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Paris to Be Sotheby's European Centre for Decorative Art and Photographs Sales
Hajek-Halke, Die Prinzessin der Hinterhofe. Photo: Sotheby's.

PARIS.- Sotheby’s announced that Paris will become the company’s European centre for sales of 20th Century Decorative Art & Design and Photographs. Biannual sales in each category will be held at the Galerie Charpentier in May and November.

From 2011, 20th Century Decorative Art & Design sales will be held exclusively in Paris. Cécile Verdier, European director of the 20th Century Decorative Art & Design department, will head sales and manage a European team of specialists.

In order to build on the outstanding success of the company’s sales of Photographs in Paris since 2008, Paris will become the European centre for sales in this field. The European department, led by Simone Klein, will be based in Paris, and sales in London will cease.

Cécile Verdier, European director of 20th Century Decorative Art and Design
After graduating in History of Art and Marketing from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques, Paris, Cécile Verdier joined Christie’s in Paris in 1997. After having been appointed Senior Specialist of 20th Century Decorative Art & Design, she became Head of department in the Paris office. From 1999, Cecile took auctions in Monaco, Geneva and London before taking her first sale in Paris in 2001. In 2008, she joined Sotheby’s as Head of 20th Century Decorative Art and Design.

Over three years, the department has staged high quality sales under Cecile’s direction; moreover, she rediscovered artworks such as the extensible table, luxe model, by Charlotte Perriand, 1927-1930, that had been kept in the family of the composer Jean Rivier ever since it was made; the sculpted chair by Paul Iribe; the chandelier in gold-patinated bronze, circa 1950, designed by Alberto Giacometti for the editor Louis Broder; and the Ruhlmann piano conceived for the Modern Decorative Arts Exhibition in 1925. Furthermore, she rediscovered prestigious collections including the Marc du Plantier furniture commissioned by the Marquise de Morbecq and the made-to-measure furniture created by Elisabeth Garouste and Mattia Bonetti for the Maison de Haute Couture Lacroix in 1987.

In 2010, sales 20th Century Decorative Art and Design in Paris totalled €7.2 million.

Simone Klein - European director of the Photography department
Simone Klein graduated in History of Art, Classical Archaeology, German and French literature in Bohn and Paris. Having written a thesis at the Sorbonne University on the photographic work of Victor Regnault (1810-1878), she went on to specialise in historical photography.

Simone worked for an important photography gallery in Cologne before overseeing Photography sales in a prestigious auction house in the same city. She joined Sotheby’s in 2007. A member of the French and German Society of Photography, she regularly participates in conferences on photographs.

In 2008, Simone was responsible for the sale of the final part of the Marie-Thérèse and André Jammes photography collection. In 2009, Sotheby’s Paris offered 14 rediscovered photographs by Eugène Atget (1857-1927), that represented the finest works of their type by the photographer.

The sales held at the Galerie Charpentier offer a large selection of photographs from all periods in its history (historical, vintage, post-war and contemporary). In 2009, important prices have been achieved for photographs by Helmut Newton, Robert Mapplethorpe, Irving Penn, Rudolf Koppitz and Marina Abramovich. Record prices have been established for works by Josef Sudek and Manuel Alvarez Bravo. Sotheby’s November 2010 sale of Photographs realised €3.2 million, the highest result for a Photographs sale at Sotheby’s in Paris.

2011 Calendar of sales
Photographs – 10th May

The first Spring Photographs sale includes an important collection of works by the German photographer Heinz Hajek-Halke (1898 - 1983) which will be published in a separate catalogue. The 80 exquisite photographs – all vintage silver prints – are considered to be some of the most important ever produced by this avant-garde photographer. This collection comes directly to the market from the Heinz Hajek-Halke Foundation in Berlin.

Highlights of the sale will be exhibited in New York (2 - 5 April), London (17 - 21 April) and Paris (5 - 9 May).

20th Century Decorative Art & Design – 25th May
This follows Sotheby’s Europe-based sales of Tribal art and Silver in Paris, and Sotheby’s continuing promotion of Paris in the international art market.

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