past May 24th important design auction in Paris offered a plethora of major artists from across each of the key periods of design, from Art Nouveau through to Contemporary, totalling 16,623,519 / $17,957,390 (estimate: 7.5 - 10.5 million). 70% of 150 lots sold achieved prices in excess of their high estimates, with many of the top lots making multiples of pre-sale expectations and eight lots selling in excess of 500,000.
Spirited participation from collectors bidding in the room, online and, on the phone, drove strong prices for works by Les Lalanne, who took centre stage. The total for 47 works by the legendary design duo was 12.3 million (against an estimate of 4.9-6.8 million), with all but one lot sold - and over 80% of the pieces exceeding their high-estimates.
The exemplary group was led by one of Claude Lalannes most familiar yet fantastical works, La Pomme de Londres. Multiple bidders vied for the monumental golden apple, which eclipsed its estimate, selling to a buyer in the room at 2,105,000 (estimate: 700,000-1 million). A bidding battle ensued in the closing lots of the sale for François-Xaviers Capricornes attablés, which sprinted to 1,984,000, quadrupling its estimate of 400,000-600,000.
Further exceptional results were seen for Claudes Fauteuil Crocodile (sold for 990,600), and François-Xaviers Oies sauvages (sold for 990,600), Canard Flottant (sold for 736,600) and Gorille dérangé (sold for 635,000).
Diego and Alberto Giacometti were the other star duo of the sale, with a number of emblematic creations by the brothers offered, and every lot finding a buyer. Leading the five lots by Diego Giacometti in todays auction, Table Carcasse à la chauve-souris soared to 698,500 (estimate: 240,000-280,000). Alberto Giacomettis sculptural Masque aux serpents, originally intended as a wall lamp, sold for a triple-estimate 355,600 (estimate: 100,000-150,000).
A further highlight of the auction was Charlotte Perriands striking Bibliothèque Maison du Mexique. The immediately recognisable piece of mid-century furniture, designed for the student residence at Cité Universitaire, met with competition online, in the room and on the phone, to bring 254,000 (estimate: 120,000-180,000). The auction offered seven pieces by Perriand, all of which sold.