The large mixed-discipline sale staged on October 14 in the French city featured Old Master and Modern paintings, Asian art, furniture and works of art mainly consigned from estates and collections in the Bordeaux and Gironde region.
Mai-Thu was one of the alumni of the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Hanoi when the country was still a French colony.
Like so much Vietnamese work of the time, this example of his work offered at Briscadieu Bordeaux (25% buyer’s premium) was executed in ink and colours on silk.
Contemplation depicted a full-length portrait of a woman on a balcony and was signed and dated 1941. It had a provenance to the Galerie Romanet, the Galerie d’art Pasteur in Algeria c.1941-42, then a private collection in Toulouse, and had featured in an exhibition in Casablanca in 1942.
It sold for €130,000 (£113,045) against a guide of €60,000-80,000.
Among the Old Master paintings were two 17th century portraits.
One depicted Ferdinand Charles, Archduke of Austria (1628-62) showing him in armour in an oval format on the original 2ft 9in x 2ft (86 x 63cm) canvas which had some restorations and damage.
This was catalogued as a 17th century Florentine School, studio of Justus Sustermans (1597-1681), an Antwerp-born portrait artist who worked in many European cities including Florence where he became court painter to the Grand Dukes of Tuscany. It sold for €8800 (£7650) against a €1500-2000 estimate.
The other was a three-quarter-length portrait of a falconer shown wearing a large leather gauntlet, a 3ft 4in x 2ft 5in (1m x 74cm) oil on canvas inscribed upper left: Sr oinhausen. It had a provenance to the Mangan collection, sold in Paris in an auction at the Hôtel Drouot in 1866.
This was attributed to the Dutch artist Karel Dujardin (1626- 1678), a painter mostly known for landscapes with animals. It sold for a lower-estimate €5000 (£4345).
A third 17th century work, this time on a 19in x 2ft 3in (49 x 68cm) reinforced oak panel, depicted The Concert of Saint Cecilia, showing the patron saint of music seated at an organ accompanied by angels playing stringed instruments. This was attributed to the Flemish artist Jan Thomas van Yperen (1617-78) and realised €8200 (£7130).
The furniture and works of art section included a couple of strong results for horology with two large-scale Napoleon III-era clocks.
A 4ft 7in (1.4m) high gilt bronze cartel model signed by the Parisian bronziste Victor Paillard and featuring Apollo in his chariot, masks and garlands realised €14,000 £12,175), a multiple of the €3000-4000 guide.
The other was a 3ft 4in (1m) high gilt bronze and alabaster figural clock with two bacchantes and a child satyr, the base incorporating the dial. This was signed on the back H Picard for the fondeur Henri Picard (1840-90) and sold for €13,520 (£11,755) against a €1500- 2000 estimate.
Hit the Deck
Notable among the later European ceramics included in the sale was an 18½in (47cm) diameter jardinière of c.1880 by Theodore Deck (1823-91), a French ceramicist who established an atelier in Paris. He was known for his brightly coloured transparent glazes and went on to become director of the Sèvres factory.
Briscadieu’s jardinière, modelled with mask handles, was decorated in a characteristically colourful palette with a continuous scene of birds and a butterfly in flight over dahlia type flowerheads and flowering vine in slight relief against an underglaze floral ground.
It was signed with a rectangular Th Deck stamp and sold for €4600 (£4000).