1400-1430 BIRTH AND RENAISSANCE IN fLORENCE
Advances in obstetrics have changed our lifestyles. The danger that the birth once represented for both mother and child is now thankfully forgotten.
To acknowledge the success of a birth, the Renaissance Florentines had the nice practice to offer to the mother a desco da parto. This wooden tablet, round or polygonal, was used for the presentation of food. Those of the aristocracy are painted on both sides.
The copy for sale by Dobiaschofsky in Bern on November 11 is a tempera, in accordance with the best art technique of that time. It is a dodecagon of 53 cm in diameter and 2.7 cm thick made between 1400 and 1430.
The themes are perfectly suited to the subject, since the face side shows a garden of love and the back a young boy with a goose. This rare memory of the life in the Renaissance period is estimated 90 KCHF.
1500 IN SMALL STEPS
A very old tapestry from Flanders or northern France in wool and silk is for sale on April 8 in Paris, Hôtel Drouot,by the joint operations of Mathias, Baron - Ribeyre and Farrando - Lemoine.
This large fragment, 236 x 208 cm, shows a medieval scene in a country setting. A couple is dancing in small stepsbefore a bagpiper. A shepherdess is sitting in the meadow. Their clothes are rural.
Made around 1500, this work had not been influenced by the iconography of the Renaissance. The vegetation isarranged like millefiori on a dark background, and perspective is so ignored that two sheep seem perched in the treetops.
The title "branles" is included in the top left of the picture. Being one of the low dances of the Middle Ages, thebranle was a social dance, simple and slow, of the same class as the ronde.
This interesting example of pre-Renaissance folk art is estimated € 200K.
1632 Parisian Turqueries
2012 SOLD 1.85 M€ including premium
Thus was born the Manufacture de la Savonnerie, or more precisely in the words of the time "la Manufacture royale de tapisseries de Turquie et ouvrages du Levant."
Success is immediate. One of the first foreign customers is an Italian cardinal, who orders a carpet to the master of one of the workshops, Simon Lourdet, in January 1631 (probably just before the installation at Chaillot).
This carpet of exceptional historic interest, delivered in 1632, is estimated € 1.8 million, for sale by Sotheby's in Paris on April 20.
Now measuring 5.92 x 3.86 m, it is inspired by the East with its motifs of flowers on yellow and red backgrounds. The inner border and some decorative motifs already are Parisian innovations. It is unquestionably earlier than the royal blue or brown carpets made by the same factory for Louis XIII.
No similar example is known. Here is the link to the catalog.
POST SALE COMMENT
This carpet is a milestone in the history of French weaving. Sold € 1.85 million including premium, it has however not reached its lower estimate.
1700-1710 BOULLE'S CHANDELIERS
On October 13 in Vienna, Dorotheum sells a chandelier in carved gilt bronze, estimated € 600K. It is richly decorated with dolphins, figures in medallions, heads of lions and of bearded men, foliage and fruit, in the fashion of 300 years ago.
This piece is not very large: 77 cm high, 81 cm in diameter. It was not a model for a palace but rather for a library or a wealthy private apartment.
The press release indicates that three other chandeliers with eight arms attributed to André-Charles Boulle are known, in the collections of the Louvre, the Getty and of Victoria and Albert.
I found on the web the specimen of the Getty, which is very similar to that which will be sold. Getty indicates as a reference an engraving published by Daniel Marot in 1710. Dorotheum dates its lot circa 1700.
This is the first time we meet Daniel Marot in our column. Established in Holland after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, he was a prolific illustrator of French furnishings.
1701 THE ATTRIBUTES OF ROYALTY ON A DESIGN BY LE BRUN
2008 SOLD 410 K£ INCLUDING PREMIUM
This Portière des Renommées is three times royal.
Its drawing, made from Le Brun, is a compendium of everything that could symbolize the glory of King Louis XIV. It shows the royal crown hold by putti surrounded by two female representations of Fame ("Renommée"). The center of the picture is occupied by coat-of-arms of France (the three fleurs-de-lys on a French blue background) and Navarre (the interlaced chains on a red background).
