ALBERTO GIACOMETTI | "GRANDE FEUILLE, VERSION FINE" FLOOR LAMP
1901 - 1966
"GRANDE FEUILLE, VERSION FINE" FLOOR LAMP
Designed circa 1933-1934
Patinated bronze, paper shade
Height: 70¼ in.; 178.4 cm
Diameter of shade: 18 in.; 45.7 cm
Overall in very good condition. When viewed firsthand the lamp base presents with an exceptionally rich patina of dark brown and golden hues, a highly tactile surface and strong sculptural details. The patina presents with a warm golden and russet brown undertones as seen in the catalogue illustration, with stronger traces of gilding visible in the recessed portions of the design. The patina appears original and undisturbed, and presents with gentle wear and rubbing consistent with age. The bronze surfaces with some very minor surface irregularities and porosity, not visually distracting and inherent to production, and with minor discolorations, surface scratches and abrasions consistent with age and gentle use. The underside rim of the foot appears to be very slightly irregular in areas and may benefit from the application of a glide to level the surfaces. This does not affect the stability of the piece when installed. The original glass diffuser presents with very minute flecks to the upper rim. The top of the standard presents with three apertures with two screw fasteners missing, not visible when the shade is installed. The shade appears to have been replaced at some point in the history of the piece and displays a complementary warm cream tone. The paper shade with some scattered faint discolorations consistent with age and gentle handling, not visually distracting. Sotheby's does not guarantee electrical components and suggests having all wiring inspected by a licensed electrician. A superb example of the model with an exceptional historic provenance from the collection of the Countess Mona von Bismarck.
"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. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
Countess Mona von Bismarck, circa 1945
Sotheby's London, December 2, 1987, lot 250
Christie's New York, December 18, 2007, lot 759
Michel Butor and Jean Vincent, Diego Giacometti, Paris, 1985, p. 107
Léopold Diego Sanchez, Jean-Michel Frank, Paris, 1997, pp. 166, 169
Pierre-Emmanuel Martin-Vivier, Jean-Michel Frank: Un Décorateur dans le Paris des Années 30, Paris, 2009, p. 65
James Buresh, Jean-Michel Frank in Argentina, New York, 2010, p. 28
Laure Verchère, Jean-Michel Frank, New York, 2018, pp. 78, 188
This lot is offered together with a certificate of authenticity from the Comité Giacometti and it is recorded in the Alberto Giacometti database under number 545.
The present floor lamp designed by Alberto Giacometti for Jean-Michel Frank is enriched by its illustrious provenance, having once belonged to international socialite Mona von Bismarck. Von Bismarck was a fixture in the avant-garde artistic circles of her time. She was photographed by Cecil Beaton, Edward Steichen and Horst P. Horst, and was immortalized by Salvador Dalí in an iconic painting (offered at Sotheby’s London in 2013). Her husband’s fortune gave Mona free rein to pursue her love of the arts. She purchased works by Francisco Goya, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo and Jean-Honoré Fragonard to furnish the homes that she owned in New York, Paris and Capri, where she entertained guests such as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Winston Churchill, Aristotle Onassis and Maria Callas. She also worked with contemporary decorators, such as José Maria Sert and Syrie Maugham, to decorate her houses. While she did not directly rely upon the services of Jean-Michel Frank, who passed away in 1941, von Bismarck certainly found inspiration in the pieces commissioned by Jean-Michel Frank to Alberto Giacometti, such as this “Grande Feuille” model that she acquired soon after the Second World War.