Flash News! The Petiet Collection – The Grange Collection – Camille Claudel pre-empted by museums

[01 Dec 2017]

The Petiet Collection: Latest sale

The provenance of the works played a major role in the latest Petiet sale organised by the Ader Nordmann auction house on 25 and 26 November 2017 at the Opéra-comique in Paris. After 25 years of sales, this 50th and final sale of the Henri Petiet Collection attracted dealers and collectors from London, Berlin and New York. The highlight of the sale was Pablo PICASSO’s Vollard Suite, which sold according to its estimate of €1.9m. Regarded as Pablo Picasso’s etching masterpiece, each complete set of the Vollard Suite – including 100 prints – is the ‘Holy Grail’ that all major museums fight over: the British Museum has a complete set (from the Petiet collection), as well as the National Gallery in Washington, MoMA in New York and the Picasso Museum in Paris. It’s also worth noting that the 100 prints of the Suite sold at Ader were all signed by Picasso himself.

Of the 622 lots sold during the two-day auction, Gauguin, Degas, Matisse and Daumier prints doubled or even tripled their deliberately low and attractive estimates, while some prints were sold at more affordable prices. Several prints by Maurice DE VLAMINCK, Guerin or Antoine Louis BARYE for example, were sold for less than €500. The opportunity to own a little piece of history, as the Petiet name is a highly sought-after provenance in the history of Modern art!

The Grange Collection: a record for Lalanne

Another prestigious collection and more high prices: the sale of part of French interior decorator and architect Jacques Grange’s collection lived up to expectations on 21 and 22 November at Sotheby’s in Paris. The total of this sale was €28.38 million, with explosive results compared to initial estimates.

A great lover of François-Xavier LALANNE, Jacques Grange sold several major works by the artist, including a pair of sheep for €1.56m, double the high estimate; a small mechanical rhinoceros sold at €381,000; a bird-shaped chair for €345,000; an amazing pike-shaped writing desk, estimated at €70,000 and finally bought for €489,000 and, most extraordinary of all, an autruches bar (Ostrich-bar) estimated at one million euros that finally went for €6.19m… This was one of the only six Autruches-bars in existence, a major piece in white porcelain, one of which is already part of the Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres’s collection and another in the Elysée Palace in Paris. This sale sets a new world record for Lalanne, whose price index is showing a meteoric rise: $100 spent in 2000 on one of his works being now worth $1,069 on average today (+969%).

Another record worth noting is the sale of a mahogany armchair from 1947 by Alexandre NOLL. Under the hammer at number 4, this major lot by Noll sold for €909,000 including buyer’s fees, which is €150,000 more than its rather high estimate of €600,000… Thanks to this new record, 2017 is now the best year for the artist in terms of sales. The Grange Collection also included works by Picasso, Matisse, Miro, David Hockney, Alberto Giacometti, Donald Judd and Damien Hirst, which all sold at very good prices.

Twelve works by Camille Claudel pre-empted by museums

Camille CLAUDEL has finally emerged from the shadows of her mentor Auguste Rodin with a high-selling auction in Paris. On 27 November, the French auction house Artcurial put up for sale 20 works from the Massary collection, Camille Claudel’s direct heirs. In this exceptional series of works, the last of such importance still in private hands, 17 works by Claudel were particularly eagerly awaited by collectors, as well as by several museums determined to acquire works which such perfect provenance. In the end, 12 works were pre-empted by six museums (including four by the Camille Claudel Museum in Nogent-sur-Seine) and five were sold to private collectors. The pre-emption of 12 works is a clear sign of Camille Claudel’s recognition by art institutions as a major figure in modern sculpture, especially as the works fetched such high prices. Three world records were indeed beaten: the first was set for the cast of La petite Châtelaine à la natte courbe. Estimated at €70,000, it went under the hammer for the record price of €390,000 (€492,600 costs included). Another record was set for a terra cotta entitled Étude II pour Sakountala, also estimated at around €70,000 but finally reaching €467,800, costs included. The third record was reached by Camille Claudel’s delicate pastel, Portrait of Louise Claudel (Madame de Massary), which fetched €117,000, double the estimate.

The success of this sale strengthens France’s position compared to the United Kingdom regarding Camille Claudel’s works, especially since her sculpture La Valse reached €1,463,200 last June at the Rouillac auction house in Montbazon… Never before has the artist so captivated the French art market!