.000).

Please find the full results here. CONTEMPORARY ART

This week, two sales of Contemporary Art reached a combined total of €19.8 million / $22.3 million. Sotheby’s Evening Sale in Paris realised €15.4 million / $17.3 million, with a sell-through rate of 80%. The Day Sale also achieved €4.4 million / $5 million, exceeding its pre-sale estimate of €2.7-4 million. More than 90% of the lots offered were sold – a record sell through rate for a Contemporary Day Sale staged by Sotheby’s France.

Top Lot: The evening auction was led by Pierre Soulages’ masterpiece Peinture 130 x 162 cm, 14 avril 1957. Having remained in the same private European collection for over twenty-five years, bidders competed for the work, pushing the final price to €4.4 million / $4.9 million (lot 7, est. €3-5 million). Elsewhere in the sale, two further works by the artist were offered: Peinture 65 x 50 cm that sold for €1.1 million / $1.2 million (lot 9, est. €500.000-700.000) and Gouache 65 x 50.5 cm, which realised €336.500 / $379,851 (lot 6, est. €120.000-180.000).

Further Highlights: Three paintings by Zao Wou-Ki were among the highest prices achieved on the night. Hailing from the private collection of Arthur T. Hadley II, a prominent journalist for Newsweek and New York Herald Tribune, Wou-Ki’s monumental, 10.2.81, led this group of works after reaching €2.8 million / $3.1 million (lot 4, est. €2.4-2.8 million). From the same collection, the artist’s large-format composition, the title of which pays tribute to his late brother, A la memoire de mon frere Wu-Wai (11.02.79), realised €1.9 million / $2.2 million (lot 3, est. €1.8-2.5 million). A third painting titled 17.5.63 from an esteemed Irish collection sold for €1.8 million / $2 million (lot 10, est. €1.5-2 million).

Records: set for Jörg Immendorff and Hermann Nitsch.








