A 19th century carved mahogany daybed built for a Parisian courtesan is to lead Sotheby’s Erotic sale on February 16, the Guardian reports.
The enormous lot weighs around a tonne and is expected to sell for up to £800,000 ($973,132).
La Paiva was a woman of expensive tastes
It was made for Esther Therese Lachmann (1819-1884), aka La Paiva.
Lachmann was born in relative poverty in Poland, but married into aristocracy. She became known for her extravagances, of which the present lot is a perfect example.
She actually left Paris with another partner before the bed was finished, so never saw it - despite paying an estimated 100,000 francs for it.
Instead it was sold on to infamous Parisian brothel La Fleur Blanche.
Sotheby’s spokesperson Constantine Frangos told the Guardian: “There’s a lot going on in that bed.
“I did ask the owner if the bed had been in use since 1947 – and apparently it has, though not on an everyday basis.
“I was there when it arrived in packing crates and was assembled in our warehouse. It is a really astonishing thing, photographs don’t do it justice.”
Meanwhile, Jacques Loysel’s La Grande Nevrose (1896) will be offered with a valuation of around £180,000 ($219,168).
The stunning sculpture in marble shows a nude woman writing in ecstasy and is Loysel’s most celebrated work.
In fact, he was so enamoured of it that he never sold it. It remained in his studio until his death in 1925.
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