"Tête de femme" table lamp

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  • Provenance

    Private collection, Paris, circa 1946
    Thence by descent to the present owner

  • Literature

    Michel Butor, Diego Giacometti, Paris, 1985, p. 59
    Françoise Francisci, Diego Giacometti: Catalogue de l’œuvre, vol. 1, Paris, 1986, n.p.
    Daniel Marchesseau, Diego Giacometti, Paris, 1986, pp. 11, 35
    Diego Giacometti, Möbel und Objekte aus Bronze, exh. cat., Museum Bellrive, 1988, Zurich, p. 30
    Christian Boutonnet and Rafael Ortiz, Diego Giacometti, exh. cat., L'Arc en Seine, Paris, 2003, p. 35

  • Catalogue Essay

    The present lot is registered by the Fondation Alberto and Annette Giacometti in the online Alberto Giacometti Database (AGD) under the number AGD 4003.

    The present model Tête de Femme table lamp belongs to a group of decorative objects that Alberto Giacometti created for Jean-Michel Frank between 1932 and 1940. These works are deeply associated with Frank’s minimalist, often surrealist, interiors. Frank positioned Giacometti’s lamps and vases in prominent locations, as works of art meant to stand out from their stark surroundings, the sole recognizable elements in spaces largely defined by the anonymity of their forms. Recalling an architectural caryatid, the now iconic form of the present table lamp features the thoughtful detail and simplicity for which Giacometti’s decorative work is prized. The artist first conceived of his Tête de femme lamp in plaster around 1937, from which he later cast a version in bronze. The original plaster model of the lamp is now held in the collection of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris.

    The original owner of the present lamp was a Parisian decorator, famous for his designs for cafés, drugstores, hotels and shops in France and abroad. In the early 1940s he worked with Jacques Adnet, then head of the Compagnie des Arts Français, as a decorative painter and collaborated with him on the decoration of the Galeries Lafayette department store windows. He acquired the present Tête de Femme in the 1940s and it has remained in his family’s collection ever since.

126

Property from a Private Collection, France

"Tête de femme" table lamp

designed circa 1933, later cast
Patinated bronze, paper shade.
Height of cast: 19 7/8 in. (50.4 cm), including shade: 27 7/8 in. (70.7 cm) high
Reverse impressed AG 33. Together with a certificate of authenticity from the Comité Giacometti.

Estimate
$130,000 - 150,000 

sold for $375,000

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Design

New York Auction 6 June 2019