If you find 20th-century French design intriguing, you must know that Sotheby’s Paris is all set to host a fantastic auction on September 12, 2019. Here’s what to expect. By Rashima Nagpal
The Saint-Germain-des-Pré neighbourhood is one of Paris’s most classic neighbourhoods. Other than plenty of chic cafes, vintage book stores, and boutique shops, it is home to the iconic Sotheby’s Paris since 1988. Coming September, the art house is putting up a Parisian collection of 20th-century design on auction. We speak with Florent Jeanniard, European head of Design at Sotheby’s, to get an insight.
What should the buyers expect at the auction?
The collection consists of works by major French artists of the 20th century, including Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne, André Dubreuil, Jean Després and Line Vautrin, which have been sought after by international collectors for the last five years.
The collector amassed the largest collection ever seen of works by Dubreuil, Després and Line Vautrin. They are all timeless designs yet utterly contemporary. Some works are really rare such as ‘Chou-patte’ by Claude Lalanne, a unique piece from 1984 (estimate: INR 1,16,04,450 – INR 1,54,72,461), ‘the brown woolen sheep’ by François-Xavier Lalanne (estimate: INR 3,48,22,350 – INR 4,25,60,650), and the talosel mirror by Line Vautrin entitled ‘Rose des Sables’ (estimate: INR 54,15,470 – INR 77,36,552) — rarely seen on the market.
Why 20th century design as the concept of this collection?
This remarkable collection was put together in the heart of the mythical district of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, where the greatest artists of the 20th century met. Few Parisian neighborhoods have such a rich past, where history and creativity have come together. A true Saint-Germain-des-Prés resident, the owner of the apartment in which this collection was housed made most of his acquisitions in neighbouring galleries, carefully building, over a period of some 30 years, an impressive ensemble of 20th-century design that not only speaks to his great eye, but also captures the beating heart of the district from which it was born.
Your personal favourite pieces at this auction?
Many pieces have my preferences because they reflect a certain elegance and style. The collection brings together several piece by same artists like Les Lalanne, Line Vautrin, André Dubreuil and Puiforcat.
So I find the Line Vautrin mirrors exceptionally beautiful and some are very rare.
Something you’d like to recommend keeping in mind the Indian buyer?
All the silver works by Puiforact may attract interest from Indian collectors. They may like the iconic works by Lalannes, which are in the collection as well.