Courtesy of Daniel Katz Gallery
Francesco Toso, Faun and Faunness (around 1880s), Daniel Katz Gallery, This pair of bizarre figures—one of which is shown here—once welcomed visitors to the home of the eccentric interwar fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli, famed for her use of lurid “Schiaparelli pink” and her signature perfume, Shocking de Schiaparelli. Her guests would have been in for a shock, passing these two life-sized fauns, made from lacquered carved fruitwood in the late 19th century by the Venetian sculptor Francesco Toso. Schiaparelli referred to them as “Mr and Mrs Satan”, according to the gallery director Tom Davies, and it was said that if you wanted to return to the designer’s home “you crossed their palms with silver”. The pair sold at Christie’s Paris in January 2014 for €20,000, at which time they were attributed to the Northern European School, and then for €181,250 (with fees) in December 2018. Big palms would have been needed for all that silver. €385,000.