PIERRE LE-TAN | SUITE OF CHILDREN’S PLAYROOM FURNITURE
Property from the Collection of Delphine and Reed Krakoff
SUITE OF CHILDREN’S PLAYROOM FURNITURE
comprising 23 unique pieces including a pair of chandeliers, a pair of ottomans, two pairs of side tables, a pair of cabinets, one desk, one settee, a set of four side chairs, one dresser, one sideboard, one banquette, two table lamps and a pair of adjustable floor lamps.
painted oak, stainless steel, paper shades, leather
the dresser signed L.-T. and dated 2008
sideboard: 30¾ x 69¼ x 20⅞ in. (78.7 x 175.8 x 52.7 cm)
Overall in very good condition. This unique set commissioned by Delphine and Reed Krakoff comprises 23 pieces that include: a pair of chandeliers, a pair of ottomans, two pairs of side tables, a pair of cabinets, one desk, one settee, a set of four side chairs, one dresser, one sideboard, one banquette, two table lamps and a pair of adjustable floor lamps.
All pieces are functional and stable with expected signs of gentle use consistent with use. The pieces in wood include hand painted decorations and figurative illustrations in black paint that contribute to the charm of the set. The wooden surfaces present with light scratches and occasional areas of minor abrasion concentrated to the edges. The painted surfaces with very minor and scattered stains from paint or ink most visible on the dresser, one purple side table and one cabinet and not visually distracting. The middle drawer of the dresser and the door on one cabinet not fully closing. The upholstered seats are in very good condition overall. The fabric presents with occasional and minor stains and very light scattered areas of soiling to the surface which are not visually distracting and consistent with gentle use. The banquette and settee with slightly more pronounced stains concentrated to the seating area. The fringes at the bottom appear stable and present no apparent sign of loss. The leather tops on the cabinets, sideboard and desk retain their original texture overall and present with very minor surface scratches and abrasions throughout which are not visually distracting. One cabinet presents with an area of discoloration to the leather measuring approximately 12 x 5 inches. The lighting elements in very good condition overall with very minor pen marks concentrated to the base and one shade of the floor lamps. The floor lamps present with very slight wobbliness to the metallic stems which does not affect stability. Sotheby's does not guarantee electrical components and suggests having all wiring inspected by a licensed electrician.
The full suite is currently on view in a dedicated room in our New York galleries through December 11. This lot represents a rare opportunity for collectors to acquire an exceptional furniture suite from the celebrated French designer.
The full measurements for each piece are listed below:
16 5/8 in. (42.1 cm) maximum diameter of shade each
9 7/8 in. (24.9 cm) maximum diameter of shade each
30 7/8 in. (78.2 cm) diameter each
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
Commissioned directly from the artist by the present owners, 2006
Delphine and Reed Krakoff, Houses That We Dreamt Of: The Interiors of Delphine and Reed Krakoff, New York, 2017, pp. 30-31 (for the pair of chandeliers illustrated)
This playroom suite created by Pierre Le-Tan (1950-2019) provides a playful and spectacular introduction to the whimsical world of the French artist. A celebrated painter, illustrator and designer, Le-Tan worked across a variety of mediums to create a unique visual style that relied on simple and gentle lines to create fully-realized fantaisies. He is perhaps best known for his New Yorker cover illustrations, his long-term collaboration with Patrick Modiano, and set designs for film and theater. He also created furniture pieces like the present ensemble, though in very limited number, and rarely gave a flesh to the enigmatic interiors that he laid out on paper.
The genesis of the present suite can be traced to Reed Krakoff’s professional collaboration with Le-Tan, who had been hired by luxury fashion company Coach to create illustrations. Commissioned directly from the Krakoffs in 2006 for their children’s bedroom in their Manhattan home, the suite was created over a six-month period in the artist’s Paris studio, after which the pieces were immediately sent to New York for installation. The furniture comprising this group feature colorful details, sumptuous materials and exquisite drawings painted directly onto the wooden surfaces. The dresser especially presents with a wide array of illustrations, including stylized stars, tubes of paint, reading glasses, tarot cards, and letters sent to and from the present owners, including one from Duchess Debo Devonshire dated May 2008.
This unique body of work represents one of Pierre Le-Tan’s latest commissions, in the lineage of other creations specifically made for esteemed clients. Such projects include the design of furniture for his daughter Olympia’s showroom in Paris in 2014 and special furniture commissions for actress Catherine Deneuve and Pauline Savier, the sister of jewelry designer Victoire de Castellane. One of his best-known commissions include Jean Cocteau’s Parisian pied-à-terre in the Palais Royal, which he furnished with trompe l’oeil wallpapers depicting Cocteau’s famous friends such as Colette, Christian "Bebè" Bérard and Jean Desbordes.
One can see similar visual and pictorial strategies used in the present suite, which displays tremendously imaginative trompe l’oeil features and carefully executed drawings and decorations. Together, these unique objects represent unique and multi-faceted aspects of Pierre Le-Tan’s artistic practice and constitute an unprecedented auction offering for the artist.