323. Salvador Dali

Mae West’s Lips Sofa
Made, and re-branded ‘Marilyn Lips’,
by Studio 65, 1972
Size: 84 cm high, 205.5 cm wide

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The creation of this iconic design resulted from the collaboration between Salvador Dalí and Edward James in 1936. James wished to create a Surrealist interior, initially for his house in Wimpole Street, but subsequently realized for Monkton House on his West Dean estate. He commissioned five examples, made by John Hill’s firm Green & Abbot, and by Edward Garrick at Associated Artist-Technicians. They were covered in Schiaparelli pink satin, or red and pink Melton wool. The pink satin example, still with the Edward James Foundation, was shown at the Surreal Things exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2007. A wool version was purchased by the Royal Pavilion in Brighton, and another bought from Edward James by the Robert Fraser Gallery was acquired by the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam at auction in 2003. Recently the Foundation sold one of the pair of sofas from the dining-room at Monkton, in auction at Christie’s (15th December 2016) for £750,000. Why Mae West became Marilyn in 1972 is somewhat of an e-lip-tical mystery.

38/150 made $50,000 Sotheby’s NY 02.05.15