Lot 104
  • 104


700,000 - 1,000,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Alberto Giacometti
  • Console
  • Gilt plaster over wood
  • 32 1/8  by 51 3/8  by 20 in.
  • 81.6 by 130.5 by 50.8 cm
  • Executed in 1939 for the Rockefeller 810 Fifth Avenue apartment.


Commissioned directly from the artist by Jean-Michel Frank for Nelson Rockefeller in 1939


Van Day Truex, "Jean-Michel-Frank Remembered," in Architectural Digest, September-October 1976, illustrated p. 74 
Malcolm N. Carter, "Nelson Rockefeller: 'I know exactly what I like'," in ARTnews, May 1978, illustrated p. 116 
Léopold Diego Sanchez, Jean-Michel Frank, Paris, 1980, illustrated pp. 45 & 210
Dorothy Canning Miller, ed., The Nelson A. Rockefeller Collection: Masterpieces of Modern Art, New York, 1981, illustrated on the cover
Léopold Diego Sanchez, Jean-Michel Frank, Paris, 1997, illustrated p. 45 & 258
John Loring, "Nelson Rockefeller's Fifth Avenue Apartment: Recalling the Residence of the Notable Politician and Philanthropist," in Architectural Digest, April 2001, illustrated p. 106 
Anne Bony, Furniture & Interiors of the 1940s, Paris, 2002, illustrated n.p.
Pierre-Emmanuel Martin-Vivier, Jean-Michel Frank, Paris, 2006, illustrated pp. 185 & 186
Pierre-Emmanuel Martin-Vivier, Jean-Michel Frank: The Strange and Subtle Luxury of the Parisian Haute-Monde in the Art Deco Period, Paris, 2006, illustrated pp. 185 & 186
Jean-Michel Frank: Un Décorateur dans les Paris des Années 30
 (exhibition catalogue), Fondation Pierre Bergé Yves Saint Laurent, Paris, 2009, illustrated p. 67 

Catalogue Note

Jean-Michel Frank’s aesthetic vision is characterized by the equal importance placed on form and texture.  Decoration, in his view, would always be secondary to the visceral experience of sculpture, of volumes arranged meticulously within a conceived space, and to the materials employed in their creation.  His interiors were impeccably executed in such luxurious materials as mica, shagreen, mother of pearl, and sumptuous Hermès leather.  Through his collaborations with Alberto Giacometti, plaster (in addition to bronze) also became an important material within Frank’s design repertoire.

The present console tables were specially commissioned for the Rockefeller interior.  Executed in plaster over a wood frame and finished with a luminous gilded surface, these tables fulfill Frank and Rockefeller’s combined vision for the 810 Fifth Avenue apartment interior.  The imposing scale and volume of the tables are tempered by their elegant, undulating form and by the delicacy of the plaster itself.  Winged arched legs rise up with graceful irregularity, allowing us to glimpse the artist’s hand and appreciate the incredible mastery of the medium.

Frank originally intended for the consoles to be presented in the dining room (per the inventory dated October 31, 1939), however the tables were also later positioned in both the foyer and the living room.  On July 7, 1939, Frank expressed in a letter to Rockefeller: "I do hope you will be pleased with the consoles as I really think that they correspond to your desire.  They permit to my taste anything you might want to put in the nich [sic] and on the table: Chinese art or modern or French or English XVIII Century."  Indeed, these unique masterworks exemplify Giacometti’s synthesis of antiquity and modernity and capture the luxury and opulence that Frank sought to bring to the Rockefeller interior.

The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by the Comité Giacometti and it is recorded in the Alberto Giacometti database under number AGD4053.