Yves Saint Laurent Sale Sets Many Records
The three-day auction of the Collection of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé has closed and the numbers are impressive. The sale brought in 373,935,500 euros (around $483 million) over three days. The sale was estimated to bring in 300 million euros total. . ArtDaily reports that 95.5% of lots sold by lot, and 93% sold by value (for comparison, art sales rates last fall during the Christie's and Sotheby's sales were in the 50-70% range). The sale set a world record for the most valuable private collection sold at auction. It was also the highest grossing sale on record in Europe setting records in a variety of categories.
The public exhibition at the Grand Palais in Paris was attended by 30,000 visitors over three days and over 1500 people gathered for each of the sales. The top sale item was the "Cuckoos on a blue and pink carpet" which sold the first day for 35.9 million euros. A record was set for a Marcel Duchamp ready-made "La Belle Haleine – Eau de Voilette" by Marcel Duchamp, with the assistance by Man Ray in 1921 which sold for 8.9 million euros setting a record for the artist. James Ensor's monumental Le désespoir de Pierrot sold for 4.9 million euros, a world record for the artist at auction. Hean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres' Portrait de la comtesse de la Rue, 1890, sold for 2 million euros which was also a world record for the artist at auction.
The sale of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé's silver collection set a record as the most valuable silver sale ever in the world. The auction of 20th Century Decorative Arts set a record for a collection of 20th century decorative arts with 95% of lots sold by lot. It saw 12 individual artist records set and set a a world record for a collection of 20th century decorative arts. The February 25th sale of Sculpture and Works of Art brought in 24.2 million euros. The top lot was a 16th century bronze double head of Janus which sold for 2 million euros, a record for a 16th century French bronze. There's no denying this was an impressive sale and we will likely not see quite an amazing breadth and quality of work in a single collection hit the market again for a while.
The proceeds of the sale will go to the Pierre Bergé /Yves Saint Laurent Foundation which preserves the design legacy of Yves Saint Laurent, and to a new foundation for medical research and the fight against AIDS.