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Christie's announces La Ménagerie Design Sale
François-Xavier Lalanne, Unique 'Hippopotame I' Bathtub, 1969. Estimate: $1,000,000 – 1,500,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2019.

NEW YORK, NY.- Offered as part of Christie’s marquee 20th Century Week in November, Christie’s announced La Ménagerie, which will take place on Tuesday, 12 November 2019. The curated auction includes 31 works of sculpture and design based on artists’ interpretations of animals and wildlife from the powerful and elegant to the playful and irreverent. This exceptional cross-category sale follows on last year’s incredibly successful Alberto and Diego Giacometti: Masters of Design. Featuring a dynamic breadth of artists spanning the 20th century to present day, La Ménagerie includes works by 12 artists including Diego Giacometti, Alexander Calder, Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne, Rembrandt Bugatti, François Pompon, Fernando Botero, and David Wiseman.

Auction highlights include the exceptional brass Unique 'Hippopotame I' Bathtub, 1969 by François-Xavier Lalanne ($1,000,000 – 1,500,000). Measuring more than nine feet long and standing over four feet high, Lalanne’s life-size incarnation of the African ‘river horse’ contains a sink and vanity folded into its cavernous mouth and a full bathtub stowed in its body. An additional highlight of the sale is Rembrandt Bugatti’s Deux éléphants, l'un derrière l'autre ($600,000 – 800,000), which recalls the elephant theme of Bugatti’s famed Dancing Elephant hood ornament design that was used by his brother’s eponymous automobile company.

Further highlights include a group of wild and domesticated animal sculptures by François Pompon, featuring Ours blanc ($200,000 – 300,000), a rare and exceptional polar bear carved from white marble (the monumental stone version of which resides in the Musée d’Orsay) and a selection of works from an Important French Collector including a charming Boston-Terrier ($25,000 – 35,000), which previously belonged to the designer Yves Saint Laurent. Other notable works include two feline masterworks by Rembrandt Bugatti: Deux léopards marchant ($450,000 – 650,000) and Petite panthère ($250,000-350,000) further accompanied by Diego Giacometti’s playful Chat maître d'hôtel ($100,000 – 150,000), all from the Property of a Distinguished European Collector. Other highlights by Giacometti include a rare Porte-manteaux au hibou ($300,000 – 500,000), a whimsical coat-rack that features a small owl perched upon one of its leafy branches, acquired directly from the artist by the present owner in 1968.

The collection will be on public view at Christie’s Rockefeller Center galleries from 2-10 November ahead of the live auction on 12 November.

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