Last week, Gérard Depardieu's private collection sold for over €4 million.
On Tuesday night, the sale of Gérard Depardieu's collection at Hotel Drouot in Paris attracted many curious onlookers and collectors, achieving impressive results. While all the lots were estimated to fetch €3 million in total, 95% sold for more than €1 million above the forecast.
The sale began with €1 million sold on the first day. Notably, Rodin's black patina bronze Paolo and Francesca fetched €83,200 (£72,000); but another star sculpture stole the show: a 1922 sculpture by Ossip Zadkine, Femme agenouillée, which sold for €104,960 (£90,886) including fees. Even more surprisingly, the actor decided not to sell the bronze by Germaine Richier, which was undoubtedly the most beautiful lot in the sale.
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The sale also produced some very pleasant surprises, with lots such as the oil on canvas Garçon assis by Christian Jacques Bérard exceeding the estimates. Estimated at between €5,000 and €8,000, it sold for €70,400 (£60,950). Other big names also exceeded their estimates, such as Georges Braque's Oiseau bleu: the gouache, estimated at between €6,000 and €8,000, fetched €29,440 (£25,500).
Fernand Léger also made a splash: Study for Sculpture almost tripled its estimate, from €12,000 to €32,000 (£27,700), and Portrait of Arthur Rimbaud doubled it, selling for €44,000 (£38,000). Among the most expensive lots was Alexander Calder's gouache and ink Sunshine, which fetched €92,160 (£79,800).
See also: Fernand Léger: Art in Full Swing
Eugène Henri Duler, who was one of the lesser-known artists in the sale, managed to double and sometimes even triple the estimates, notably with the sculpture Nu assis, estimated at €600, which sold for €7,680 (£6,650).
See also: Alexander Calder: From Mobile to Mobile
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Last but not least, all the works by Eugène Leroy, 31 in total, which Depardieu collected in an almost frenzied manner, sold for record prices. Works priced between €300 (for a lithograph) and €120,000 (Sur la terre, oil on canvas) alone fetched over €775,000 (£671,000). There were some very nice surprises, notably Portrait de Philippe, estimated at €20,000, which fetched €40,960 (£35,500), and Sur la terre, certainly one of the sale's top lots, which fetched €134,400 (£116,420). In December 2022, the oil on canvas Profil de femme sold for €93,750 (£81,200) at Sotheby's. It was previously the most expensive work by Eugène Leroy sold at auction.