Alberto Giacometti's Chariot, one of the masterworks of his career, looks set to beat the auction record for his work at Sotheby's Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale in New York on November 4.
The pieces is one of the most celebrated of Giacometti's works "both as an icon of existentialism and a beacon of hope for the post-war generation", according to Sotheby's. One of only two casts remaining in private hands, it is expected to sell for upwards of $100m.
Simon Shaw, co-head of Sotheby's impressionist & modern art department, commented: "Few works of art capture a historical moment with the power and poignancy of Giacometti's Chariot.
"With its connotations of healing, strength and magic, this heroic sculpture is a symbol of renewal following the second world war. It is a privilege to present a masterpiece worthy of the world's great museums.
"Given the $104.3 million achieved at Sotheby's by Giacometti's Homme qui marche I in 2010, we believe that Chariot could sell for in excess of $100 million."
Created in 1950, the work is inspired by the "tinkling pharmacy carts" that Giacometti had seen while hospitalised following a car accident in Paris.
"In 1947 I saw the sculpture before as if already done," he told his dealer Pierre Matisse. "In 1950 it was impossible not to realize it, although it was already situated for me in the past."
Also starring in the sale is Amedeo Modigliani's Tete, a 1911-12 stone sculpture in the likeness of ancient totemic goddesses. It is valued at more than $45m.
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