French fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy made a tidy profit at a recent Christie’s auction after he sold some furniture from his personal collection for €32.7 million (HK$274.6 million).
Of course, in true Givenchy fashion, it wasn’t just any old furniture.
Akin more to works of art, the pieces were made by Diego Giacometti, the late Swiss sculptor and designer, whom Givenchy knew personally.
The pair met and became friends in the 1960s thanks to an introduction made by Gustav Zumsteg, the director of fabric company Abraham. Shortly after they met, Givenchy purchased his first Giacometti piece – a guéridon (small table), which was also sold at the auction. Throughout the years, Givenchy commissioned a number of furniture pieces and artworks from Giacometti.
One piece, an octagonal table from 1980, set a new auction record for the artist, selling for €4,162,500 – more than five times the estimate. It was the top price of the auction.
Remarkably, 100 percent of the lots sold above their pre-sale estimates.
“We are very proud of these extraordinary results,” said François de Ricqlès, president of Christie’s France. “Thanks to Hubert de Givenchy’s elegance and perfect taste, this sale was a beautiful tribute to Diego Giacometti whose new auction record confirms his position as one of the most talented artists of the 20th century.”
Text: Emily Petsko