SALE RESULTS/ Christie’s Paris: Design
No surprises – Les Lalanne and Giacometti continue to woo collectors.
IN EARLY DECEMBER, Christie’s Paris held their annual winter various owners sale. The 205 lots totalled €8,695,375 (€7,015,900 hammer), against a total high estimate of approximately €5.815.300,00*. The sale was 82.44% sold, helped by some very low reserves when it came to less fashionable lots. Once again, Les Lalanne and Diego Giacometti worked their magic and contributed to 41.7% and 21% respectively of the sales total.
The top lot of the sale was the ‘Fauteuil Crocodile’ by Claude Lalanne that fetched €1,460,000 (Lot 178, estimate unknown, hammer price €1.2 million) followed by the Diego Giacometti bench that sold for €1,016,000 (Lot 154, estimate €300,000-500,000, hammer price €830,000).
The sale presented a beautiful and rare collection by the 1930s ceramist Jean Besnard that attracted collectors attention, in particular the bird ‘Pichet’ (pitcher) that fetched €47,500, making it one of the best performing lots of the sale (Lot 7, estimate €5,000-7,000, hammer price €38,000). Amongst the high performers was also the stunning early mirror by Line Vautrin that sold for €187,500 – more than three times its high estimate (Lot 54, estimate €40,000-60,000, hammer price €150,000,00).
In a section dedicated to a private collection of works by Jacques Quinet, commissioned directly from the designer in 1960, the attention was mostly focused on lightning. For instance, a small lamp base sold for €18,750 against an estimate of €1,500-2,000 (Lot 91, sold for 750% above its high estimate, hammer price €15,000), but an elegant ‘Meuble de rangement’ (storage cabinet) was bought in despite being offered at a starting price of €5,500 (Lot 71, estimate €10,000-15,000).
It was disappointing not to see more bidding action around the rare and early example of the ‘Low chair’ by Gerrit Rietveld acquired directly from the designer by Eva Besnyö (1910-2003) and brought to sale by her family. The chair sold for €47,500 (Lot 128, estimate €35,000-50,000, hammer price €38,000).
This sale confirms once again the strong interest for recognised designers and designs. However, collectors also do pay attention to the provenance and the estimate and strong works will almost always find a new home.
* an approximation as the estimate for ‘Fauteuil Crocodile’ remained concealed.
Design sale at Christie’s took place on 1st December, 2021.