It was edited on an order of King Louis XIV himself transmitted to the Manufacture des Gobelins in 1693, and bears the signature of workshop master Le Souet. Following an interruption of production, the series of twelve tapestries was not completed until 1701.
It once belonged to a great-grandson of King Louis-Philippe.
Curiously, the press release published by Sotheby's mid of May remains discreet about this piece of good size (290x234 cm), good origin, and very good condition. This tapestry has escaped the ravages of time and maintained a remarkable range of colors that remain bold. It is poorly photographed in the press release, very biased and behind some furniture, but appears to be perfect on the image of the catalogue, number 4 from the sale of London on July 8.
Everything happens as if the auction house, estimating it at 150 K£, does not expect more. The role of the tapestry in furnishing and decoration of the castles was dominant until the eighteenth century, but the difficulties of conservation of textiles removed them from their walls to get them replaced by paintings. The tapestries have in any case no role today in the thermal protection of the castles.
POST SALE COMMENT
I hoped that the market would recognize that such a tapestry is exceptional.
At 410 K£ fees included, I believe that this is the case.
<1713 SHORT LIVED LUXURY AT BERLIN
2009 SOLD 290 K£ INCLUDING PREMIUM
Varnish manufacturer and designer coming from Spa in current Belgium, Gerhard Dagly was installed since 1686 in Berlin, where he developed a style of furniture and furnishing of great refinement in the baroque style.
The attribution to this master of a pair of large rectangular mirrors, 197 x 140 cm each, is likely.
At that time the Far East fascinates Europe. The decoration of the mirror frames is lush, but the motifs of Chinese courtiers, palm-trees and garlands of flowers emerge from the imagination of Westerners. The materials are precious: inlaid mother-of-pearl and gilt, Japanned lacquer locally manufactured, all of that in a nice contrast from a black background.
This lot is being sold by Christie's in London on October 28. Its rarity is certainly the cause of the very open estimate: 200 to 400 K£.
Dagly's sponsor, King Frederick I of Prussia, died in 1713. The history of art does not need to know the name of his son who succeeded him. Preferring war to luxury, the "Sergeant King" fired all the artists including Dagly who died shortly after.
POST SALE COMMENT
Luxury and scarcity: the price, 290 K£ including premium, is very good.
1720-1730 THE MIRRORS OF A NEAPOLITAN PALACE
Across Europe, the furnishing of the palaces reached a peak of refinement in the eighteenth century. On September 16 in Zurich, Koller sells a pair of high mirrors, 283 x 134 cm, which once adorned a palace of Naples.
Made between 1720 and 1730, they are made of pierced gilded wood, finely carved. The shoulders are decorated with sirens for one and of dragons for the other. The rounded top is surmounted by a complex foliage figure centered with a mask.
Estimated CHF 240K, this beautiful pair shall please the lovers of authentic objects: it has kept its original mirror plates.
1723-1726 LA COMMEDIA OF BEAUVAIS
2010 SOLD 117 K€ INCLUDING PREMIUM
The tapestry is the foremost decorative art of the Middle Ages. It is transportable and can follow the movements of the kings from castle to castle. In winter, it provides a heat shield on the cold walls.
It is often heavy, literally and figuratively. This makes all the more pleasant the discovery of certain pieces produced in Beauvais in the early reign of Louis XV. These works in the style of Bérain are animated by fun characters, with a beautiful staging and bright colors.
The most famous edition is Les Amusements Champêtres (pastoral amusements) in eight scenes edited in 1731 from designs by Jean-Baptiste Oudry.
The tapestry set of the Italian comedy included six scenes designed by Gillot and Duplessis circa 1723-1726. Two of them, in wool and silk in very good condition after having been restored, 361 x 332 and 352 x 331 cm, are offered for sale by Tajan in Paris on June 24. They will be sold separately with faculty of buying both. Each one is estimated 90 K €.
POST SALE COMMENT
The most picturesque of the two tapestries was sold 117 K € including premium. It stages a fortunetelling woman. The other is unsold.
