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Coco Chanel's Beloved Glass Deer Statuette is Now For Sale

A rock crystal dating back to the Qing dynasty that was once owned by the couturier can be yours for a surprisingly modest price.
IMAGE DESIGNED BY CASSIE SKORAS
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It sat in Coco Chanel's living room for years, and now a statuette of a rock crystal deer dating from the Qing dynasty will be offered at Christie's Paris on June 12. The figure, presented under glass, is a seating deer with its head turned to the right holding a branch of lingzhi mushroom in its mouth. Chanel was, famously, a believer in signs and symbols.

Her apartment at 31 rue Cambon is filled with them. There is wheat—a symbol of prosperity—everywhere; it’s the base of her signature coffee table and also appears in a sketch painted by her friend Salvador Dali. There is the crystal chandelier string with various lucky numbers and signs.

And as a proud Leo (August 19th is Chanel’s birthday) she made sure a significant number of lions were placed on coffee tables and desks and bookshelves. This rock crystal deer (estimate $2,500)—an auspicious symbol of longevity that's also associated with Diana the Goddess of the Hunt,—was in good company.

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Coco Chanel at home

"The deer is an auspicious symbol of longevity and is associated with Diana, goddess of the hunt."

A pair (Chanel favored symmetry in all) of bronze deer once owned by the famously eccentric Marchesa Casati are at the entrance to her sitting room. If the estimate for this piece of Chanel history seems low, consider that in June 2018, Christie’s Paris sold a white and brown-glazed biscuit figure of a monkey with the same provenance.

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This statuette also dating from the Qing dynasty was acquired for 112,500 euro, after a long bidding battle between 12 international collectors, and that was way above its initial estimate of 4,000-6,000 euro. Given this precedent, and coupled with Chanel’s iconic status, hopes are high for the rock crystal deer.

“Considering the amazing result realized for the biscuit monkey sold last year, this crystal deer will certainly seduce Asian art lovers as well as Coco Chanel’s numerous admirers, a beautiful testimony of her refined, eclectic and timeless taste,” said Tiphaine Nicoul and Camille de Foresta, Specialists of the Asian Art department at Christie's Paris.

*This article originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com

*Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors

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