Some exceptional results at Sotheby’s 20th Century Decorative Arts & Design auction in Paris, May 26, 2010

Sotheby’s and Christie’s have been conducting sales in Paris for less than a decade, after a law was passed in July, 2000, that ended the 400-year-old monopoly of French auctioneers. Sotheby’s most recent sale in Paris, 20th Century Decorative Arts & Design, was held on May 26, 2010, with some extraordinary results.

Paul Iribe, 'NAUTILE', a carved walnut armchair, 1913, Sotheby's Paris, lot 9, May 26, 2010

Paul Iribe, 'NAUTILE', a carved walnut armchair, 1913, Sotheby's Paris, lot 9, May 26, 2010

Lot 9 was a Nautilus chair by Paul Iribe, done in 1913. It was estimated to sell for 80,000—120,000 EUR, but brought the incredible price of 492,750 EUR ($608,310), with buyer’s premium. I have to plead ignorance about Paul Iribe, so the result is a surprise to me, as I suspect it is to most of my readers. Click the following link if you want to read the Wikipedia entry about him. Paul Iribe on Wikipedia.

FRANÇOIS-XAVIER LALANNE rug, <i>Les Moutons</i>, Sotheby's Paris, lot 76, May 26, 2010

FRANÇOIS-XAVIER LALANNE rug, Les Moutons, Sotheby's Paris, lot 76, May 26, 2010

Lot 76, a 1978 rug, Les Moutons by François-Xavier Lalanne, brought the second-most surprising result of the sale. It sold for 240,750 EUR ($297,580), against a pre-sale estimate of 20,000—30,000 EUR. Look carefully at the photo and you’ll see the sheep crowded together. It’s very nice, but $300K?? Apparently it’s true that it only takes two to make an auction. On this day there were two very determined bidders.

For the complete results of the sale, click on the following link. Sotheby’s Paris 20th Century results.

In the next few days and weeks, I’ll be adding my new acquisitions to my website as they come in. Please take a look. Click on this link

Please send me your suggestions or questions about art glass, lamps, Louis Icart, shows, auctions, etc. If it’s interesting, I’ll answer your question in a future blog.