1740-1770 A Carpet from La Savonnerie, under Louis XV
2000 SOLD for $ 4.4M including premium by Christie's
2008 SOLD 2.5 M€ including premium
It is a pure product of the Manufacture Royale de la Savonnerie, since its cartoon was designed there by Pierre-Josse Perrot, and this copy was woven therein between 1760 and 1770 (according to Sotheby's), or between 1740 and 1750 (according to Christie's). It is not one of the three examples that were woven for the royal furniture, in 1735, 1740 and 1769, one of which is currently in Fontainebleau. Perrot was the titular designer of the Savonnerie, and his style of decoration was particularly appreciated by King Louis XV.
On 2 November 2000, at the sale the very prestigious Riahi collection at Christie's, it was sold $ 4.4 million including premium, doubling the price that Christie's had obtained in London in 1994. It is the catalog in Sotheby's, as always very detailed in the origins and dates, which invited me to find these historic sales made by its competitor.
Some of the finest carpets— whether from Persia, India, China, Egypt or France — have soared to great heights in our salerooms. Find yours in Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds Including Oriental Rugs and Carpets on 28 October at Christie's in London: https://t.co/kThrDKu6KC pic.twitter.com/McMY8SlKAa— Christie's (@ChristiesInc) October 27, 2021
1745 Freshness of a Pot-Pourri Vase
2008 SOLD 2.15 M£ including premium
But that day, it is not a piece of furniture which made the top price. The hammer fell (if I dare this wording) at 2 M€ (before fees) on a pair of celadon Kangxi vases with Louis XV bronze mounting, which had been estimated 800 K€.
A similar scene can be repeated in London on July 8, again at Sotheby's, on a covered pot-pourri Qianlong vase mounted under Louis XV with gilded bronze. The press release emitted by Sotheby's on May 14 is particularly talkative concerning this lot, so there is need to await the catalogue before presenting it to you. The estimate of this mounted porcelain is announced as in excess of 1 M£.
This vase is dated to approximately 1745, which corresponds to the first years of the reign of Qianlong and to first half of the personal reign of Louis XV. The photograph gives an idea of the sumptuous aspect of this black and gold porcelain, with the decoration of flowers and foliages enhanced by gilded bronzes nicely carved. There is no doubt, it is an exceptional piece, being able to form pair with another vase currently in a museum of Berlin.
The porcelain of the Far East mounted with bronze or silver is a creation of the Parisian market of that time, one in the manners of promoting the luxury which were then invented by that corporation that one called the merchant-drapers (marchands-merciers). The Chinese black porcelain was another innovation of that time.
Large, luminous, sumptuous, this pot-pourri vase has very much to be liked, and the amateurs of great provenance will note that it had belonged to the Riahi collection.
So it is a great bidding in prospect.
POST SALE COMMENT
With £ 2.15 million including fees, our potpourri is slightly above the pair of vases that I had taken as a reference in my article. In both cases, the estimate was much lower.
At this price level, I think that the auction houses work very hard to convince buyers of the unique characteristics of the concerned lots. It must suffice that an important buyer is not convinced and then the object becomes harder to sell. The market for luxury furnishings is necessarily more selective than for furniture, the latter being better regulated by the models and stamps.
Here, Sotheby's had correctly considered that the piece was exceptional. It's good.
1750 MICHEL AUDRAN WAS WEAVING DON QUIXOTE
Michel Audran, who belonged to a family of artists, specialized in tapestry, and held the post of "entrepreneur" (contractor) of the Manufacture Royale des Gobelins in Paris. His work spans 40 years. He is specifically appreciated for the beauty of his production.
On September 19, Hampel in Munich sells a tapestry signed circa 1750 by this master (Lot 37). 3.48 meters high, it represents in a cartridge an episode of the history of "Dom Quijotte" after a design by Charles Antoine Coypel. In a palace richly decorated a group of characters discuss around a bust on a table. Don Quixote is consulting the Enchanted Head at Don Antonio's home.
The bands surrounding the cartridge are abundantly decorated with garlands of flowers and volutes. A ram springs in the bottom right corner. A mark shows that the tapestry was produced in the Manufacture Royale during the reign of Louis XV.
