Diego Giacometti (1902-1985)
Diego Giacometti (1902-1985)
Diego Giacometti (1902-1985)
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Diego Giacometti (1902-1985)
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PROPERTY FROM AN AMERICAN COLLECTION
Diego Giacometti (1902-1985)

Porte-manteaux au hibou

Details
Diego Giacometti (1902-1985)
Porte-manteaux au hibou
bronze with brown and green patina
Height: 65 5/8 in. (180 cm.)
Conceived in 1965, cast by 1968
Provenance
Mr. and Mrs. William H. Weintraub, New York, acquired from the artist, 1968.
Thence by descent to the present owner.
Literature
D. Marchesseau, Diego Giacometti, Paris, 1986, p. 69 (another cast illustrated).
F. Baudot, Diego Giacometti, Paris, 2001, pp. 42-43 and 77 (other casts illustrated; with incorrect dimensions).
D. Marchesseau, Diego Giacometti: sculpteur de meubles, Paris, 2018, p. 161 (another cast and another version illustrated).

Brought to you by

Vanessa Fusco
Vanessa Fusco

Lot Essay

'Built upon rhythmic harmony as old as time, [Diego Giocometti's] work had a sobriety and humor, where trees, birds and frogs came together'.
– Henry Cartier-Bresson

Porte-manteaux au hibou superbly exemplifies the finest elements of Diego Giacometti’s creative and utilitarian aesthetics. The beautifully crafted coat rack wonderfully typifies his animal-infused furniture designs, all of which exude a sophisticated, yet slightly playful charm. The three slender legs, in the form of wiry roots, support a finely sculpted tree trunk that extends to several leafy branches, with a small owl perched upon one of them, arranged to accept coats, shawls and capes. The bronze is further enhanced with a warm brown and green patina with red highlights. Giacometti passionately experimented with, and perfected, his use of patinas, as he fully appreciated the added nuances, subtleties and character a distinctive and integral finish could give to his bronzework.

Giacometti was able to refine and distill his furniture design concepts to the basic essentials. His goal was to create objects that were works of art but, at the same time, practical and comfortable. Porte-manteaux au hibou amply demonstrates the graceful strength, confidence and lighthearted spirit that is the keynote of Giacometti’s enduring creations.

Christie's is honored to present this rare Porte-manteaux from an important private collection. The grandfather of the present owner, William H. Weintraub, founded Esquire magazine in October 1933 with partners David Smart and Arnold Gingrich. The magazine set contemporary editorial and stylistic standards, featuring writers Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Norman Mailer and enlisting the artistic talents of George Lois, Jean-Paul Goude and Abner Dean. Girded by Esquire's success, Mr. Weintraub formed an eponymous advertising agency in 1942, notable early art directors for which include Paul Rand and William Bernbach.

In 1965, the year the Porte-manteaux model was conceived, Mr. and Mrs. Weintraub began correspondence with Diego Giacometti and acquired many pieces, including the present work, directly from the artist shortly thereafter. The Porte-manteaux has remained in the family ever since.
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