More than 100 light sconces designed by the French-Swiss architect Le Corbusier (Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris) were withdrawn from a sale at the Paris-based auction house Artcurial last week (30 May), an hour before they were due to go under the hammer.
The sconces came from the Unité d’habitation de Firminy (housing unit) in the Loire valley, the second largest site designed by Le Corbusier after the Complexe du Capitole in Chandigarh, India. ... In total, 27 lots—comprising sets of two, five and ten 1940s sconces with estimates of €600 to €800—were withdrawn from the 307-lot design sale after Firminy housing officials stepped in. ... Emmanuel Bérard, the director of Artcurial’s design department ... told Le Figaro: “I found these objects. They were abandoned more than ten years ago; some of them were in a poor condition and of interest to no-one. Since Firminy has been listed by Unesco, they have become prized heritage pieces.”