The "mouton" of Lalanne and the Rothschilds

On 15 July 2019, by Caroline Legrand

François-Xavier Lalanne's fabulous bestiary moves into the world of wine. This piece made in collaboration with the Daum company was designed for lovers of the celebrated Mouton-Rothschild.

François-Xavier Lalanne (1927-2008) and Daum France Cristallerie, decanter for La Bergerie (Baron Philippe de Rothschild's company), editor for the commission "Mouton-Rothschild", clear blown crystal and gilt bronze, with the monogram FXL on the terrace, marked Daum France on the underside. Proof from the early edition, 1982, h. 39.5 cm.
Estimate: €8,000/10,000

While a bright spotlight shone on François-Xavier Lalanne's work in the market at the sale of the Yves Saint-Laurent collection in 2009, the sculptor's reputation was always set fair during his lifetime, as witness the many commissions he received. For example, during the 1950s he created the Dior store in Avenue Montaigne and in the 1970s the ostrich bar in Sèvres porcelain, which President Pompidou wanted at the Élysée. Not to mention a range of decorative objects like the Sèvres porcelain table centrepieces in the form of ducks, which were used for diplomatic gifts in the 1970s. The decanter here was another in this long list of commissions. In 1982, Baron Philippe de Rothschild had the idea of asking the artist to make this piece in clear blown crystal surmounted with a gilt bronze stopper in the shape of a sheep: the iconic animal which first appeared in the sculptor's work in 1966, and also evoked the "mouton" in the name of the premier cru. Limited to only 20 copies, these pieces made in collaboration with the Daum France company were edited by Baron Rothschild's firm, then known as "La Bergerie". They were intended as gifts for the most loyal and also the luckiest customers of the famous Bordeaux grand cru. Following an order of wine, a "Saint Vincent" draw was carried out in 1983 on 22 January: the name day of the patron saint of vineyards. Destiny thus singled out the happy future owners of these twenty decanters. 

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