Friday, 29 January 2021

Hip-Hip-Hooray

 

Hip-bath Hippo & Co.

Home renovations and garden & domestic projects have been been occupying many householders this past little while but, as yet, there's not been a peep from anyone who's undertaken a bathroom renovation out in the Blogosphere. When this Francois-Xavier Lalanne suite came up for auction at Sotheby's last June, Your Correspondent was thusly unsurprised that it sold without any problem. For 2 million euros for well-used bathroom fixtures does seem fair. It is in patinated bronze, copper and gilt metal, after all. And the loo seat is in comfy, warm wood.

But where has this trio of Hippos gone? Do not be shy, Dear Reader, if this bronzed famille is now gracing your home and nether parts, and give us a glimpse of your choice pieces in situ - for we Pipistrellos admire and applaud those who embrace the motto Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Let us celebrate with you!



Image credit: Sotheby's


37 comments:

  1. Oh thank you for posting this. It made my day. This is completely barking mad and glorious!

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  2. Traveller: Welcome! I comb the ends of interwebs for your delectation.

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  3. I am not sure if I object more to the whimsy in this, or to the plain bad taste. Sometimes both famous designers and people with two million Euros to waste can get carried away. Besides, what did hippopotami ever do to deserve this? No to mention, the bath piece looks like a nightmare!
    --Jim

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  4. Jim: I, for one, would worry about how best to approach them. Hippopotami are notorious for being dangerous when you get up close. And then there's the question of cleaning. I don't know if patinated bronze and Gumption are a recommended pairing.

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  5. Somehow I doubt cleaning is a concern of the owner, who undoubtedly has staff for such things.
    I wondered whether these were full-size or miniatures, like for a dollhouse. Full size! And inspired by a hippo bathtub owned by Teeny Duchamp, who was married not only to Matisse but also to Marcel Duchamp, of urinal art fame. So bathroom fixtures are quite a thing in art. (When I read of Teeny Duchamp in the Sotheby's catalog, I immediately thought Duchamp? The toilet guy? How's that for going down in history? And indeed there is a connection!) Actually Teeny sounds like the most interesting of the bunch.

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  6. We would like to renovate our bathroom at some point in the near future. Sadly, the space is too small to be able to squeeze in a hippo-loo. Would that we could! :D

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  7. ToF: Yes, we creatures can be fixated on the oddest things (pun alert!) The catalogues do throw some interesting light sometimes and the blue hippo bath was new to me. The resin might prove easier to clean but the bronze looks better, if I was forced to choose.

    Bea: Do remember there is West African pygmy hippo for when inspiration comes calling! (All pun intended)

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  8. I do remember these being for sale, but never heard what they fetched. €2 Million seems very reasonable.

    We are actually mid bathroom building up at our barn. One very slow builder has spent about a month putting up the brick walls, and we're now waiting for someone to come to affix plaster board, prior to the plumber probably coming in 2014 (if we're lucky).

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  9. Ha, Pipistrello, ONLY the fact that the auction people insisted that one had to buy all three pieces as a set (and my bathroom is a bit too small) stopped me from bidding.
    Maybe soon a modern plastic version - affordable for all pig lovers - will appear soon - and so add another lesson of "humour in furniture", as dear Lucia would say. (Although - no plastic for her, of course).

    As there is no comment function under your wonderful inspiring blog with the quotes, I will add here my thanks! (And share my surprise, how often we read the same books, and are interested in the same topics - great! In a private book I collect quotes too - such a joy to value the wit of an author that way.)

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  10. Oh, oh, oh - if pigs could fly--- I would not have minimised the hippos! to pigs -- being slightly distracted by the thought of my tiny bathroom (which is a fly in the ointment in my huge apartment --tiny)

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  11. Cro: Ahah! You declare reasonable? I feel I'm getting warmer. But yes, it does seem reasonable, even after the auction "extras" are tacked on to the 2.1m-odd! So, the hippos aren't in your shed awaiting the opportunity to be plumbed in? ...

    Britta: Thank you for declaring your position. Another name to strike from the list, and our own diminutive bathroom couldn't hold even the baby loo, either ... I fear it would be tiresome for Giorgino-mio to try climbing in and out of Mama Hippo's belly, and no, plastic would be a crime. And thank you for your appreciation of my Commonplace Book - it is nice to have some common ground amongst us all!

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  12. You said "..if this bronzed famille is now gracing your home and nether parts, give us a glimpse of your choice pieces in situ".

    Yes!!

    I have collected all sorts of decorative arts over the decades, usually from auction houses, and never knew from the photos how big, strong or useful an art object is. You have to see a photo of a bum in place, before you can trust the auction house blurb.

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  13. Hels: Ho! "Serving suggestions" and "lifestyle shots" are often critical to the decision making. You should imagine on a multi-million peso item it would be mandatory!

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  14. I thought they were ornaments at first! That's really taking the antique/vintage 'hip bath' a bit too far.
    I prefer my hippos in their African habitats - however when in small boats on the Okavango Delta in Botswana I was terrified they would flip us over (as they have been known to do). . . . . then the crocs move in and gobble us up! Hippos also move very fast on land - surprising for their bulk and weight.
    No, my bathroom decor could not handle these pieces - and wood seats are really so nasty to clean!!! Of course the live-in help would have to take care of that!
    You do keep us amused Pip - thanks for the giggle.
    Mary -

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  15. Hippos are my favourite animal especially pygmy hippos, but do I want them gracing my salle de bains - definitely not.

