SALE PREVIEW: François and Betty Catroux
A sale with glamorous provenance - TDE highlights five lots to watch.
24th February 2022
ON THE 24TH of February, Sotheby’s Paris will offer the collection of Betty and François Catroux, the glamorous couple at the heart of the 1970’s art and social scene in Paris.
Betty, a slender, androgynous beauty, became Yves Saint Laurent’s muse. François, an equally dashing figure, was an interior designer who created interiors for the international jet set – from Russian Oligarchs, to Greek and Arab Princesses.
The 119 lots were collected by François for an apartment in the Palais Maeterlinck (Nice) overlooking the French riviera, where the couple were planning to spend their old age. Sadly, François passed away before its completion.
The collection comprises artworks and a mixture of contemporary and 20th century works of design, with estimates ranging from a couple of hundred Euros, to the hundreds of thousands. The catalogue sale is organised by room – in order to highlight François’s decorating flair – and clients will undoubtedly be tempted by both the appealing estimates and the glamorous provenance.
The highlights of the sale are the four lots by British designer Ron Arad, whose estimates are more robust. They are all from the ‘Volume’ series, whose metal distortion and playful light reflection have become the designer’s trademark.
Amongst this selection ‘Two legs and a table’ (Lot 21, estimate €60,000-80,000) and ‘Three legs and a table’ (Lot 42, estimate €70,000-100,000) are the rarest because they were made in Arad’s London workshop One Off and, although they were conceived as an edition of 20, only a few were ever produced.
Some collectors might be interested in works that captured the singularities of Catroux’s interiors such as the ‘Éclair’ lamp by Serge Manzo for Pierre Cardin (Lot 23, estimate €3,000-5,000). This piece perfectly reflects the decorator’s love of refined materials and craftsmanship, combined with a dash of futurism.
The pair of ‘Columns’ by Marcial Berro (Lot 64, estimate €1,200-1,500) – bought directly from the Galerie du Passage – are also worth a look, as Berro was an artist also collected by both Yves Saint Laurent and Marion Lambert.
Perhaps an admirer might even venture for one of the creations of Catroux himself, such as the ‘Modular High Table’ (Lot 51, estimate €3,000-5,000).
François and Betty Catroux: a Mediterranean setting at Sotheby’s Paris.