Eileen Gray, Fauteuil aux dragons, Circa 1917-1919, Sells For €21.9 Million /£19.4 Million / $28.3 Million. World Record For Most Expensive Work Of 20th Century Decorative Art At Auction. WORLD RECORD FOR ARTIST AT AUCTION
Paris – Tonight’s second evening sale at the Grand Palais saw the hammer go down on the highly anticipated 20th Century Decorative Arts section of the Collection of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé, offered by Christie’s in association with Pierre Bergé & Associates auctioneers. This meticulously selected group of Art Deco treasures, a sophisticated celebration of one of the most brilliant chapters in Parisian cultural life, realised a total of €59.1 million / £52.6 million / $76.5 million. The star lot of the evening was Eileen Gray’s ‘Dragons’ armchair, circa 1917-1919, which sold for €21.9 million / £19.4 million / $28.3 million, a world record for a work of 20th century decorative art at auction, and a world record for the artist at auction. 10 works of art sold for over €1 million (10 over £1 million and 10 over $1 million). The auction saw a total of 12 artist records established.
Philippe Garner, International Head and Sonja Ganne, European Director, 20th Century Decorative Art & Design said: “Tonight’s sale was a homage to the great personalities, designers, collectors and patrons who so marked their era in Paris in the 1920s and 1930s and, of course, to the pioneering vision of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé as collectors.”
Leading highlights of the sale included:
Eileen Gray (1878-1976), an enfilade, circa 1915-1917. 2ND HIGHEST PRICE AT AUCTION FOR THE ARTIST
Eileen Gray (1878-1976), a 'satellite' hanging light, circa 1925
Gustave Miklos, Paire de banquettes, 1928. WORLD RECORD FOR ARTIST AT AUCTION
• The Gustave Miklos pair of palm wood and lacquered bronze banquettes, 1928-1929, commissioned by Jacques Doucet, sold for €1.7 million / £1.5 million / $2.2 million (estimate: €2,000,000-3,000,000), a world auction record for the artist.
Jean Dunand (1877-1942), two monumental vases, 1925. WORLD RECORD FOR ARTIST AT AUCTION
• Monumental in size and striking in design, the Jean Dunand pair of lacquered and gilt metal vases, 1925, stirred competitive bidding and sold for €3 million / £2.7 million / $3.9 million (estimate: €1,000,000-1,500,000), a world record for the artist at auction. Bidders competed fiercely for other works by Dunand, such as a vase with a rearing serpent, 1920, which sold for €325,000 / £289,250 / $420,518 (estimate: €25,000 – 35,000), and a pair of armchairs, circa 1925, which sold for €625,000 / £566,250 / $808,688 (estimate: €400,000 – 600,000)
Claude Lalanne, Suite de 15 miroirs aux branchages. WORLD RECORD FOR ARTIST AT AUCTION
• Works by Claude Lalanne sold for prices that far exceeded their estimates and a spectacular set of fifteen bronze and galvanised copper mirrors, modelled as branches, 1974-1985, sold for €1.8 million / £1.6 million / $2.4 million (estimate: €700,000-1,000,000), a world record for the artist at auction. Specially commissioned by Yves Saint Laurent, in 1974, they took 11 years to complete.
François-Xavier Lalanne, Bar YSL. WORLD RECORD FOR ARTIST AT AUCTION
• The sculptural YSL bar, François-Xavier Lalanne’s first commission from Yves Saint Laurent, sold for €2.7 million / £2.4 million / $3.5 million (estimate: €700,000-1,000,000), a world record for the artist at auction. A striking, robust rectangular console executed in steel cut with a blowtorch and patinated, it was a centrepiece of the library in Yves Saint Laurent’s apartment in rue de Babylone.
Eckart Muthesius, Paire de lampes de parquet. WORLD RECORD FOR ARTIST AT AUCTION
• A pair of floor lamps, 1930 by Eckart Muthesius commissioned by the Maharaja of Indore for his Modernist palace sold for €2.5 million / £2.2 million / $3.2 million (estimate: €400,000-600,000), far exceeding the world record for the artist at auction.
Pierre Legrain (1888-1929) , tabouret curule africaniste, vers 1920-1925
Jean-Michel Frank (1895-1941) , lampe de table, vers 1926
Other lots in the sale such as the curule stool of African inspiration, circa 1920-1925 by Pierre Legrain which sold for €457,000 / £406,730 / $591,312 (estimate: €400,000 – 600,000), a circular occasional table, designed by Armand Albert Rateau in 1919 which sold for €1.1 million / £1 million / $1.4 million (estimate: €600,000 – 800,000), and the crystal table lamp, circa 1926 by Jean-Michel Frank, which sold for €193,000 / £171,770/ $249,723 (estimate: €80,000 – 120,000) reflect the uncommon blend of instinctive passion and deep connoisseurship that the collectors applied at every level in their unerring search for refinement and elegance.
Ernest Boiceau, Tapis aux perruches et perroquets, vers 1920. Estimate: €150,000-200,000. Sold for € 601,000. WORLD RECORD FOR ARTIST AT AUCTION
Ivan da Silva Bruhns, Grand tapis de laine, 1925. Estimate: €100,000-150,000. Sold for €229,000. WORLD RECORD FOR ARTIST AT AUCTION
Albert Cheuret, Console aux trois Cobras, 1925. Estimate: €150,000-200,000. Sold for €313,000. WORLD RECORD FOR ARTIST AT AUCTION
Joseph Csaky, Figure, 1921. Estimate: €30,000-40,000. Sold for €145,000. WORLD RECORD FOR ARTIST AT AUCTION
Bernard Dunand, Table basse, 1950. Estimate : €20,000-30,000. Sold for: €67,000. WORLD RECORD FOR ARTIST AT AUCTION
Marc du Plantier, Table basse, 1937. Estimate : €200,000-300,000. Sold for: €181,000. WORLD RECORD FOR ARTIST AT AUCTION
Armand Albert Rateau (1882-1938), guéridon circulaire, le modèle crée en 1919
Jean Dunand (1877-1942), vase au "serpent dressé et enroulée" le modèle crée en 1920
• The visionary designs of Eileen Gray captivated the imagination of many during the public viewings that Christie’s held in London, New York, Brussels and Paris in association with Pierre Bergé & Associates in the lead up to this sale. Her ‘Dragons’ armchair, circa 1917-1919, originally in the collection of Suzanne Talbot, was the top lot of the night selling for €21.9 million / £19.4 million / $28.3 million, a world record for a work of 20th century decorative art at auction, and a world record for the artist at auction (estimate: €2,000,000-3,000,000). Gray’s unique Enfilade, circa 1915-1917, realised €3.9 million / £3.5 million / $5.1 million (estimate: €3,000,000-5,000,000) and a ‘satellite’ hanging lamp, circa 1925, which hung in Yves Saint Laurent’s rue de Babylone apartment sold for €2.9 million / £2.6 million / $3.8 million (estimate: €600,000 – 800,000).