Claude Lalanne's L'enlevement D'Europe achieves 39% increase

L'enlevement D'Europe, a sculpture by Claude Lalanne, has sold for $485,000 at Sotheby's Important 20th Century Design sale in New York.

The auction took place on December 18, with the sculpture achieving a 38.5% increase on a $350,000 high estimate.

Claude Lalanne sculpture bull
L’enlevement D’Europe was cast in 1990

The statue is one of an edition of eight, and references the Cretan myth of the Rape of Europa - a theme that has proven inspirational for artists across the generations.

Claude (b 1924) is one half of Les Lalannes, along with her husband Francois-Xavier Lalanne (1927-2008). Their idiosyncratic and surreal work has a major international following.

Often Les Lalannes sculptures double as functional objects, such as writing desks or chairs. Their auction record is held by a decorative cocktail bar, previously belonging to Yves Saint Laurent, which achieved $3.5m at Sotheby's New York in 2009.

A Torsade table by Diego Giacometti (1902-1985) made $257,000.

Diego Giacometti Torsade table
The Torsade table is built from patinated bronze and glass

The brother of Alberto Giacometti, a major sculptor and painter, Diego is regarded as one of the foremost furniture designers of the 20th century.

The brothers were close, working throughout their careers in the same studio in Paris. Their work shares a similar aesthetic, and Alberto often used Diego as his muse and model in his artwork.

This has been a strong year for the Giacometti brothers, with a console table by Diego selling for a record $1.5m and Albert's Diego en chemise ecossaise making $32.6m - a record for a painting by the artist.

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