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Sotheby's Collection Karl Lagerfeld May 15th 2003

This huge catalog contains 264 pages and 218 lots The sale of 20th-century furniture from the Collection of Karl Lagerfeld this May continues a tradition of sales at Sotheby's begun in 1991 with the auction of his Memphis furniture in Monaco. As a designer, Lagerfeld is in tune with new concepts, approaches and interpretations of our world. His approach to collecting is much the same. A keen observer, Lagerfeld is always looking to embrace a new period or group of designers. This continual momentum compels him to build new collections. The selection of French 1920s and 1930s furniture, ceramics and metalwork from Karl Lagerfeld's Collection which will grace Sotheby's Paris office at the Galerie Charpentier on 15th May represents the finest examples of streamlined Modernist design, which grew out of the Exposition des Arts Décoratifs in 1925. Jean-Michel Frank exemplified this spare rectilinear style and his work is well represented in the Lagerfeld Collection. There are over 50 examples of Frank's work in the sale: prominent among them are two 'diabolo' side tables in cerused oak; a cerused oak low table with 'pineapple' legs; and a vellum-veneered bed. In addition to Frank's furniture, there is also a Frank-designed chimney-piece, a rare quartz table lamp and several plaster lamps and vases, designed, in association with Alberto Giacometti, for his international clientele. Pierre Legrain is another designer whose work is widely featured in the collection. His early work with Paul Iribe came to the notice of couturier Jacques Doucet, for whom he designed bookbindings and African-inspired Cubist furniture. This sale includes a number of these pieces: a parchment, blue Moroccan leather and nickled metal architect's portfolio and stand with an original watercolour drawing; an ebonized-wood and galuchat coiffeuse, designed for the home of the milliner Jeanne Tachard at La Celle-Saint Cloud; a pair of cylindrical wood and glass lamps; and several geometric wool carpets. Another designer inspired by the 1925 exhibition was Marcel Coard, who worked with many of the same avant- garde clients as Legrain and shared his penchant for African- and Cubist-inspired furniture. He disliked duplicating his designs, preferring to create unique pieces for his interiors, and several of his distinctive examples were collected by Lagerfeld, including a cerused oak table with two matching benches. The Irish-born designer Eileen Gray, whose long career spanned almost the entire 20th century, is represented in this sale with an oak console table with black lacquer legs. This table dates from the early part of her career, when she trained with the Japanese lacquer artist Sougawara, and opened her shop Jean Désert, where she sold her designs for furniture, carpets, lamps and mirrors. Designs by the American-born, Paris- based designer Elisabeth Eyre de Lanux rarely appear on the market. This sale will include six low-back armchairs, a desk lamp and lacquered linoleum desk by Eyre de Lanux, who collaborated with British carpet designer Evelyn Wyld from 1927, offering Modernist designs in glass, wood and lacquer from their galleries in Paris and Cannes. To complement the restrained interiors of his residences Lagerfeld added the refined ceramics of Henri Simmen and Eugénie O'Kin, Emile Decoeur, Séraphin Soudbinine and Jean Besnard, and the distinctive Modernist lighting of Maison Desny and Boris Lacroix. The sale of Karl Lagerfeld's Collection will give sophisticated connoisseurs of 20th-century French design the opportunity to acquire masterpieces selected by a keen observer of taste and style. works from: adler, adnet, besnard, boiceau, buquet, cazaux, chareau, coard, csaky, de feure, decoeur, desny, dominique, dorn, drain, du plantier, dunand, dupre, eyre de lanux, francais, frank, gensoli, gray, groult, henry, iribe, jourdain, kohn, lacroix, legrain, martine, mayodon, miklos, orloff, oud, peche, perzel, ponti, puiforcat, ruhlmann, sevres, simmen, sognot, sornay, soudbinine, sue & mare.

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