Christie’s decorative arts sale today was dominated by the Lalannes:
Works by the playfully surrealist couple Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne put in a positively sprightly performance at Christie’s Important 20th Century Decorative Art and Design auction in New York today, with every one of 52 lots by the two finding buyers, and many pieces earning far above their estimates.
Two works by Claude Lalanne tied for the top lot among the couple’s work at $482,500 apiece including the buyer’s premium. Her 2006 gilt-bronze and copper bench, containing two small crocodiles as back supports, had been expected to go for $100,000 to $150,000, while her 1997 aluminum table fashioned from gingko leaves, numbered four from an edition of eight (with four artist’s proofs), had been judged to be worth only $40,000 to $60,000. Bidders decided otherwise.
Works by the late François-Xavier also performed well. His Grand Ourse (1994), a gentle bear standing seven feet tall, brought in $242,500. It had been expected to net $150,000 to $250,000. A bronze elk by the artist also bounded over its $150,000 estimate as bidders competed for the work, resting only when its price had soared to $266,500. A mysterious fish with a rectangular hole in its center also drew collectors’ fancy, stopping at $104,500 (est. $40–60,000).
Lalanne Works Have Breakout Day at Christie’s (Bloomberg)