• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 1995

    Impressionist And Modern Art Day Sale

    7 May 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 381

    Diego Giacometti (1902-1985)

    La table-berceau; seconde version

    Price Realised  


    Diego Giacometti (1902-1985)
    La table-berceau; seconde version
    bronze with brown patina and glass top
    Height: 14¾ in. (37.5 cm.)
    Length: 45¼ in. (114.9 cm.)
    Width: 16 5/8 in. (42.2 cm.)
    Executed by 1968

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    Christopher Chodoff, New York.
    Acquired from the above by the present owner, July 1968.

    Pre-Lot Text

    Furniture by Alberto and Diego Giacometti

    In 1933 the decorator Jean-Michel Frank began his collaboration with Alberto and Diego Giacometti to design a range of accessories and light fixtures. According to Daniel Marchessesau, "They mainly created bases and andirons and also worked on models for wall sconces, floor lamps, and desk lamps...If Alberto contributed fantasy and exuberance to creations made for Frank, Diego gave them fullness and solidity. His sense of volumes and geometry would later assert itself in authoritative fashion" (in Diego Giacometti, Paris, 1986, pp. 32-33).

    Long regarded as the official and trustworthy assistant of his brother Alberto, it was only after the death of the latter in 1966 that Diego found himself free to express his own creativity, which was perceptible in the lamps created by the two artists for Jean-Michel Frank. Diego considered himself an artisan whose only goal was to create beautiful and useful objects. His friends and assistants spoke of his regard for exactitude and his desire for practicalitythat his sculpture be practical, but also of his ceaseless creativity.

    The work of Diego constitutes a universe full of dreams and poetry. His creations merge the worlds of sculpture and furniture design into one remarkable whole. His exquisitely designed and carefully crafted bronze tables, chairs, fire screens and other functional objects are animatedbrought to life by the artist's unique imagination, his sense of proportion and his profound love of nature and the animal world.

    Diego created numerous works for Marguerite and Aimé Maeght to decorate their Paris apartment and farm in Saint-Paul-de-Vence-"lamps, sconces, seat furniture, tables and accessories of all sorts, including the dressing table, stools, étagères, and night tables for Marguerite's room" (ibid., p. 16). Diego's creations also decorated the homes of Pierre Matisse, the movie producer Raoul Lévy, the decorator Jacques Adnet, and the couturier Hubert de Givenchy. Diego executed important commissions for the decorators Georges Geoffroy and Henri Samuel, the Maeght Foundation in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, the Kornenhall Brasserie in Zurich and the Musée Picasso in Paris.

    The following tables, lamps and chair are wonderful examples of the brothers'brother's foray into the world of decoration.

    Property from an American Collection


    F. Francisci, Diego Giacometti, Paris, 1986, pp. 68-69 (another cast illustrated).
    D. Marchesseau, Diego Giacometti, Paris, 1986, p. 67 (another cast illustrated; dated circa 1970).
    F. Baudot, Diego Giacometti, Paris, 2001, p. 79 (another cast illustrated).