Lot 260
  • 260

CLAUDE LALANNE | A Pair of Unique "Végétale" Mirrors

500,000 - 800,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Claude Lalanne
  • A Pair of Unique "Végétale" Mirrors
  • each mirror inscribed CL, impressed 86/LALANNE and respectively numbered R/1 and R/2
  • gilt bronze, galvanized copper, mirrored glass
  • one: 99 x 38 in. (251.5 x 96.5 cm)the other: 100 x 42 in. (254 x 106.7 cm)
  • 1986
numbers 1 and 2 from an edition of 2


Commissioned directly from the artist by James Corcoran Gallery, Santa Monica, California, for the present owner, 1986


John Russell, Les Lalannes, Paris, 1975, p. 42 (for related examples)
Daniel Marchesseau, Les Lalanne, Paris, 1998, pp. 138-139 (for related examples in the Salon des Miroirs for the apartment of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé, Paris)
Reed Krakoff, Ben Brown and Paul Kasmin, Claude & François-Xavier Lalanne, exh. cat., Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York and Ben Brown Fine Arts, London, 2006, pp. 22-23 (for related examples)
Les Lalanne, exh. cat., Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, 2010, p. 96 (for related examples)
Adrien Dannatt, Les Lalanne, Fifty Years of Work, Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York, 2015, pp. 68 (for related examples in the Salon des Miroirs for the apartment of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé, Paris) and 184-197 (for related examples)

Catalogue Note

Sotheby's would like to thank Claude Lalanne for her assistance with the cataloguing of this lot.

The poetic designs of Claude Lalanne invite us to settle into a state of reverie and reflect on the power and beauty of the natural world.  Cast in bronze, her depictions of flora and fauna are drawn from just outside her door in the French countryside.  They retain the delicacy and nuance of living organisms despite their execution in metal—a testament to Lalanne’s impeccable skill and artistry.  Frozen in time in various stages of growth and decay, her works are imbued with romance and nostalgia.  Her creations are further enriched by their presentation in the form of familiar, everyday objects: a piece of jewelry, an armchair, a mirror.  By making utility an integral element of her designs, Lalanne encourages us to approach and touch, bringing us in contact with the fantastic.

The present pair of mirrors captures Lalanne’s unique aesthetic.  They are surrealist in their vegetal motif, yet they possess a classical sensibility in their monumental scale, striking a careful balance between fantasy, familiarity, and opulence.  Lalanne made several closely related mirrors for her friends and patrons Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé for their Salon des Miroirs at their residence, which called to mind the mirrors of Versailles.  The present mirrors are unique: each is marked with the letter “R” likely to indicate the name of her patron.  Lalanne’s husband and co-creator, François-Xavier Lalanne, once commented “Claude works the way birds sing, without really thinking about it,” an intuitive working style which is clearly represented in the delightfully naturalistic composition and charming irregularities of the present mirrors.