Monday, December 6, 2010

Auction Trophies: Jeanne Lanvin and Armand Rateau

I know I have waxed poetic in the past about the decadent interiors and designs by Armand Albert Rateau (if you missed out, read it here). In a previous post I covered the Eileen Gray chair that is currently on the block in the Christie's Delorenzo sale. Well Delorenzo had some Rateau masterworks up his sleeve including a rare "Fish" chair and a pair of sculptural torcheres which will definitely make millions. Well nestled in their main 20th Century Design Sale are two Rateau pieces that were owned by Lanvin herself. Enter the "Butterfly" sconce:

Photo: Christie's

This unusual wrought iron and rock crystal sconce takes the form of Lanvin's signature butterfly motif and seems a steal at $15,000-20,000. From the provenance it appears that the sconce was installed in Lanvin's country house outside Paris and comes directly from her descendants, very cool. There is also a typically Rateau carved wood mirror with a grape motif bearing the same provenance. For a serious Rateau collector these museum quality masterworks have the added bonus of being from his #1 client and never before being on the market. Perfection!

The charming butterfly blasted through its estimate achieving $92,500!