A Sotheby’s auction of Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne’
s work in Paris shattered records and drew billionaire bidders, resulting in a white glove sale with 100 percent of works sold. Overall, the sale brought in €91 million ($101 million), nearly four times the pre-sale high estimate of €23 million ($25 million). According to Sotheby’s, the two-day auction was the highest total for a private collection sold in France in 10 years, and a record for a Sotheby’s sale in France.
The top lot was a copper rhinoceros-shaped desk by François-Xavier from 1991, imaginatively titled Rhinocrétaire (Rhinodesk), which brought in €5.4 million ($6 million), far surpassing its high estimate of €1 million ($1.1 million). Claude’s world auction record was broken with the sale of Grand Choupatte (2012), a bronze cabbage on chicken legs, for €2.1 million ($2.4 million). Ninety-six percent of the lots auctioned over the two-day sale surpassed their high estimates, and 26 lots sold above $1 million.