When a tantalising mix of objects and artworks collected over the past 35 years by renowned French interior designer Jacques Grange comes to auction at Sotheby’s Paris on November 21 and 22, it will be very clear that this is a deeply personal collection. Each piece evokes a special memory for Grange or has been chosen for its cultural significance. “All are little masterpieces with fantastic provenance,” he says.
As the designer to a star-studded list of clients including Pierre Bergé and Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino, Paloma Picasso, Karl Lagerfeld, Alain Ducasse, Francis Ford Coppola and his daughter Sofia, it’s small wonder that this collection conveys an extremely sophisticated eye. Around 175 lots embrace modern and contemporary artworks, photographs, sculpture, ceramics, furniture and lighting from Grange’s Palais Royal apartment, which was once home to the novelist Colette. The reason for selling, he says, “is because I want to discover more lovely things and have space to display them”.
Eye-catching artworks include a Damien Hirst painting from 2001 (estimate €350,000-€500,000), Andy Warhol’s Liza Minelli from 1978 (€8,000-€12,000) and David Hockney’s Arty Sutton from 1972 (€80,000-€120,000). Earlier 20th-century heavyweights include Pablo Picasso’s 1920 Compotier sur un Meuble (€200,000-€300,000), Fernand Léger’s 1950 Etude pour les Constructeurs (€100,000-€150,000) and René Magritte’s L’Echelle du Feu (€200,000-€300,000).
Among significant furniture and lighting designs are Alexandre Noll’s wooden armchair from around 1947 (€400,000-€600,000), Gerrit Rietveld’s Chaise Billet from 1926-27 (€60,000-€80,000) and Josef Hoffmann’s M92 table lamp from around 1904 (€60,000-€80,000).
Grange’s penchant for François-Xavier and Claude Lalanne’s quirky designs is revealed by a spindly pair of Chaises aux Branchettes (€60,000-€80,000) by the latter, and Rhino Secretaire (€100,000-€150,000), Deux Moutons de Laine (€500,000-€700,000) and Bar Les Autruches (€700,000-€1m) by François-Xavier. “I met the Lalannes with Yves Saint Laurent in 1962 and have appreciated their work ever since,” says Grange.