Sheep sculptures fetch record auction prices

Sheep sculptures fetch record auction prices
Photo: Galartis
Six unusual sheep sculptures created by late French artist François-Xavier Lalanne fetched a total of 1.4 million francs ($1.54 million) at an auction over the weekend in Crissier, a village near Lausanne in the canton of Vaud.

One of the sheep, called Le mouton chocolat, sold for a record 529,000 francs ($584,659) auction house Galartis said.

The animal sculptures were sold in three lots and acquired by three different buyers, Galartis said.

The other lots included a white sheep and a "herd", consisting of one white sheep and three woolly ottomans.

The sculptures, placed on castors, were produced from brushed aluminum, galvanized copper, wood and wool.

The brown sheep by Lalanne (1927-2008) sold for more three times the estimate, Galartis said.

Created between 1976 and 1977, the works had previously graced the interiors of fashion legends such as Coco Chanel and Yves St. Laurent, as well as Spanish artist Salvador Dali, according to the catalogue for the auction.

The sculptures appear to have been inspired by a little-known painting by Dali from 1942 that shows a group of sheep metamorphosing into armchairs, sofas and tables.

Among other works sold at the auction was a 1902 water colour by Bernese painter Albert Anker (1831-1910), “Jeune Bernois faisant ses tâches” (Young Bern boy doing his assignment), which sold for 75,600 francs ($83,554) commission included.

"Jeune Bernois faisant ses tâches" (1902) by Albert Anker. Photo: Galartis

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