FranÃ§ois-Xavier Lalanne set of four sheep, 1996-99, made of epoxy, stone, and bronze, the edition produced by Landowski Fondeur, France, $746,500 (est. $350,000/500,000). This set has number 79 from an edition of 250 rams, and numbers 91, 122, and 205 from an edition of 250 ewes. The ram is 36Â½" x 39" x 13Â½", and each ewe is 35Â¾" x 38Â¾" x 13 7/8".
Paul DuprÃ©-Lafon sofa, circa 1932, limed oak, iron, brass, and fabric, 31" x 98Â½" x 40Â¼", $122,500 (est. $50,000/70,000). It had been offered at Sotheby's on December 12, 2003, with a $60,000/90,000 estimate but failed to sell. At Christie's on December 18, 2007, it brought $61,000.
Lucie Rie made this large (12 11/16" diameter) stoneware conical bowl circa 1976. It has a pitted and flowing cream glaze, and the pot is impressed with the artist's seal. Estimated at $12,000/18,000, it sold for $40,000.
Phillips du Pury & Company, New York City
by Lita Solis-Cohen
Photos courtesy Phillips
A detail of a limed oak "pineapple" leg of the rare circa 1934 Aragon low table by Jean-Michel Frank was on the cover of the catalog for the June 15 design sale at Phillips de Pury & Company in New York City. The table sold for $242,500 (includes buyer's premium).
Pictured on the catalog's back cover were four epoxy, stone, and bronze life-size sheep by FranÃ§ois-Xavier Lalanne, 1996-99. They sold for $746,500. The sheep were in as-good-as-new condition, right out of their crates.
Of the 116 lots shown in the Phillips gallery at 450 Park Avenue for a week before the sale, 86 sold for a total of $3,831,750. That's a 74% sold rate by lota good result in these still uncertain economic times. The presale estimate was $2,895,000/4,080,500.
Phillips has developed a following of sophisticated clients who look forward to furniture and decorations selected by Alexander Payne in London and Alex Heminway in New York City and ceramics discovered by Ben Williams in London. Their taste is edgy yet restrained. They present classic designs from the first half of the 20th century and innovative works from the last half of the century.
For example, Phillips got $224,500 for Ron Arad's London Pappardelle chair, described as a "sinuous noodle of flexible steel" inspired by partly cooked pappardelle pasta. It is made of a material used for conveyer belts that can be rolled as a footrest or unfurled as a carpet. This one was number six of an edition of six and two artist's proofs. One is at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; another at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City; one at the Design museum Gent in Belgium; and another at the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery in the U.K. One, perhaps this one, though it is not cited in the catalog, sold at Christie's in London in October 2008 for about $205,320.
A rare Ambassador sofa designed by Jean RoyÃ¨re and made circa 1955 for the Salon Vert in the Hotel St. Georges in Beirut sold for $212,500 (est. $130,000/150,000). (It was the second sofa by RoyÃ¨re to sell for more than $200,000 in a week; on June 14 Christie's sold a RoyÃ¨re 1947 Boule sofa for $290,500.) Sofas were in demand. A circa 1932 sofa of limed oak with brass stringing and upholstered cushions by Paul DuprÃ©-Lafon, estimated to sell for $70,000 at most, sold for $122,500.
For the last five years Ben Williams in London has been rounding up some special works in clay for Phillips' design sales. He did not have as many bowls and vases by Lucie Rie as in past sales, but he did get $40,000 (est. $12,000/18,000) for a large, conical stoneware bowl with a creamy flowing pitted glaze by Rie. A Rie porcelain vase in a manganese glaze with a sgraffito design resembling a basket weave, estimated to sell for $9000 at most, sold for $15,000.
For more information, contact Phillips at (212) 940-1300; Web site (www.phillipsdepury.com).
Line Vautrin Soleil TorsadÃ© mirror, circa 1958, mirrored glass, Talosel resin, colored glass, 21Â½" in diameter, the reverse incised with "Line Vautrin," $60,000 (est. $25,000/35,000). It had been acquired from the artist by the French consignor. It is illustrated in Patrick MauriÃ¨s's exhibition catalog Line Vautrin: Miroirs, from the Galerie Chastel-MarÃ©chal in Paris, 2004.
Jean RoyÃ¨re Ambassador sofa, circa 1955, 41Â½" x 88" x 31", $212,500 (est. $130,000/150,000). This came to auction from a private collection in France. A drawing of the sofa appears in the catalog for the 1999 exhibition Jean RoyÃ¨re, dÃ©corateur Ã Paris at the MusÃ©e des Arts DÃ©coratifs in Paris.
Jean-Michel Frank carved and limed oak Aragon low table with so-called "pineapple" legs, circa 1934, produced by Chanaux & Co., France, the underside partially marked in pencil "JM Frank 15_72," 11 1/8" x 45Â½" x 21Â½", sold together with a certificate of authenticity from the ComitÃ© Jean-Michel Frank, $242,500 (est. $150,000/200,000). It sold at Christie's on December 12, 1987, for $16,500, and again at Christie's on June 15, 2004, for $119,500.
Phillips seems to find artists who are not well known in the U.S. and who make exceptional objects. Axel Einar Hjorth's UtÃ¶ dining table, circa 1932, pine, was manufactured by Nordiska Kompaniet, Sweden. The underside has a metal manufacturer's label reading "Made in Sweden." Measuring 29Â¼" x 67" x 21Â¾", the table sold for $74,500 (est. $15,000/20,000). Hjorth named three of his furniture lines after islands in the archipelago east of Stockholm: UtÃ¶, BlidÃ¶, and TorÃ¶. The catalog stated, "As creative director for Nordiska Companiet, Einar Hjorth typically sourced the most extravagant materials for his neoclassical-inspired designs. The UtÃ¶ dining table, however, is sportstugemÃ¶bler, refined cabin furniture based on Sweden's rural tradition and intended for the vacation homes of Nordiska's clientele."
Ron Arad London Pappardelle chair, circa 1992, woven and polished bronze, produced by The Gallery Mourmans in the Netherlands, number six from an edition of six plus two artist's proofs, the base incised with the artist's signature "Ron Arad 6/6," 42" x 109" x 23 5/8" fully extended, $224,500 (est. $120,000/180,000).