A few weeks ago, we were gawking at the latest functional sculptures from Splinter Works. Their mini-bar, Tipsy, certainly had me wondering how something that seemed ready to tip over could be so sturdy. Splinter Works’ furniture is unfailingly eye-catching, but the design firm is not a pioneer. In the mid-twentieth century, French artist-designer duo François-Xavier and Claude Lalanne became famous for creating surrealist sculpture that was also furniture. Splinter Works and other such design groups are simply following in the footsteps of trendsetters like the Lallanes.
After François-Xavier’s passing away in 2008, the female half of the duo, 86-year-old Claude Lallane, has taken over. The latest on the Lallane front is that Lallane has introduced a set of 700 limited edition delicate gilt bronze candleholders. Each piece sports elegant designs of snakes, butterflies and leaves, inspired by the art nouveau style. A honeysuckle-scented candle developed by Claude Lallane with Paris-based fragrance company Quintessence stands within each candleholder. Lallane’s new collectibles can be sourced in the United States exclusively from Maison Gérard in New York for a price of $4,800.
The Lallanes’ works have long been regarded as collectibles. Some of their most famous functional works of art include a bed that was shaped like a bird, and a desk that opened out from the belly of a life-size rhino. Style icons like Yves Saint Laurent and John Galiano have been known to collect the Lallanes’ work. Last May, a pair of bronze monkeys from Lallane sold for the record price of $199,062.50 at a Los Angeles auction. As the new candleholders become available for sale, enthusiasts had better book their collectibles quickly.