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Les Lalanne de Dorothée Lalanne

The second part of Dorothée Lalanne's collection comes to auction at Sotheby’s, including works never seen before at auction.

Sotheby’s Paris
3rd November 2022, 2.30pm CET 

By Astrid Malingreau / 31st October 2022
François-Xavier Lalanne, ‘Taureau II’, 2004 (Lot 29, estimate €1,500,000-2,000,000. Sold for €1,336,0000) COURTESY: Sotheby’s

François-Xavier Lalanne, ‘Taureau II’, 2004 (Lot 29, estimate €1,500,000-2,000,000. Sold for €1,336,0000)
COURTESY: Sotheby’s

THE UPCOMING AUCTION season will see two major sales dedicated to the works of the French couple, Les Lalanne, from the estate of their daughters. The first sale takes place on 3rd November at Sotheby’s Paris, and is the second chapter of the Dorothée Lalanne estate. Next, the collection of Marie Lalanne is to be auctioned at Christie’s New York on 7th December (the full catalogue is yet to be revealed).

François-Xavier Lalanne, ‘La Double Tourterelle’, 1999 (Lot 49, estimate €80,000-120,000. Sold for €277,200) COURTESY: Sotheby’s

François-Xavier Lalanne, ‘La Double Tourterelle’, 1999 (Lot 49, estimate €80,000-120,000. Sold for €277,200)
COURTESY: Sotheby’s

The collection of Dorothée Lalanne comprises 88 pieces – mostly furniture or functional sculptures – whose charm and wit need no introduction.

François-Xavier Lalanne, ‘Hérisson Topiaire’, 1994 (Lot 71, estimate €30,000-50,000. Sold for €277,200) COURTESY: Sotheby’s

François-Xavier Lalanne, ‘Hérisson Topiaire’, 1994 (Lot 71, estimate €30,000-50,000. Sold for €277,200)
COURTESY: Sotheby’s

The top lots are both by François-Xavier. The splendid ‘Grand Mouflon de Pauline’ belonged to Claude herself (Lot 8, estimate €1.5-2 million), the other piece,  ‘Taureau II’ (Lot 29, estimate estimate €1.5-2 million), is the first of this model to come to auction, despite being from an edition of eight.

François-Xavier Lalanne, ‘Grand Mouflon de Pauline’, 2008 (Lot 8, estimate €1,500,000-2,000,000. Sold for €2,939,000) COURTESY: Sotheby’s

François-Xavier Lalanne, ‘Grand Mouflon de Pauline’, 2008 (Lot 8, estimate €1,500,000-2,000,000. Sold for €2,939,000)
COURTESY: Sotheby’s

Indeed, this sale brings to the market many works that have rarely, or never, been seen at auction: the impressive bench ‘S’Asseoir en Forêt’ by Claude, for instance, (Lot 39, estimate €400,000-600,000), and the ‘Table aux Mouettes’ (Lot 25, estimate €700,000-1,000,000) by François-Xavier. It is likely that a great number of Les Lalanne works remains still in the hands of their first owners.

Claude Lalanne, ‘S'Asseoir en Forêt’, 2017 (Lot 39, estimate €400,000-600,000. Sold for €1,426,500) COURTESY: Sotheby’s

Claude Lalanne, ‘S’Asseoir en Forêt’, 2017 (Lot 39, estimate €400,000-600,000. Sold for €1,426,500)
COURTESY: Sotheby’s

Zealous collectors will also be able to acquire unique pieces such as the ‘Grille aux Branchettes, Souris et Lézard’ (Lot 9, estimate €60,000-80,000) and the ‘Grille aux Souris’ (Lot 77, estimate €80,000-120,000), the ‘Éventail’ frame (Lot 69, estimate €15,000-20,000) by Claude Lalanne, or the bucolic carpet ‘Paysage de France Vu du Ciel’ (Lot 5, estimate €30,000-40,000). There is also a very early example of the poetic ‘Lapin à Vent’ from 1969 (Lot 10, estimate €40,000-60,000) by François-Xavier.

François-Xavier Lalanne, ‘Tapis Paysage de France Vu du Ciel’, circa 1980 (Lot 5, estimate €30,000-40,000. Sold for €35,280) COURTESY: Sotheby’s

François-Xavier Lalanne, ‘Tapis Paysage de France Vu du Ciel’, circa 1980 (Lot 5, estimate €30,000-40,000. Sold for €35,280)
COURTESY: Sotheby’s

Unsurprisingly, the estimates are high but remain consistent with the first auction dedicated to Dorothée’s collection. That sale saw roaring record prices last November, such as the ‘Léopard I’ by François-Xavier, which sold for €8,322,900. Since then political turmoil and economic instabilities have arisen but have yet to cast their shadow on this top tier of the design and art market that seems – for now – detached from such considerations.

‘Les Lalanne de Dorothée Lalanne’ at Sotheby’s Paris.

Article by Astrid Malingreau
Article by Astrid Malingreau
Astrid Malingreau is an independent advisor focused on 20th century contemporary design. She previously worked for Christie's in London and New York as a specialist in decorative arts and design. View all articles by Astrid Malingreau