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Lalanne-mania in Paris: Sotheby's Lalanne Auction breaks records
François-Xavier Lalanne, Rhinocrétaire (“Rhinodesk”), 1991. Patinated welded copper and metal, the fall-front opening to reveal a writing surface. Monogrammed FXL, stamped LALANNE, dated 91 and numbered 1/1 on one thigh, 126 x 255 x 72 cm ; 49 ⅝ x 100 ⅜ x 28 ⅜ in. Lot sold: €5,404,400. Courtesy Sotheby’s.



PARIS.- The two-day auction of the personal collection of the late artist duo Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne drew to a close at Sotheby’s Paris tonight, with an outstanding €91,293,713 ($101,470,223) – four times the pre-sale estimates (est. €15.9 – 23m / $17.6 – 25.7m) and the highest total for a private art collection sold in France in the last 10 years. 100% of the lots offered over the course of the two-day sale sold and 96% of them achieved prices above high estimate.

Florent Jeanniard, Head of 20th Century Design at Sotheby’s Europe, said: “The Lalannes’ oeuvre has a universal appeal which was reflected by the enormous excitement the sale generated around globe. The auction which gathered over 4,100 collectors from 43 countries is a huge tribute to the whimsical genius of the couple.”

Mario Tavella, Président-directeur général of Sotheby’s France and Chairman Sotheby’s Europe said: “The results achieved are testament to the immense contribution of Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne to the history of 20th-century art. We are also very proud to have realised the highest total ever achieved for a Sotheby’s sale in France.”

The vast majority of the lots in the sale were significant artworks created and treasured by “Les Lalanne”. Among such pieces were:

ARTWORKS BY FRANÇOIS-XAVIER LALANNE:
• The top lot of the sale was a monumental Rhinocrétaire (“Rhinodesk”) which realised €5,404,400 ($6,006,828), five times the high estimate of €700,000 - 1,000,000. A unique piece from 1991, this unique copper and metal rhinoceros is transformable into a writing desk.

• Lapin à vent, a large gilt patinated bronze rabbit from 2007 sold for €2,532,500 ($2,814,798) (est. €400,000 - 600,000).

• Grand Mouflon de Pauline - a hollowed-out bronzed mouflon from 2008 that doubles as a bar cabinet – achieved €2,412,500 ($2,681,421) (est. €400,000 - 600,000).

• A three-meter tall bronze bear (“Ours”) – one of the “fantastique beasts” that inhabited the Lalannes’ garden - fetched a roaring €2,292,500 ($2,548,045) (est. €400,000 - 600,000).

ARTWORKS BY CLAUDE LALANNE
• A world auction record for Claude Lalanne was set yesterday evening, when her Grand Choupatte (“Cabbage Feet”), a large bronze cabbage on chicken legs from 2012, with versions included in the world’s leading museums and art collections, achieved €2,172,500 ($2,414,669) – ten times the high estimate (est. €150,000 - 200,000 / $166,000-221,000).

• Lapin de Victoire - a standing rabbit made of bronze from 2013 realised €1,632,500 ($1,814,475) (est. €500,000-700,000).

• Her famous Crocodile Desk from 2009, Bureau Crocodile - one of the most masterful interpretations of the artist’s “Croco” motif - fetched €1,572,500 ($1,747,787) (est. €400,000 - 600,000).

WORKS BY ARTIST FRIENDS OF THE DUO
The sale also featured works by artists who were friends of the duo, including Niki de Saint Phalle, Jean Tinguely, Max Ernst, William N. Copley, Jasper Johns and Elaine Sturtevant.

• A Raysse Peinture à Haute Tension by Sturtevant sold for €225,000 ($250,081) (est. €60,000 - 80,000).

• A Box in a Valise (From or by Marcel Duchamp or Rrose Sélavy) sold for €162,500 ($180,614) (est. €40,000-60,000). Conceived between 1935 and 1941, this leather suitcase contains 80 reproductions and miniature replicas of works by Duchamps.

KEY STATISTICS
• Over 4,100 participants from 43 countries

• 9 hours of intense bidding • Activity came from around the world: Europe, North and South America, Asia and the Middle East.

• 2,500 people visited the five-day exhibition in Paris

• The pre-sale high estimate for the whole sale was surpassed after the sale of lot 22

• 26 lots sold above $1m










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