In 1773, the superintendent of buildings of the king, the Marquis de Marigny, gave this piece to the designer in charge of interior work of Versailles and Fontainebleau. He probably wanted to provide him with a model to follow in terms of manufacturing quality.
Hampel announce that the tapestry is in excellent condition of preservation. It is estimated 140 K €. Taking as an example the tapestry after Le Brun which had been described in my previous article in this group, it is hoped that this one also is undervalued. It deserves more than the advertised price.
1784 Louis XVI Grand Decoration
2013 SOLD 1.18 M€ including premium
It was tempting to attribute these pieces to Pierre Gouthière, who was along with Thomire the best bronze caster during the reign of Louis XVI. A recent study reallocates them to François Rémond, a former collaborator of Gouthière and a frequent supplier of the marchand-mercier Dominique Daguerre. Rémond being a bronze gilder, a co-operation with Gouthière for this lot must not be excluded but cannot be demonstrated.
These four torchères were originally within a group of six made in 1784 for the duc de Choiseul-Praslin. The four were included in 1882 in the sale of the Duke of Hamilton, which was one of the most important auctions of all time. The other two had been entered in 1796 in the Danish royal collections.
They are shown in a post shared by Le Figaro on April 25. The 1784 transaction between Rémond and Daguerre was not yet analyzed at the time of this release. The estimate, around € 1.5 million, is announced by La Gazette Drouot.
POST SALE COMMENT
This suite did not reach the expected price but was sold : € 1.18M including premium.
<1786 A ROYAL CHANDELIER AT THE TIME OF FREDERICK THE GREAT
2012 SOLD 600 K$ INCLUDING PREMIUM
Frederick (Friedrich) II of Prussia wanted to compete with Dresden and Meissen. Gathering under his authority a few workshops in Berlin, he founded in 1763 the Königliche Porzellan-Manufaktur (KPM).
Responsible for the "ornaments", Friedrich Elias Meyer created porcelain figures of fames and cherubs in the Rococo style. The workshop of the gilded bronzes was operated by Pierre Geoffroy.
A chandelier for sale by Sotheby's in New York on April 19 was produced according to the models of these artists during this first period of the KPM. This piece with 21 lights is 1.68 meters high with a diameter of 1.04 m. Here is the link to the catalog.
In 1765, Frederick had acquired from the KPM a chandelier with 21 lights. The example for sale is perhaps the royal piece, or more likely a copy made before 1786. It is estimated $ 500K.
POST SALE COMMENT
Good price for this piece of extravagant decoration: $ 600K including premium.
1790-1805 DUGOURC AND THOMIRE PROPAGATE THE FRENCH TASTE
To make a candelabra, you first draw an athénienne, about 80 cm high, and you top it with a vase where you add six springing light arms shaped as a bouquet, for a total height reaching 1.20 m. Foresee a rich decoration, with many ornaments responding to the themes of your time. Have the carving made in bronze by the best craftsman in Paris, and then contact the court of neighboring kingdoms eager to show that they follow the fashion of Paris. Then : sell !
This story takes place towards the end of the reign of Louis XVI. In 2008, on December 16 in Paris at Christie's, lot 3 of the auction sale 5555 is a pair of candelabra attributed to Philippe Pierre Thomire and estimated 1.5 million €.
In a very interesting approach, the catalog emphasizes the role, not of Thomire whom all fans of Louis XVI style know, but of Jean-Démosthène Dugourc. This designer indeed spread the Louis XVI style in Spain and Russia. The pair of candelabras that we are talking about today was probably part of an order to Thomire on the recommendations of Dugourc in favor of the royal palace in Madrid, between 1790 and 1805.
I once spoke about silver on the French influence in Napoleonic Europe. It is clear that the Paris fashion had begun to spread in Europe long time before.
POST SALE COMMENT
The pair of candelabra, too expensive, has not been sold.
However this sale, devoted entirely to a great collection, recorded an excellent result on the other lot that I included in my weekly preview. The Louis XIV commode attributed to the first BVRB was sold € 4.1 million including expenses. This result is very remarkable because this furniture is classified a historical monument in France, which prohibits him from being exported. It is common that such a constraint would lower prices.
