"French Art de vivre in Knightsbridge" is composed of 46 exceptional lots, the acquisitions of a French collector who, over the years, has filled his luxurious apartment in Knightsbridge, London with stylish objects of design as well as art.

The apartment in Knightsbrigde, London. Photo courtesey of Tajan. The apartment in Knightsbrigde, London. Photo courtesey of Tajan.

This London neighbourhood, not far from Chelsea, is known for its refinement, its white-columned houses and traditional and ancient ornamented interiors. King's Road is also home to many antique dealers, galleries, and vintage luxury furniture shops, a real treasure for lovers of art and decorative objects.

This promising sale reflects a very eclectic taste - a mix of antique furniture, works of contemporary art, Asian Arts and Decorative Arts of the twentieth century. Each piece seems to have its importance in the collection and finds its rightful place in the interiors with its classical, modern and contemporary styles.

There is a predominance of animal figures in the collection, including a pair of magnificent bronze armchairs by Bronislaw Krysztof (born in 1956), from an edition of only four copies. Decorated with a gilded bronze plant structure with a medal patina, these rare pieces, dated and monogrammed "BK", have a laterally pointed back with two foxes.

Two chairs with elk horns, from Northern Europe and dating from the first half of the nineteenth century, will also be presented during the sale.

One of the most important pieces of the collection, is an incredible crocodile bench created by Claude Lalanne (born in 1924), who for a large part of his career, drew his inspiration from the shapes and textures present in the nature. His affection for organic forms is manifested in this sublime piece in gilded bronze and adorned with two crocodiles. A recurrent figure in Claude Lalanne's universe, the crocodile adorns many of his works, such as armchairs, chandeliers, small tables and stools. The bench offered by Tajan is a virtuoso model that was presented during the great solo-exhibition entitled “The Lalanne” at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris in 2010. The crocodile bench is estimated between 600,000 and 900,000 euros.

At the heart of the collection are also the works by contemporary artists such as Miquel Barceló (born in 1957), a Spanish Majorcan artist associated with the Neo-expressionist movement. The pieces in the sale include two ceramics, Mapamundi and Three Black Roses. The artist was introduced to ceramics in 1995, while living in the Dogon Country and weather conditions prevent him from painting. After several painstaking attempts to master this technique foreign to his artistic universe, Barceló realized a new body of work with archetypal forms revolving around the themes of life, death, and organic metamorphosis.

However, it is Tableau Etang, in this sale, which holds our main attention. This large canvas - 57 by 78 inches - testifies to the influence that the seabed had on the work of the artist. The movements of shadow and light on the bottom of the canvas recall an organic universe whose inhabitants are constantly changing. We see forms, marine creatures that appear, camouflage, hide. The seabed holds treasures, just like the Tableau Etang, which actually hides another work by the artist: "For Le Grand Fond Mer, I reused, an elephant painting on a green background that I had painted two years ago." The Tableau Etang demonstrates a great work on the subject and on the marine theme which is very important in its artistic universe. The work is estimated between 300.00 and 500.000 euros.

"French Art de vivre in Knightsbridge" will also be an opportunity for collectors to see a masterpiece by Manolo Valdés (born in 1942) entitled El Conde Duque de Olivares I, from 1989. With mixed techniques on canvas the Spanish artist testifies to his mastery of the subject. Valdés is one of few artists to work across all mediums, his works include drawings, paintings, sculptures as well as prints. Largely inspired by Spanish artistic heritage, we find in his work references to the great master Velasquez and some of his predecessors like Antoni Tapiès. El Conde Duque de Olivares I is estimated between 150,000 and 200,000 euros and is tangible proof of the ability of Valdés innovation - whatever technique used.

This exceptional sale at Tajan also contains pieces of furniture made by artists such as Arbus and Jules Leleu.

When it comes to Asian Arts, a beautiful Chenyi type Bianfu Dress will be presented, among other objects. This zinzolin silk damask dress from the end of the Qing Dynasty is embellished with polychrome thread embroidery and spherical buttons in gilded copper alloy.

'French Art de vivre in Knightsbridge' offers an eclectic collection of rare and refined pieces, a Tajan sale not to be missed!

The sale takes place on April 4, 2018 at Espace Tajan and on the Tajan online platform. Check out all lots at Barnebys!

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