Tuesday, June 04, 2013

A Frisky Feline

Without a doubt, this has to be one of the most fantastical bars ever created.  Designed by François-Xavier Lalanne, this chat polymorphe was purchased by architect Émile Aillaud in 1968.  Although at first glance it looks like a feline Trojan Horse made of repoussé brass, the bar has curious appendages that make it seem more akin to some mythological creature- namely, a fish tail and birds' wings that reveal the contents inside.  It's certainly imaginative, not to mention impossibly chic, too.

The photo you see here shows the bar in the Paris home of Charlotte Aillaud, widow of Émile. Charlotte used the bar to hold her treasured collection of Venetian glassware and eighteenth-century Portuguese glasses. I use the past tense as it seems Charlotte sold her cat at a 2002 Christie's auction. The cat's hammer price was $197,125- appropriate, I suppose, considering that the cat bar was one of only two made by Lalanne:

Although I seriously doubt that Charlotte Aillaud used her cat to mix complicated cocktails, I do think this cat needs a signature drink. Should it be a Tiger's Tail? Or better yet, what about the Pussyfoot?


A non-alcoholic cocktail, the Pussyfoot is a Jazz Age drink that was first concocted at the Embassy Club in London.  According to some, it cures hangovers...

1 fluid ounce lime juice
1 fluid ounce lemon juice
1 fluid ounce orange juice
Grenadine to taste
Maraschino Cherry for garnish

Mix in a cocktail shaker with ice and strain into a glass.


  1. Great Post...a little pricey.
    Thanks. Mary

  2. Jennifer, I think I'll stick with my Sheffield silver tray for serving cocktails, but that Lelanne bar is beyond wonderful.

    The Pussy Cat cocktail reminds me of the Shirley Temple 'cocktail' my parents gave me when they entertained. Years later, I learned, if one added Bourbon, it became even better!

    BTW, if you're in Atlanta this weekend, drop by my booth at Scott's and say "Hello".

    April, Just Verte Style

  3. sooo Chic. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

  4. Somewhere I have photos of a fantastic bar commissioned in the 1980s by an Australian art enthusiast of the late artist Constance Gordon-Johnson. It was a life-size ostrich (or could it have been an enormous emu?) whose back hinged open to reveal the bar. Extraordinary, really.

    For those going out to buy grenadine, try to find some actually made from pomegranate juice, the original ingredient that is now often lacking. (Or make your own).

  5. Paging Monty Python...

    Thanks for the non-alcoholic quaff recipe, sounds good, and thanks to TDC for the heads up about the need for real pomegranate juice in the grenadine.

  6. That is a good suggestion by TDC. I believe that I have some Rose's grenadine in the pantry. I need to check the ingredients to see if there is any pomegranate juice in it.

  7. Anonymous1:09 PM

    That is amazing. Out of my price range unfortunately :)

  8. The chicest bar ever!!!