'Star' standard lamp

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  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist by Heinz Berggruen, 1960s
    Gifted by the above to Paul and Ulrike Kantor, 1968
    Thence by descent to the present owners

  • Literature

    Mobilier et Décoration, no. 1, January-February 1949, Paris, p. 33
    Michel Butor, Diego Giacometti, Paris, 1985, p. 142
    Françoise Francisci, Diego Giacometti: Catalogue de l’oeuvre, Vol. 1, Paris, 1986, p. 31
    Daniel Marchesseau, Diego Giacometti, Paris, 1986, p. 11
    François Baudot, Diego Giacometti, Paris, 1998, p. 42
    Christian Boutonnet and Rafael Ortiz, Diego Giacometti, Paris, 2003, p. 38

  • Catalogue Essay

    The present lot has been authenticated by the Fondation Alberto et Annette Giacometti and is registered in the Alberto Giacometti Database, the online catalogue of authentic works by the artist, as number AGD 3477.

    The ‘Star’ standard lamp was designed by Alberto Giacometti in 1936, one of over fifty of his decorative collaborations with Jean-Michel Frank. The artist and designer had a close personal relationship that would prove professionally beneficial to them during the interwar years. Their shared aesthetic language and intuitive understanding of the relationship of parts to a whole resulted in some of the finest interiors, furniture and lighting of the period. Frank was perhaps one of the first designers of the twentieth century to compose spaces meant to serve as a backdrop to carefully considered displays of avante-garde artwork, and Giacometti’s lamps and tables acted as the three-dimensional mediators between Frank's client’s art collections and his austere furnishings. Giacometti’s decorative works have thus taken on an iconic status as objects found in the most historically significant interiors and collections of the twentieth century. Giacometti’s designs for Frank allowed the sculptor the security to pursue his fine art practice and arguably influenced his perspective during the 1930s, a transitional period in his career. In part due to the financial rewards of this arrangement, Giacometti would come to view his decorative works as equally important to his sculptures.



'Star' standard lamp

designed 1936
Patinated bronze, paper shade.
147.6 cm (58 1/8 in.) height of cast, 173.5 cm (68 1/4 in.) high including shade
Cast by Alberto Giacometti, Paris, France. Base impressed with A. Giacometti/016. Together with a certificate of authenticity from the Giacometti Commitee.

£70,000 - 90,000 Ω

sold for £104,500

Contact Specialist
Madalena Horta e Costa
Head of Sale
+44 20 7318 4019


London Auction 1 October 2015