Christie’s hold their first Paris wine sale

23 July 2002

After 236 years of auctioning wine in London and other international centres, Christie’s will be holding their inaugural sale of fine wines in Paris on September 14.

Coming up in .... Normandy

12 July 2002

FRANCE: A stud farm will be the unusual yet appropriate venue for for an auction of all things equines in Orne, Normandy on July 21.

Alchemy discovered as Lafond turns base matter into gold…

12 July 2002

SALES IN PARIS – THE LAFOND COLLECTION: A RAREFIED array of pharmacy jars formed the basis of the former Louis Lafond Collection presented at Briest on June 4. Lafond (1880-1950) was a practising chemist whose unremarkable personal history epitomises that of the dedicated, middle-class, often anonymous buying public that continues to flourish in France and, especially, at the Hôtel Drouot.

Reading between the cracks

12 July 2002

Every picture tells a story, but in the case of Théodore Chassériau’s large portrait of Comtesse de Latour-Maubourg, it was condition as much as content that revealed the artist’s state of mind at the time.

Portrait of the sad-eyed princess

28 June 2002

Princess Soraya’s father Khalil lived for much of the 1920s in Germany, where he married Soraya’s Russian-born mother Eva Karl in 1926. Soraya was born in Ispahan in 1932, but lived in Germany until she was five, returning to Iran in 1937.

Coming Paris

19 June 2002

THIS most unusual looking beast is expected to be the star lot at a sale to be held in Paris on July 4 at a most unusual location, the pagoda-like Maison Chinoise, rue de Courcelles, Paris 8.

Return of the Goulden boy

19 June 2002

Jean Goulden (1878-1947) was another name restored to pre-eminence at the Tajan sale on 28 May. Goulden belonged to the Groupe Dunand–Goulden–Jouve–Schmied and himself underwrote the exhibitions the group staged annually at the Galerie Georges-Petit in Paris from 1921 to 1933.

Drouot sets up a company to run itself after losing all offers

18 June 2002

THE Hôtel Drouot, traditional home of Parisian auctions, will not now be sold, it has been announced. Following the withdrawal of all four bids after none could surmount difficulties in negotiating a sale, the auctioneers who own the Drouot have raised €71m (approx £45m) and set up a management company, Drouot Holding, to run it – although not its finances – with seven of their number on the board.

Record for Sèvres with the Emperor’s new clothes

14 June 2002

There was a French auction record for Sèvres under the Ferri (17.94%/ 11.96% buyer’s premium) gavel at Drouot on May 24 when the large Empire period fuseau vase, shown here, was offered for sale.

A primitive makeover for Raphael

14 June 2002

La Guérison de l’Epiléptique, 3ft x 2ft 4in (91 x 70cm), pictured right, by André Bauchand (c.1927), based on Raphael’s Transfiguration, sold on low-estimate for €3800 (£2450) at Blanchet (17.94% buyer’s premium) on May 15, partly reflecting the indifferent condition of its paintwork.

Poulain-Le Fur join Artcurial to end Sotheby’s deal

05 June 2002

After Modern art specialist Francis Briest and Claude Aguttes of suburban Neuilly, Hervé Poulain and Rémy Le Fur have become the latest auctioneers to join Artcurial.

Drouot loses two out of three takeover bids

23 May 2002

Insurance giants AXA and Barclays Private Equity have withdrawn their offers to buy Drouot. In a statement issued on May 13, AXA said that their €82m offer, tabled on March 21, was to be “considered null and void, given the difficulty in obtaining the support of a majority of commissaires-priseurs”.

Louvre opens doors to design salon selectives

09 May 2002

RESPONDING to the rise and rise of interest in 20th century design Le Salon du XXeme Siecle will be launched in Paris from June 6 to 9 at Le Carrousel du Louvre.

Ambition of Parisian dealers’ new chief

08 May 2002

Oriental art dealer Christian Deydier has been voted in as the new president of the France’s Syndicat National des Antiquaires (National Dealers’ Association) in Paris, defeating book dealer Claude Blaizot by 10 votes to 6. Outgoing president Dominique Chevalier, recently injured in a motorcycle accident, did not stand for re-election.

Russian Imperial vases reach €520,000

03 May 2002

A pair of ornamental blue and gold vases made by the Manufacture Impériale in St Petersburg (c.1825-30) soared to €520,000 (£335,000) at Beaussant-Lefèvre on April 10.

Napoleon’s monogram would sell the shirt off his back

26 April 2002

NAPOLEONIC MEMORABILIA (£1 = €1.62): A sale entitled L’Empire à Fontainebleau confirmed the evergreen appeal of Napoleonic memorabilia at Osenat, Fontainebleau (17.94/13.16% buyer’s premium) on March 10, where one of the last linen shirts worn by Napoleon on St Helena was offered for sale.

Do the rounds at the Carrousel

17 April 2002

FRANCE: FROM June 6 to 9 the inaugural Le Salon du XXeme Siecle (20th Century Design Show) will be launched at the Carrousel du Louvre in Paris.

High-profile collectors boost spring sales

17 April 2002

Paris in late March held various attractions for art lovers outside the saleroom. Europ’Art, a new contemporary art salon (March 14-17), attracted 200 artists from 18 countries (40 of them from ‘guest nation’ Israel). The International Paris Print Fair (March 22-25) assembled 30 exhibitors from France, Germany, Spain, Italy and the UK (Elizabeth Harvey-Lee, Flowers Graphics, Garton & Co, Sims Reed, and William Weston).

Paris Biennale signs up 21 new dealers from the top ranks

08 April 2002

FRANCE: A remarkable 21 new dealers are joining this year’s 21st Biennale des Antiquaires, which will be held at the Carrousel du Louvre, in Paris from September 20 to 29.

Auction expansion casts doubt on Dassault salons

04 April 2002

ArtCurial, the Paris art gallery/bookshop based at the Hôtel Dassault on the Champs-Elysées, have moved to expand their auction activity by taking a minority stake in the auction firm owned by Claude Aguttes, based in the smart Paris suburb of Neuilly.