quarta-feira, 9 de maio de 2012


In Paris last week, works from the collection of Yves Saint Laurent made up the biggest single-owner sale in history. Art.view examines the star lots ...
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On February 23rd at 7pm, in front of 35 television cameras and a live audience of 1,500 at the Grand Palais in Paris, François de Ricqlès, Christie’s French vice-president, mounted the rostrum to the sound of Maria Callas singing Bellini’s “Casta Diva”. The music alone announced that this was no ordinary sale, but an expertly marketed, occasionally camp coup de théâtre. After three days of auctioning, it would become the biggest single-owner sale in history and, with proceeds of €374m ($484m), the highest sales total for any auction ever held in Europe.
The range of goods on offer from the collection of Yves Saint Laurent, a fashion designer who died in June 2008, and his partner Pierre Bergé was enormous—stellar examples of modern painting and Art Deco furniture, gaudy but highly collectible German silver, enamel Limoges plates once owned by Givenchy, cameo miniatures, life-size Roman torsos, and, to the dismay of the Chinese government, two bronze animal heads from the zodiac fountain of Emperor Qianlong’s summer palace in Beijing.
More than half the revenue was brought in by the 59 works of Impressionist and modern art that hit the block on the first night. The auction started off slowly; it wasn’t until lot 35—a large, wooden sculpture by Constantin Brancusi—that the buying hit bull-market momentum. Guy Bennett, a Christie’s rep based in New York, put his arm in the air and kept it there, steamrolling the room and eventually winning the work for a record €29m—an astonishing sum to spend on a day when the S&P hit a 12-year-low.......

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