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The 77-lot sale of 19th and 20th century art on December 19 yielded Fr15.5m (£1.47m) and a top price of Fr2.2m (£209,500) for Albert Marquet’s view of Le Grand Canal à Venise, 2ft x 2ft 5in (61 x 73cm), right, painted from the window of his room at the Pensione Bucintoro in 1936.

Chagall’s 1966 Avenue de l’Opéra, 22 x 18in (55 x 46cm), rated a top-estimate Fr1.66m (£158,000); a 15-inch (38cm) Rudier casting of Rodin’s The Thinker brought a triple-estimate Fr2m (£190,000); but Bugatti’s 1906 La Femme au Chat, in a lost wax casting by Hébrard, 22in (56cm) tall, sold short of estimate for Fr1.4m (£133,000); and the 21.3.67 Picasso Nu Couché featured on the catalogue cover was unsold.

Tajan’s Old Masters on December 19, which totted up Fr8.27m (£787,000), held little of frontline calibre but threw up one surprise, a study of a seated sleeping Mary Magdalene, shown right, attributed in the catalogue to ‘the studio of Artemisia Gentileschi’ and expected to bring just £7000, sold for Fr1.5m (£143,000), suggesting it was by Gentileschi (1593-c.1652) herself.

Two other versions exist; one in Seville Cathedral, one in private hands. Deux Chiens Surveillant un Trophée de Chasse, a large, elaborate still life 3ft 81/2in x 5ft (1.11 x 1.49m) by Antwerp’s Jan Fyt (1611-61) featuring dogs, game and grapes, made Fr950,000 (£90,500).