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Francois-Xavier Lalanne and Gio Ponti To Headline Phillips' London Design Auction On 26 April, 2023

  • 10th Apr 2023
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Francois-Xavier Lalanne and Gio Ponti To Headline Phillips' London Design Auction On 26 April, 2023

Phillips' London Design Auction On 26 April, 2023


Phillips has delightfully announced the highlights of the upcoming London Design auction on April 26, 2023. This sale includes rare and significant works of design from the 20th and 21st centuries, including designs by Francois-Xavier Lalanne, Gio Ponti, Hans Coper, Brge Mogensen, and Paul Dupré-Lafon, among others.

Highlights from the sale, comprising 140 items, will be on display at Phillips' London galleries on Berkeley Square from 20 April until the auction on 26 April at 2:00 p.m. The following day, April 27, at 1:00 p.m., there will be an auction for Casa Fornaroli.

Domenico Raimondo, Chief of Design, Europe, Senior International Specialist, and Senior Director, stated,

"We are thrilled to present our Spring auction in London, which consists of an exceptional and varied assortment of objects. From the fantastical creations of Francois-Xavier Lalanne and Gio Ponti's exquisite designs for Milan's Casa di Fantasia to Hans Coper's ceramics, Nordic mid-century design, and French Art Deco. This auction presents the opportunity for collectors to acquire rare, one-of-a-kind pieces, many of which have never been offered at auction before. We look forward to greeting guests to the preview exhibition, which will be open beginning April 20 in advance of our Design auction on April 26 and the Casa Fornaroli auction on April 27."

Two works by Francois-Xavier Lalanne lead the sale: his 1999 "Grand Bouquetin" and his 1993 "Mouton de Pierre" and "Mouton Transhumant."

Francois-Xavier and his wife and fellow artist Claude combined decorative and fine arts in a very dynamic manner. Known collectively as "Les Lalanne," they were inspired by nature, flora, and fauna, and are considered to have revolutionised 20th-century design. Throughout his career, Francois-Xavier accepted the challenge of sculpting a variety of animal forms, resulting in a spectacular menagerie of animals that bridge art and design. The artist's cherished mountain goat 'Grand Bouquetin' and his regal sheep 'Moutons' were essential components of his fantastical bestiary. These exquisite creatures are exemplary of the artist's passion for depicting the animal domain.

Phillips is excited to offer a workstation and coffee table designed by Gio Ponti in 1951 for Casa Lucano. Casa Lucano is the same Milanese residence for which Phillips and Cambi conducted the White Glove Casa di Fantasia auction in 2019.

Four years after the Casa di Fantasia sale, the whereabouts of these two remarkable pieces were unknown at the time of the auction, affording collectors a remarkable opportunity to acquire Gio Ponti's designs. Ponti, a pivotal character in 20th-century Italian design, created some of his most remarkable works in collaboration with master artisans, including his most trusted cabinetmaker Giordano Chiesa, the illustrator Piero Fornasetti, and the enamellist Paolo De Poli.

Giordano Chiesa, who considered these two works to be among his masterpieces, created them according to the designs of Gio Ponti. Chiesa so adored the works that he purchased them back from the family for whom they were commissioned, and they have remained in his family ever since.

In April of this year, a monumental bottle by Hans Coper will be auctioned off from the Henry Moore Family Collection. Harry Fischer (1903-1977), the unique co-founder of Moore's agents, Marlborough Fine Art, was aware of Moore's admiration for Coper's work, so he commissioned this container as a Christmas gift for the sculptor. It was one of the earliest bottles in a series of varying sizes and shapes that Coper continued to refine throughout the 1960s and early 1970s. Coper, a young Jewish engineering student who emigrated from Germany in 1939, acquired his craft in Lucie Rie's London laboratory, where they produced ceramic buttons during World War II.

After the war, Rie's studio ceased producing buttons and resumed normal operations, while Coper began producing his own works. In the 1950s, he began creating vessels, and within a short time he gained significant international recognition. Coper's simple-looking vessels reflect his fascination with ancient objects. They are intricate shapes with textured surfaces created by white and black slips, which resemble the abrasive surface of excavated vessels. This highly significant work unifies two masters of their respective mediums, both of whom understood the essence of sculpture and the extent to which an object can enhance our sensory experience.

A selection of Art Deco works by 20th-century French designer Paul Dupré-Lafon are included in the sale. These six properties were commissioned from Dupré-Lafon and have remained in the same family ever since. Given how uncommon it is for a collection of this scope to be made available, the works are remarkable. After receiving training as a painter, Dupré-Lafon shifted his focus to architecture and design, working for Hermès to create furniture, lighting, and accessories. The coffee table and pair of wall sconces featured here are notable examples of the designer's ability to combine basic functional forms with sumptuous materials and painted metal.

A rare dining table designed by Brge Mogensen and executed by master cabinetmaker Ludvig Pontoppidan circa 1950 is among the Nordic highlights of the auction. Mogensen, one of the most influential Danish designers of the 20th century, produced highly coveted, immutable, and functional designs for both public and private spaces throughout his career. Today, the designer's work is just as relevant as it was in 1950, and the present work is exemplary of Mogensen's minimalistic, refined designs and enduring appeal.


Phillips is the foremost global platform for purchasing and selling art and design from the 20th and 21st centuries. Phillips provides professional services and advice on all facets of collecting, with specialised knowledge in 20th-century and contemporary art, design, photography, editions, watches, and jewellery. Auctions and exhibitions are held in salerooms in New York, London, Geneva, and Hong Kong, and clients are also served by representative offices in Europe, North America, and Asia. Phillips also provides a globally accessible online auction platform. Phillips also facilitates private transactions and provides assistance with appraisals, valuations, and other financial services, in addition to providing selling and purchasing opportunities via auction.

Auction: 26 April 2023, 2pm BST

Auction viewing: 20 April - 27 April, 2023

Location: 30 Berkeley Square, London, W1J 6EX

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Pradeep Dhuri is a graphic designer, health enthusiast, video creator, and editor with a continuous desire to learn and develop. He is driven by an ambition to produce better things every day and to contribute to the world's betterment. He also utilises his talent for writing to explore fascinating ... read more


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