On 14 September, Christie’s will host the collection sale of a major international collector which was assembled over many years under the direction and curation of Hubert de Givenchy, and features exceptional works of art that they collected together. Estimated at between 4 and 6 million euros, this cross-category collection of nearly 270 lots includes masterpieces by the greatest Parisian cabinetmakers of the 18th century, combined with major artists of the 20th century, such as François-Xavier and Claude Lalanne.
Lionel Gosset, Director of Collections: “The choice of furniture and decorative works of art combined in a successful marriage between the 18th and 20th centuries reflect Hubert de Givenchy’s signature, synonymous of the great taste of l’élégance à la française that has captivated so many people across the Atlantic”.
FRANÇOIS-XAVIER AND CLAUDE LALANNE
Several major pieces executed by François-Xavier and Claude Lalanne will go under the hammer such as a unique and poetic chandelier with a vegetal structure animated by butterflies by Claude Lalanne. (estimate: €800,000-1,200,000). Another unique piece by the artist is the small version of a Choupatte.
The enduring popularity of this work, which has been produced in several sizes, shapes and unique pieces over several decades, makes this extraordinary shape one of his most sought-after creations (estimate: €100,000-150,000). By François-Xavier Lalanne collectors will be able to discover two models: Singe attentive II and Singe allumé (estimate: €300,000-500,000 each).
Also offered at auction is a charming Lamb from the iconic Nouveaux moutons series (estimate: €100,000-150,000). These models echo two remarkable exhibitions which are taking place this summer at the château de Versailles and the Clark Institute in the United States.
Classical furniture – the collector’s first passion – is highlighted by two elegant desks forming a pair (estimate: €300,000-500,000) including one from the Louis XVI period, stamped by Philippe-Claude Montigny. They perfectly illustrate the return of simplicity of lines which was prevalent from the end of the reign of Louis XV and during the reign of Louis XVI.
Also worth mentioning are six Louis XVI armchairs executed by Louis Delanois (estimate: €250,000-400,000) which were formerly in two of the most celebrated 20th-century collections of 18th-century decorative arts: Arthur Lopez-Willshaw and Karl Lagerfeld. His skills were appreciated by kings and the important aristocratic families, and his patrons included the Count of Artois (future Charles X), the Prince of Condé and King Stanislas II of Poland.
DECORATIVE WORKS OF ART
The collection also includes some sumptuous decorative works of art, such as an Italian baroque mirror (estimate: €60,000-100,000), a suite of four candelabra, including one pair delicately chased by François Rémond, considered as one of the best gilders of his time, (estimate: €120,000-180,000).
The candelabra in the dining room stood on four Neo-classical pedestals, (Northern European work from the first half of the 19th century, (estimate: €120,000-180,000) from the Parisian home of Daisy Fellowes. Clock enthusiasts should be attracted by those offered in the sale, such as a sumptuous calendar and warrior clock from the Directoire period (estimate: €40,000-60,000) and an 18th-century clock by Robert Osmond and Claude-Charles-François Filon (estimate: €30,000-50,000).
Prolific bronze maker as well as prized by connoisseurs of the time, Osmond’s work was distributed by clockmakers and major ‘Marchands Mercier’s. Several of their clocks are now in museum collections, including one representing the Rape of Europe (Getty Museum, California) in the Louis XV style and two important neo-classical forms, as well as a vase with lions’ heads (Musée Condé, Chantilly and Cleveland Museum of Art).
POST-WAR AND CONTEMPORARY ART
Post-war and contemporary art was also one of our collector’s favourite subjects, focusing on major artists, such as the artist Fernando Botero, represented in the sale through a sensual marble sculpture, The Couple, (estimate: €200,000-400,000). Another emblematic piece, this one by the artist Bernar Venet, is a bronze Spiral sculpture (estimate: €40,000-60,000). The sculpture’s counterpart will also be offered in the medium of a charcoal drawing, Three indeterminate lines, offered for an estimate of €15,000 and €20,000.