A Whimsical Menagerie of Splendorous Beasts by the Lalannes Is Up for Sale at Sotheby’s—See Works From the Auction Here

The auction house is selling off works that belonged to the famed couple.

François-Xavier Lalanne, Les Trois Grands Moutons de Peter (2007). Image courtesy Sotheby's.
François-Xavier Lalanne, Les Trois Grands Moutons de Peter (2007). Image courtesy Sotheby's.

In the last decade or so, the fantastical creations of French designers and longtime couple François-Xavier and Claude Lalanne have taken the art and design worlds by storm.

It’s not as if their signature pieces—surreal sheep, cabbage-footed objects, and bronze monkeys and birds—were ever out of fashion. But their popularity soared to new heights following projects such as “Sheep Station,” which saw their lovable lambs gather in a disused gas station in New York.

Next week, Sotheby’s Paris will offer more than 280 works directly from their collection (once housed in their home and studio near Fontainebleau) in a sale that is expected to fetch between $17.7 million and $24.4 million (€16 million to €20 million).

“It is both an immense privilege and a fantastic opportunity to have been chosen by the family of Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne to orchestrate this sale, as each object is imbued with the story of this mythic couple,” Florent Jeanniard, head of 20th-century design at Sotheby’s Europe, said in a statement.

Among the expected top lots is a unique, patinated, welded copper-and-metal Rhinoceros desk (1991), with an estimate of $777,000 to $1.1 million (€700,000 to €1 million). Also on offer is a ram-shaped bar cabinet, Grand Mouflon de Pauline Bar Cabinet (2008), with an estimate of $666,000 to $888,000 (€600,000 to €800,000).

François-Xavier and Claude Lalanne. © Edouard Boubat

François-Xavier and Claude Lalanne. © Edouard Boubat.

“From the monumental to the miniature, each piece exudes the couple’s colorful and unique take on design,” Sotheby’s said in a statement. They “gave life to a poetic oeuvre, injecting the familiar and functional with a dreamlike enchantment and overriding sense of humor and whimsy.”

Over the years, their work was featured on everything from Serge Gainsbourg album covers to Salvador Dalí’s dining table.

The duo moved to Fontainebleau in 1967, the same year they married, and lived and worked together for the next five decades. Claude passed away earlier this year at age 93.

The couple was also in the milieu of artists such as Niki de Saint Phalle, Jean Tinguely, Max Ernst, William N. Copley, Jasper Johns, and Elaine Sturtevant. The sale will also include works by these artists.

See more works by the couple below.

François-Xavier Lalanne, Unique Rhinocrétaire (1991). Image courtesy Sotheby's.

François-Xavier Lalanne, Unique Rhinocrétaire (1991). Image courtesy Sotheby’s.

François-Xavier Lalanne <i>Ours</i> (2015). Image courtesy of Sotheby's

François-Xavier Lalanne, Ours (2015). Image courtesy of Sotheby’s

Claude Lalanne, <i>Choupatte (Trés Grand)</i> (2012). Image courtesy of Sotheby's.

Claude Lalanne, Choupatte (Trés Grand) (2012). Image courtesy of Sotheby’s.

François-Xavier Lalanne, <i>Lapin à vent</i> ( 2004). Image courtesy of Sotheby's.

François-Xavier Lalanne, Lapin à vent (2004). Image courtesy of Sotheby’s.


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