Swiss perspectives in 10 languages

Giacometti lamp tops million-franc mark in Geneva auction

Alberto Giacometti is most famous for his sculptures. Several shown here from an exhibition at the Fondation Beyeler in Basel in 2018. Keystone

A “Tête de femme” floor lamp by Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966) topped the million-franc mark at a Piguet auction in Geneva on Thursday evening. This represents five times the estimated price of the object.

The sculpture was unprecedented on the art market wrote Piguet in a press release on Friday. It sets a world record for an Alberto Giacometti “Tête de femme” floor lamp.

Check out our selection of newsletters. Subscribe here.

This sculpture was made between 1933 and 1939. Unlike the other version of this lamp, more common on the market and produced later, with castings until the 1980s, the one sold in Geneva on Thursday evening features a narrow base and an elongated shaft.

+ Rediscovering the Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti

The Piguet team discovered correspondence between Alberto Giacometti and Henry-Louis Mermod from 1933 to 1934, evoking the commissioning of the floor lamp for the latter directly in the artist’s Paris studio in 1933. These letters between the current owner’s grandfather and Giacometti give the work an “exceptional traceability, which de facto increases its rarity and value”, the press release goes on to say.

Adapted from French by DeepL/jdp

This news story has been written and carefully fact-checked by an external editorial team. At SWI we select the most relevant news for an international audience and use automatic translation tools such as DeepL to translate it into English. Providing you with automatically translated news gives us the time to write more in-depth articles. 

If you want to know more about how we work, have a look here, and if you have feedback on this news story please write to

Popular Stories

Most Discussed


A man cleans up the remains of a blown up ATM at the Blitz Garage Volketswil, Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021 in Volketswil.


ATM explosion rocks canton Vaud

This content was published on Unknown assailants detonated an ATM in canton Vaud early Sunday morning, causing extensive damage to the building. The perpetrators fled the scene and remain at large.

Read more: ATM explosion rocks canton Vaud
Lake Parade in Geneva attracts over 100,000 people


Lake Parade in Geneva attracts over 100,000 people

This content was published on The 22nd Lake Parade and the Lake Sensation in Geneva attracted over 100,000 people in summery weather on Saturday. There were no major incidents at either event.

Read more: Lake Parade in Geneva attracts over 100,000 people

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here . Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR