In 1964 the exhibition titled Zoophites displays the know-how of the Lalannes in functional furniture and zoomorphic figures, in both cases with humor and with rejection of all traditions. The rhinocrétaire is already a hybrid between these two types of objects. Before them Fornasetti had changed the decoration of the furniture but not the shape.
Yves Saint-Laurent is not mistaken. He orders a bar to François-Xavier. The elements of an ordinary bar are there : the bottle rack, the ice bucket and even a shaker. They are assembled with a tubular structure that is not zoomorphic. Supplied in 1965 to Saint-Laurent and Bergé, this unprecedented piece of furniture was sold by Christie's in February 2009 for € 2,75M including premium over a lower estimate of € 200K.
Despite this first success, this product remains confidential. In 1966 François-Xavier delivers another bar, similar in structure but less compact, to a couple of Belgian collectors. The Mayersdorff Bar was sold by Christie's on May 17, 2018 for $ 4.6M including premium over a lower estimate of $ 2.2M.
With Lalanne the animals could not stay away for long. The Bar à Autruches was edited in six copies in 1970. The tray is held on both sides by ostriches made in 1967 in a newly developed white Sèvres porcelain and carries in its center an egg shaped ice bucket. One of them was sold for € 6.2M including premium by Sotheby's on November 21, 2017 over a lower estimate of € 700K.
The ostrich bar is original and prestigious but its functionality is rudimentary. A fully closed bar will better meet user's needs. François-Xavier creates in 1970 the Bar Sauterelle. The body is in porcelain and the posts are made of brass and steel. This grasshopper finally offers the whole comfort of a modern bar, including a compartment for bottles and another for glasses.
Only two copies were made in white Sèvres porcelain. One of them was offered in 1972 by Président Pompidou to the English royal couple. It is still in their ownership. The other one is estimated $ 800K for sale by Sotheby's in New York on May 24, lot 449. Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
SOLD for $ 1.64M including premium