A set of sheep sculptures by the artist François-Xavier Lalanne are expected to fetch between $4 million and $6 million at a New York City Christie’s auction this November.
The sheep are originally from the renowned East Hampton estate of Adlaide de Menil and her late husband Edmund (Ted) Carpenter, the famous anthropologist and broadcaster. The sculptures were a fixture at the couple’s Further Lane home.
François-Xavier Lalanne created Mouton de Laine, Un Troupeau de 24 Moutons, or “a flock of 24 sheep,” in 1965. The so-called “flock” comprises eight standing sheep, sixteen grazing sheep, as well as an extremely rare black sheep. The set is made out of aluminium, wood, and wool.
The sculptures originally gained prominence when Lalanne introduced his art work at the Salon de la Jeune Peinture in Paris in 1965. The flock was placed at the entrance and the artists of the Salon were photographed sitting atop them. The 24 sheep were even photographed and published in Life magazine in 1967.
The set of sheep sculptures will be the highlight of Christie’s November 14 Post-War and Contemporary Evening Sale in New York at Rockefeller Plaza. The auction will benefit The Rock Foundation, which supports anthropological and archaeological research, publishing, and films.
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