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  • Lot 115 FRANÇOIS-XAVIER LALANNE UNIQUE FAMILLE HIPPOPOTAMES [FAMILLE HIPPOPOTAMES, PIÈCE UNIQUE] 1992 patinated bronze, copper, gilt metal, wood and glazed ceramic  [1992 bronze patiné, cuivre, métal doré, bois et céramique émaillée] LOT SOLD: 2,112,500 EUR
    Lot 115 FRANÇOIS-XAVIER LALANNE UNIQUE FAMILLE HIPPOPOTAMES [FAMILLE HIPPOPOTAMES, PIÈCE UNIQUE] 1992 patinated bronze, copper, gilt metal, wood and glazed ceramic [1992 bronze patiné, cuivre, métal doré, bois et céramique émaillée] LOT SOLD: 2,112,500 EUR
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus
  • Lot 138 Property from the Collection of Dr Herbert Kiel HERMANN NITSCH n. 1938 ÖLBERG signed and dated 1960 on the reverse oil and mixed media on linen Executed in 1960. [signé et daté 1960 au dos huile et technique mixte sur toile Exécuté en 1960. 99,5 x 145,3 cm; 39 3/16 x 57 ¼ in.[ LOT SOLD: 396,500 EUR
    Lot 138 Property from the Collection of Dr Herbert Kiel HERMANN NITSCH n. 1938 ÖLBERG signed and dated 1960 on the reverse oil and mixed media on linen Executed in 1960. [signé et daté 1960 au dos huile et technique mixte sur toile Exécuté en 1960. 99,5 x 145,3 cm; 39 3/16 x 57 ¼ in.[ LOT SOLD: 396,500 EUR
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus
  • Lot 115 FRANÇOIS-XAVIER LALANNE UNIQUE FAMILLE HIPPOPOTAMES [FAMILLE HIPPOPOTAMES, PIÈCE UNIQUE] 1992 patinated bronze, copper, gilt metal, wood and glazed ceramic  [1992 bronze patiné, cuivre, métal doré, bois et céramique émaillée] LOT SOLD: 2,112,500 EUR
    Lot 115 FRANÇOIS-XAVIER LALANNE UNIQUE FAMILLE HIPPOPOTAMES [FAMILLE HIPPOPOTAMES, PIÈCE UNIQUE] 1992 patinated bronze, copper, gilt metal, wood and glazed ceramic [1992 bronze patiné, cuivre, métal doré, bois et céramique émaillée] LOT SOLD: 2,112,500 EUR
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus
  • ot 51 ALBERTO GIACOMETTI AIGLE VASE [VASE AIGLE] circa 1934 painted plaster, with original zinc liner [vers 1934 plâtre peint, revêtement d'origine en zinc] Height : 57,2 cm ; 22 ½ in. [Hauteur : 57,2 cm ; 22 ½ in.] LOT SOLD: 1,452,500 EUR otheby’s Paris | 24 juin 2020 Credit : Sotheby’s / ArtDigital Studio
    ot 51 ALBERTO GIACOMETTI AIGLE VASE [VASE AIGLE] circa 1934 painted plaster, with original zinc liner [vers 1934 plâtre peint, revêtement d'origine en zinc] Height : 57,2 cm ; 22 ½ in. [Hauteur : 57,2 cm ; 22 ½ in.] LOT SOLD: 1,452,500 EUR otheby’s Paris | 24 juin 2020 Credit : Sotheby’s / ArtDigital Studio
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus
  • ot 7  Property from a Prestigious European Collection PIERRE SOULAGES n. 1919 PEINTURE 130 X 162 CM, 14 AVRIL 1957 signed; signed on the reverse oil on canvas Executed in 1957.  [signé; signé au dos huile sur toile Exécuté en 1957. 130 x 162 cm; 51 3/16 x 63 ¾ in.] LOT SOLD: 4,379,300 EUR
    ot 7 Property from a Prestigious European Collection PIERRE SOULAGES n. 1919 PEINTURE 130 X 162 CM, 14 AVRIL 1957 signed; signed on the reverse oil on canvas Executed in 1957.  [signé; signé au dos huile sur toile Exécuté en 1957. 130 x 162 cm; 51 3/16 x 63 ¾ in.] LOT SOLD: 4,379,300 EUR
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus
  • Lot 129 FRANÇOIS-XAVIER LALANNE LAPIN À VENT DE TOURTOUR 1998 patinated bronze, brass, steel frame, needle-bearing head Signed, monogrammed, numbered and dated LALANNE, FxL, 2/8, 98 on one wing [1998 bronze patiné, laiton, armature en acier, la tête sur roulement à bille Signé, monogrammé, numéroté et daté LALANNE, FxL, 2/8, 98 sur une aile] 180 x 58 x 303 cm ; 70 ⅞ x 22 ⅞ x 119 ¼ in. LOT SOLD: 1,932,500 EUR
    Lot 129 FRANÇOIS-XAVIER LALANNE LAPIN À VENT DE TOURTOUR 1998 patinated bronze, brass, steel frame, needle-bearing head Signed, monogrammed, numbered and dated LALANNE, FxL, 2/8, 98 on one wing [1998 bronze patiné, laiton, armature en acier, la tête sur roulement à bille Signé, monogrammé, numéroté et daté LALANNE, FxL, 2/8, 98 sur une aile] 180 x 58 x 303 cm ; 70 ⅞ x 22 ⅞ x 119 ¼ in. LOT SOLD: 1,932,500 EUR
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus
  • Lot 4 Property from the Collection of Arthur Hadley II ZAO WOU-KI 1920 - 2013 10.2.81 signed and signed in Chinese; signed, dated 10.2.81 and titled on the reverse oil on canvas Executed in 1981. [signé et signé en chinois; signé, daté 10.2.81 et titré au dos huile sur toile Exécuté en 1981. 200 x 162 cm; 78¾x 63¾in.] LOT SOLD: 2,772,500 EUR
    Lot 4 Property from the Collection of Arthur Hadley II ZAO WOU-KI 1920 - 2013 10.2.81 signed and signed in Chinese; signed, dated 10.2.81 and titled on the reverse oil on canvas Executed in 1981. [signé et signé en chinois; signé, daté 10.2.81 et titré au dos huile sur toile Exécuté en 1981. 200 x 162 cm; 78¾x 63¾in.] LOT SOLD: 2,772,500 EUR
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus