PARIS—At the Christie’s Paris auction of 20th-century decorative arts and design, held on May 31, two new records were achieved. The house offered 77 lots and realized nearly €5 million (€6 million) with 78 percent sold by lot and 95 percent sold by value.
Among the rare items on display, the top price was fetched for a bronze sculpture titled Lion of Nubia, 1909–10, by Italian artist Rembrandt Bugatti. The piece sold for €1.1 million ($1.4 million), just over its high estimate of €700,000/1,000,000. An oval cabinet made around 1922–24, by the prominent French Art Deco designer Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann, doubled its estimate of €100,000/150,000 to sell for €385,000 ($477,708).
And a wardrobe and bar by Ruhlmann also did well: the former, Fontane, ca. 1925, sold for €217,000 ($269,254), against an estimate of €200,000/300,000, and the latter, ca. 1930, sold for €217,000 ($269,254) on the same estimate. A sheep sculpture by François-Xavier Lalanne, whose work also sold well in Christie’s June 1 contemporary art sale, achieved €217,000 ($269,254), nearly doubling its low estimate of €120,000/150,000.
A record was obtained for a dining table by Georges Jouve, a unique piece dated 1960 and designed for the architect André Lefèvre; it sold for €277,000 ($343,702), within the pre-sale estimate of €200,000/300,000. Another record was achieved for a mirror by Line Vautrin, a French woman known as the “poetess of metal,” whose creations also encompassed jewellery, boxes and compacts. Her Sun King mirror, 1960, sold for €157,000 ($194,806) on an estimate of €60,000/80,000.