At a Christie’s New York auction, a hippopotamus bathtub was sold for $4.3 million. An anonymous buyer purchased the unique item in 2006 for $168,000 at Sotheby’s auction and just received a 2,500% return.
A sculpture of a life-size hippo, with a sink and vanity folded into its maw and a full bathtub inside its body is the work of François-Xavier Lalanne. The unique piece was made in 1969 from welded brass and copper.
According to some news, the sculptor has previously said, “A bathtub and a hippopotamus make a better marriage than a bathtub and a zebra.”
Lalanne and his wife and artistic partner Claude have made a career out of turning the animal kingdom into quirky wares, like a monkey-themed cabinet, a cat bar and a woolen sheep stool. Just last month, Sotheby’s Paris held a sale including 274 items from the Lalannes’ collection. The auction attracted some 4,000 bidders and exceeded its high estimate by four times.