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Yves Saint Laurent Art Collection Sale is a Work of Art
The last week of February may have been a disappointing month for British art - where works by Banksy including an iconic Kate Moss portrait failed to sell – but that may have been because the most prominent art collectors, music and fashion glitterati were attending the sale of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé's private art collection.
Since the death of the Paris designer, his partner Pierre saw the art as ‘meaningless’ and wanted the collection sold so that the proceeds could create a new foundation for HIV research. The three day affair, held at the Grand Palais in Paris, saw works by Matisse, Picasso and Gainsborough sell alongside bronzes, ornaments and furniture from throughout the ages - with some pieces more than tripling their initial estimate.
Perhaps most surprising was Eileen Gray's Dragon Chair, a small wooden and leather chair, which sold for €19.5 million, versus its estimate of €3 million. Other records included a sculpture by the Romanian artist Constantin Brancusi bought for €29 million, again well above the estimated price, and Henri Matisse ‘Cowslips on blue and pink cloth’ sold for a record €32 million smashing the previous record in 2007 for similar work by the painter. However the item expected to fetch the highest price, Picasso's cubist work Instruments de Musique sur un Gueridon (‘Musical Instruments on a Table’) failed to reach a minimum price. The piece was expected to fetch to €30 million but the highest bid was €21 million and remains unsold.
Christie's chief executive officer Edward Dolman said, "If your business is auctions and your life is spent in the art business, this must surely be the greatest moment in our careers. Tonight we saw Paris reclaim its position at the centre of the world's art market. The eye of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé throughout made the provenance of this particular collection irresistible to the world."
"Gathering a collection of this importance is a work of art," Bergé explained. "And I'm sure Yves Saint Laurent and I; we made a work of art." As the largest private art auction in history came to a close amassing a record €500 million, surely few would dispute that.
Egg-ceedingly Rare Exhibitions at Antiques for Everyone
A giant egg, possibly the largest in the world, laid in the early 17th century by the Great Elephant Bird of Madagascar will be one of the most extraordinary exhibits ever to appear for sale at the Antiques for Everyone fair at the NEC, Birmingham, UK which takes place during Easter week, from Thursday 16th to Sunday 19th April 2009.
Belonging to antique dealer John Shepherd from Kent, the egg is larger than any known egg, with a circumference exceeding a metre, greater in size than a rugby ball, and is more than 350 years old.It is also larger than any other known egg, including dinosaur eggs. The Elephant Bird (Aepyornis) was a flightless bird, larger than an ostrich at more than ten feet tall and weighed as much as half a ton, as contemporary accounts and bone fragments reveal. It became extinct in the mid 1600s, hunted out of existence by the inhabitants of Madagascar. The egg will be on sale for £5,000.
Antiques for Everyone has been running since 1986 and is widely regarded as a major international event for connoisseurs, collectors and trade buyers. The fair features more than 350 dealers from the UK, Europe and America and is a major forum for the UK antiques trade.
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