1804-1805 SAVAGES AND BOURGEOIS
We are in Mâcon, near Lyons, in the year XIII of the French revolutionary calendar (it lists more often today as the year 1804-1805). An entrepreneur of that city, Joseph Dufour, invented the "panoramique". The following year, his success led him to settle in Paris.
The high bourgeoisie, whose social status is reinforced since the Revolution of 1789, is looking for new emotions and for a new environment. For their apartments (and their castles), Dufour produces colored wallpaper, inspired by exotic and later mythological stories.
His panoramique entitled "les Sauvages de la mer du Pacifique" ou "les Voyages du Capitaine Cook" (Savages of the Pacific, or Travels of Captain Cook), deserves a detailed description, which is based on the Wikipedia article in English .
Twenty paper panels provide a circular landscape view inspired by Cook's travels. Circular means that the last one can be connected to the first. The animation, very free, of boats and of wild people, comes straight from the imagination of the artist, Jean-Gabriel Charvet. In order not to frighten the bourgeois, the "wild" look like opera characters.
Likely to adjust the size for the client, Dufour also provided vertical separations with column drawings and a cornice to fit to the ceiling.
A complete copy of this masterpiece of Dufour and Charvet will go on sale in Paris (Drouot) on June 12, by Binoche Renaud Giquello. It includes fourteen columns for an overall width to 17 meters, and a cornice going up to 2.7 meters. This monumental (and so romantic!) masterpiece is estimated 80 K €.
1815 A NEARLY EXTINCT MINERAL, THE BLUE JOHN
2009 SOLD 150 K$ INCLUDING PREMIUM
The Blue John was used for decoration in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. It is a blue variety of fluorite, which is extracted from a Derbyshire cavern. The French called it "Bleu et jaune" and the English transcribed phonetically this name into Blue John. Its first user was Robert Adam. The deposit is now almost exhausted.
The size of the ore does not exceed twenty centimeters, and a vase 75 cm high is always an assembly. Sotheby's sells one of this size, shaped as an ancient crater, in New York on April 9. Made circa 1815 by a local craftsman named James Shore, it is therefore an artefact of the Regency era. Its design is based on a drawing by Percier and Fontaine.
The estimate is 60 K$. However, Sotheby's catalog said they have sold another Blue John vase of the same signature, smaller, 240 K$ inclusive on April 7, 2004. For the 2009 copy, they announce restorations. This may explain the price difference.
POST SALE COMMENT
The estimate was far too timid, but was offset by the information concerning the result of 2004. Our vase reached 150 K $ including expenses.
1880-1883 TELL ME JEAN, AM I BEAUTY IN THIS MIRROR ?
In the catalog for Christie's sale in London on September 24, I viewed an incongruous and unexpected piece. Its fable worth destiny shows how can be transmitted to the modern world the influence of a style otherwise completely out of fashion.
The designers of the era of Louis XVI loved the theme of putti. They included them everywhere. Our piece of furnishing is a gilt bronze table mirror, 1 meter high, made by Gustave Dore between 1880 and 1883 for a Russian Imperial commission, and now estimated at 200 K £.
In the months before his fatal heart attack, Doré began to be interested in decorating. A prolific artist influenced by romanticism and fantasy, he had previously specialized in book illustrations, for which he was one of the best draughtsmen of his time.
Clinging to the drapés, the putti of our mirror are realistic and active. It's the only thing that distinguishes them from their predecessors, but it has probably been enough to draw the attention of Jean Cocteau, a great fan of the works of Dore, who became its owner.
Thus this object inspired in 1946 one of the most poetic and most atypical films in the history of movies, "Beauty and the Beast"!
1922 ART DECO AS SIMPLE AS AN EGG
In the specialized Art Déco auction sale of Camard on March 31 in Paris (Hôtel Drouot), I have already discussed a couple of armchairs by Rateau. I come again to this sale for paying tribute to one of the most original creators of this fruitful period, Pierre Legrain.
This interior designer was encouraged by Jacques Doucet: you can not imagine a better reference. His furniture and furnishings are exquisite, unconventional, and of infinite variety. We can also make a similar compliment to his first master, Paul Iribe.
