Alberto Giacometti - Design New York Wednesday, June 5, 2024 | Phillips
  • Diego Giacometti in the courtyard surrounded with works designed by Alberto Giacometti. Artwork: © Succession Alberto Giacometti / Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY 2024.

    “For my livelihood, I accepted to make anonymous utilitarian objects for a decorator at that time, Jean-Michel Frank…I realized I was developing a vase exactly as I would a sculpture and that there was no difference between what I called sculpture and what was an object!”
    —Alberto Giacometti

    Alberto Giacometti designed the Figure floor lamp circa 1933 for French furniture and interior designer Jean-Michel Frank. In addition to Giacometti, Frank counted among his milieu such visionaries as Louis Aragon, Salvador Dalí, and René Crevel, with the Figure lamp appearing in interiors he designed for Elsa Schiaparelli among other notable commissions. Following Alberto’s death in 1966, Diego continued to cast the model for patrons such as Nelson Rockefeller. A handwritten note signed and dated by Diego Giacometti attests that the artist sold the present example, along with an Étoile table lamp and a Berceau low table, to Irvin Shapiro in 1969. Shapiro may have crossed paths with the artist through his work as a producer and distributor of foreign films. His company, Films Around the World, introduced American audiences to the work of French filmmakers such as Jean Renoir and Jean-Luc Godard, among others.


    Shipping tag from Diego Giacometti to Irvin Shapiro. Image courtesy: the Estate of Diana Shapiro.


    • Provenance

      Diana and Irvin Shapiro, New York, acquired directly from Diego Giacometti, 1969

    • Literature

      Waldemar George, "Jean Michel Frank," Art et Décoration, 1936, p. 98
      Léopold Diego Sanchez, Jean-Michel Frank, Paris, 1980, pp. 107, 204
      Michel Butor, Diego Giacometti, Paris, 1985, p. 125
      Daniel Marchesseau, Diego Giacometti, Paris, 1986, p. 11
      Pierre-Emmanuel Martin-Vivier, Jean-Michel Frank: The Strange and Subtle Luxury of the Parisian Haute-Monde in the Art Deco Period, New York, 2012, pp. 68, 143, 198, 250

    • 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 4637.

Property from the Estate of Diana F. Shapiro


"Figure" floor lamp

designed circa 1933, cast circa 1969
Patinated bronze, paper shade.
Height of cast: 61 1/8 in. (155.3 cm)
Underside impressed AG 0177 by the Comité Giacometti. Together with a certificate of authenticity from the Comité Giacometti.

Full Cataloguing

$200,000 - 300,000 

Sold for $381,000

Contact Specialist

Benjamin Green
Associate Specialist
Associate Head of Sale
+1 917 207 9090


New York Auction 5 June 2024