Salvador Dali's Mae West sofa to make $492,000?

A Mae West's Lips sofa by Salvador Dali (1938) is valued at £250,000-400,000 ($307,360-491,776) ahead of a sale at Christie's.

The lot is the star of the Edward James collection, which will cross the block in London on December 15.

Mae West Dali
Dali based this sofa on movie star Mae West's lips

James was a patron of the surrealist movement and his collection encompasses works by some of its key innovators, including Rene Magritte and Pavel Tchelitchew.

He was also a lifelong friend of Salvador Dali.

Dali experienced financial problems in the 1930s and so James offered him a salary every month in return for all of the artworks he made.

He ended up with five of the famous (and famously uncomfortable) sofas, along with several lobster telephones - one of which is offered with a valuation of £150,000-250,000 ($184,416-307,360).

Dali once said: 'I do not understand why, when I ask for a grilled lobster in a restaurant, I am never served a cooked telephone.'

The items are being sold to fund a permanent exhibition space for the remainder of James' extraordinary collection.

Andrew Waters, director of decorative arts at Christie's London, comments: "Edward James is best remembered for his brilliance in inspiring and empowering those around him, but his deserved reputation as a major patron of the Surrealists tells only part of the story.

"He demonstrated a unique ability to create a sense of magic in whatever he did and one of his most evident talents was his instinct to create environments full of surprise and wonder, witty and provocative."

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