What could be more simple and more beautiful than an egg? This is the shape of the table lamp in white frosted glass, estimated 350 K €. It is mounted on a silvered bronze with geometric designs in polychrome enamel, signed in 1922 by Gustave Miklos. The overall size is 42 x 27 x 27 cm.
Both artists were 34 years old in 1922. The untimely death of Legrain in 1929 has sunk him into oblivion outside the specialized circles of decoration, and also those of bookbinding for which he was one of the best masters of the last century. Miklos, best known as a sculptor, got the highlight at auction as a maker of furniture one year ago: a pair of benches reached € 1.7 million including premium in the Yves Saint-Laurent sale organized in Paris by Christie's and Pierre Bergé.
1924 A Paravent at Jean Désert
2020 SOLD for $ 2.14M including premium
There is also no limit in the variety of the furnishings. The panels which in 1913 attracted the attention of Jacques Doucet are followed by folding screens in Japanese fashion. The figurative motifs are soon replaced by increasingly minimalist abstractions, according to the trends in painting at that time including Mondrian and the De Stijl group.
The culmination of this phase is the openwork screen Briques, designed in 1922 or 1923, which will be a lasting success. Among the earliest examples in black lacquered wood, an eleven column Briques 2.15 m high was sold for £ 1.5M including premium by Phillips on April 27, 2016 and a seven column Briques 1.96 m high for € 1.35M including premium by Christie's on March 29, 2011.
In 1922 Eileen Gray feels the need to increase her commercial visibility. She opens a shop rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré as Galerie Jean Désert. She did not explain how she coined that name.
A photo published in 1924 shows a screen at Jean Désert. This piece is composed of six panels 2 m x 43 cm x 1.5 cm in dark brown lacquered wood with a minimalist decoration of irregular horizontal lines and commas made with silver foils and by incisions. This model, probably designed shortly before the Briques, was not successful : only one replica is known, with a geometry in the manner of De Stijl.
The screen remained at Jean Désert until the gallery closed in 1930. It was sold for $ 1.87M including premium by Christie's on December 12, 2012, lot 32, and is estimated $ 1.5M for sale by Sotheby's in New York on December 9, lot 20.
1925-1930 LACQUERED PANELS BY JEAN DUNAND
2009 SOLD 240 K€ INCLUDING PREMIUM
The Swiss decorator Jean Dunand came to Paris to take part in the Art Deco movement and became a naturalized French. Specialist of pieces of furnishings, he practices his skills of dinandier and lacquerer. Remind that the dinanderie art or brassware is to give shape to the metal by hammering.
The gilded and lacquered panels of Dunand are luxurious. His most famous achievement is his contribution to the decoration of the Normandie liner. His horses are one of the greatest achievements of the Art Deco figuration.
Architects, cabinetmakers and decorators were working together to renew the decorative arts with a focus on luxury over narration. Thus, Sotheby's offers in Paris on November 25 a double folding door made between 1925 and 1930 by Dunand and Mallet-Stevens together for the Parisian mansion of the architect.
Each door is a screen composed of five elements of 198 x 35 cm. The decoration is geometric. The bright and contrasted front size is signed by Dunand. The back is a joint work by Dunand and Mallet-Stevens on a uniform background of tobacco color.
This lot is estimated 200 K €.
POST SALE COMMENT
The lot was sold 240 K € including premium, and thus remained around the low estimate. But it is a good result.
The source is very important for the decorative art of the last century. Here, it was prestigious (Mallet-Stevens). It has certainly helped to achieve this success.
1954 Giacometti with Frank and Tériade
2017 SOLD for £ 2.05M including premium
Jean-Michel Frank is at the forefront of furniture and furnishing with his designs already announcing the post-Art Déco. Alberto exercises his skills to create for Frank new utility models of lamps, vases, bowls, andirons, consoles and chimneys. With Tériade who was to be the creator of the magazine Verve, Alberto tries to define his own way between surrealism, cubism and tribal art.
Frank dies in 1941. Becoming after the war a major artistic creator, Alberto leaves his decorating activity except for very few friends including Tériade. His chandeliers are thus extremely rare examples of abstract sculpture from the period of his greatest maturity.