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  16. Mary: Such adventures you've had! In miniature, these would make rather quirky centrepieces, or even better, cruet sets!, for those with a whimsical table to adorn.

    Rosemary: What were the chances to have struck gold with choosing your favourite animal? I acknowledge your reticence, however, to have them in your home, and anyways, your bucolic paradise would be an incongruous setting for these wallowers.

    Rachel: Oh, yes!

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  17. Hippos are nasty beasts I hear but they are comical critters in toy form and statues.

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  18. Ur-spo: Not to mention twirling about convincingly in tutus! Though that's perhaps a clue to their diva ways.

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  19. Well, I am flabbergasted that anyone would want those things in their bathrooms. But to each his own. Paying 2 million for the set though sounds nothing short of ludicrous. Thanks for alerting us though, you made me smile on a Sunday night when all I can think of is the gloom of the coming week.
    Now I can think of someone's bottom gracing a hippo loo.

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  20. Loree: It is probably from the same place that the inspiration for this came! Our imaginations are truly transportive.

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  21. In times of need one ought not to be choosy where to pay tribute to one's peristaltic.

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  22. Bathroom accents in the form of the hippo. Eccentricities at their best? Madness comes in all forms. Yes, indeed.

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  23. Sean: Tribute indeed comes in many forms, but the first thing I thought here was the schoolyard ditty: "In days of old/When knights were bold/And toilets weren't invented/ ... etc"!

    Susan: Madness, eccentricities and tribute, too. Would the noble hippo have ever guessed?

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  24. Darling Jim,

    Oh dear, we have clearly arrived too late for the Happy Hippo sale of the century! If only we had known, if only we had been alerted sooner and, of course, if only we had not been in lockdown since March nor, if only, not cut off from the civilised world by Brexit trade taxes, then we should have been surely tempted to create a bathroom that would not only have been efficient but would also be a tourist attraction.

    Why spend hard earned money on safaris when one can have one's own African scene at home? Please be sure to let us know of any future delights.....an elephant inspired kitchen perhaps or, happiness of happinesses, a perfect pride of lion furniture for the drawing room. We shall stay in touch!

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  25. Darling,

    Apologies for the confusion with Parnassus.....who is Jim....we believe

    One day we shall hope to be formally introduced....

    J and L xx

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  26. J&L: Darlings - may I presume to call you thus, too? - no apology is necessary, I did realise straight away where your miscue lay. Welcome to my pages! You have seized immediately the very reason for the allure of owning this fetching suite for oneself. All the glamour and exotique-ness of a safari at home without the danger, noise and, shall we say, earthy scents, for which some do pay many pesos. And neither must you have a custom safari suit with which to greet your herd of hippos or pride of lions, a silken bathrobe is all. I shall be on the lookout for the lions. You don't need to know that you also missed out previously on some Lalanne sheep for the drawing room last year, also remarked upon here, unless the barnyard had been a suitable sub for safari. xx

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  27. I THINK YOU ARE CRUISING THE INTERNET TOO MUCH!!!!!
    BACI,
    XXX

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  28. Contessa: Haha! Bingo, Bella!! Xx

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  29. I have nothing that can possibly compete with the hippos, but I do admire my complex ribosome molecular structure mouse mat each day, and two little metal vases bought on our honeymoon, eh... 44 years ago this August; oh, and a watercolour of our favourite view of Oban painted by our talented daughter. Other than those, we have a rather minimalist home. We like it that way. No "cabinet of curiosities", except for the two curious humans, that is.

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  30. Andrew: Humans will always constitute the most curious items of any home, as your mouse mat reminds those of us who are apt to forget. And favourite views by favourite painters are good things to have about the place. I rather fancy I've been to Oban, by the by ... Congratulations on your pending 44th! I was curious as to what the traditional gift might be, it's Electronics, apparently, but was rather surprised to see the modern suggestion is Groceries! You've a few months up your sleeve to work on your List; perhaps something to work on while you're taking it easy?

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  31. How fabulous...if I had the right house to show them to their best effect and unlimited funds I would have bought them in a heartbeat!

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  32. Aril: For their princely sum and fetching form it would be a crime to put them in a small room with a door, they do need to be shown off. Who knew dreams were made of bronze?

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  33. Some people have more money than sense ­čĄú­čśé­čĄú XXXX

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  34. Jackie: The number of pesos stumped up here even before all the buyers premiums and whatnots is just crazy talk! xx

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  35. Good grief! It reminds me of an ancient comedy sketch on TV where a visitor is being shown the painfully trendy hosts' collection:

    Visitor: "Whats that?"
    Trendy person: "It's a conversation piece"
    Visitor: Oh.
    [Silence]

    Do you suppose the new owners have Flanders and Swann's hippopotamus song on a loop? I suspect they may have a living room complete with Dali's Mae West sofa, lobster phone and melting clock. Meanwhile any visitor using the hippo facilities will be cursing the fact that the loo-roll appears to be in about the most inconvenient place.

    There must come a time when the amusement wears off and it all becomes a b. nuisance. But thank you for adding to the gaiety of nations!

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  36. Autolycus: Ho! And you're welcome! Dumb-struck many a visitor must be when they take themselves off to wash away the Glorious Mud, and you noticed the loo-roll does appear to be in a perilous place when the lid is down. As I mentioned earlier upstairs, cleaning the beasts would be tiresome and I daresay has contributed to their previous owners putting them out to pasture, with a brimming pocketful of pesos as reward for tending them so diligently.

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