Lalanne's Turtle Achieves Top Lot At Bonhams Sale Of Modern Decorative Art + Design

New York - The June 7 sale of Modern Decorative Art + Design was led by François-Xavier Lalanne's Tortue Topiaire, which realized $375,075. Created in 1987, this patinated copper tortoise has been in the same French private collection ever since it was acquired direct from Les Lalanne in the late 1980s. After a six-way bidding battle, the work sold to a bidder on the telephone. It quadrupled the presale low estimate when offered at the range of $80,000-120,000.

This was followed by a one-of-a-kind Unique Industry/Perished Dressoir by Studio Job that sold for $187,575, a world auction record for the artist. Additional highlights included a superbly crafted brass fountain, Fountaine Mobile II, 1979, by Philippe Hiquily that realized $125,075 and Alexandre Noll's Untitled (Sculpture) circa 1950, that sold for $81,325. Exceptional prices were also achieved for a rare group of six glass works by Paolo Venini, all consigned by a descendant of Oscar Stonorov.

Ben Walker, Head of Modern Decorative Art + Design, commented: "The solid results confirm the global appetite for masterpieces of French design and top-quality works that were fresh to the market. We were delighted by the competitive bidding, notably for Lalanne's Tortue Topiaire, which was very popular during the preview exhibition."


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest and most renowned auctioneers, offering fine art and antiques, motor cars and jewelry. The main salerooms are in London, New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong, with auctions also held in Knightsbridge, Edinburgh, Paris, San Francisco and Sydney. With a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 22 countries, Bonhams offers advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full list of forthcoming auctions, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments, please visit


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