On October 20, 2007, Artcurial sold artworks by Alberto from the deceased estate of Alice Tériade. Amateurs recognized the importance of that provenance and the estimates were totally overcome. This group consisted of a torch lamp and two floor lamps from the Frank period, the bronze of a standing woman and three chandeliers that had adorned Tériade's residences.
The largest chandelier, 129 cm in diameter, made of iron and plaster around 1954 with four lights between two circles surrounding a large suspended cone, was sold for € 1,92M including premium over a lower estimate of € 70K. It is estimated £ 1.5M for sale by Phillips in London on April 26, lot 215.
Here are the results obtained by Artcurial for the two other chandeliers : € 1,82M including premium over a lower estimate of € 200K for a chandelier in iron and plaster 45 cm in diameter made before 1951 with the collaboration of Diego, and € 720K including premium over a lower estimate of € 25K on a bronze chandelier of the same diameter.
THE MIRRORS OF LINE VAUTRIN
2008 SOLD 50 K€ INCLUDING PREMIUM
Line Vautrin was a designer of furnishings whose very original outputs are increasingly sought. Starting from cellulose acetate, she obtained in the 1940s a material, named talosel, that suited her research in the field of shimmering and color effects. She created various jewelry, boxes, candlesticks, lamps and especially mirrors.
Her mirrors are round, surrounded by a radiant corona. The size, design and material of the radiant elements vary widely, and the rarity of the model is an indisputable element of the price.
Thus, on May 18, a flat mirror with antler shaped corona was sold 56 K € before fees by Maître Dragon at Chatou. It was very damaged, but it was a large size (1.10 m overall diameter) unique model.
On 15 April 2007, the same Paris suburban office had obtained 95 K € before fees on a 60 cm wide "miroir de sorcière" of feather-shaped corona elements, whose corona had rare characteristics of being asymmetrical and of having a bigger area than the mirror itself. The "miroir de sorcière" (witch mirror) wording, which applies to most of Vautrin mirrors, is not an invention of her but refers to convex round mirrors. Of course, the distortion of the reflected image justifies this wording.
On 7 December 2005 in New York, Christie's sold 168 K$ costs included a mirror of 58 cm where the small corona was more common but particularly aesthetic. A deeper look at Christie's confirmed that a predominant corona adds indisputable value.
On 30 July in Monte Carlo, Tajan sells no less than 23 mirrors of Vautrin. The coronas are of geometrical patterns and remain small. It therefore seems quite logical that none of these lots is estimated at the price level I have noted above, but this is a good opportunity to verify the value of these items. The highest estimate of this group is on lot 16, a mirror sun of 57 cm expecting 45 K €. The catalogue contains nine other mirrors estimated 26 K € or more.
POST SALE COMMENT
The results are good. Nine mirrors of Vautrin have been sold, including six beyond 26 K €. This indicates that the most important pieces are also easier to sell.
As the sale did not contain a rare model the logical result was that the mirrors Soleil à pointes attracted the fans. These mirrors record the three highest prices for this group, at 50 K € (for Lot 16, which had the highest estimate), 46 K € and 37 K €. These prices include fees.
2011 THE COSMIC CHANDELIER OF LIBESKIND
Like many architects, Daniel Libeskind connects his art to consideration on humanity, life and cosmos. His most oftenoblique walls provide a contemporary look to his buildings with an undeniable elegance.
The "eL" chandelier was edited in 25 copies in 2011 for Zumtobel, a company specialized in lighting engineering. With a total height of 2.70 m, it contains 1680 LED modules distributed over the outer surface of 18 steel panels. The internal faces are gold plated.
Several scenarios of colors are operated by microcontrollers integrated into these structures. Each scenario lasts exactly 14 seconds, and every second symbolizes one billion years of the history of the universe according to the design of Noam Libeskind, astrophysicist and artist's son.
Each LED module is thus representing a galaxy, and the occupation of space by the stars is continuously extending since the Big Bang, 14 billion years ago.
The serial number 1 of eL is estimated € 340K, for sale by Dorotheum in Vienna on November 27. I invite you to play the video shared by the auction house on YouTube