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Picasso ceramics sale at Christie's London makes more than double pre-sale estimate
Pablo Picasso, Visage Tourmente. 22 carat gold repoussé plate. Diameter: 16 3/8 in. (41.6 cm.). Conceived in 1956 and executed in silver in a numbered edition of 20 plus two exemplaire d’artiste and 2 exemplaire d’auteur; this plate is number 2/2 of the exemplaire d’auteur and the only example in gold. Estimate:£100,000-150,000. Price realised: £193,875. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2013.

LONDON.- Christie’s Picasso Ceramics auction on 18 June 2013 realised £2,845,750 / $4,459,290 / €3,340,911, selling 100 percent of the 171 lots on offer. This Picasso Ceramics sale was the first annual sale in the category, which follows the success of the Madoura Collection of Picasso Ceramics in 2012. This sale featured a strong selection of unique pieces and some of the artist’s most beautiful works in editions, representing a particular moment in Picasso’s oeuvre. Estimates ranged from £100 to £150,000, providing an exceptional opportunity for new collectors as well as seasoned buyers to acquire sought-after pieces by the greatest artist of the 20th century. The sale attracted buyers from all over the world, with many European bidders travelling to London to attend the sale in person.

The top lot in the sale was an exquisite solid gold platter, which sold for £193,875/ $303,802 / €227,609, against a pre-sale estimate of £100,000 - 150,000. Never before seen on the market, this stunning plate weighs over 2.5kg and is made from 22 carat gold. It is extremely rare to see gold pieces by Picasso on the auction market, as the artist only created a limited number of designs for platters in precious metals.

Michelle McMullen, Specialist, Impressionist and Modern Art, commented: “The Picasso Ceramics sale totalled over £2.8 million demonstrating the continued strength of the market for Picasso editions, which are accessible and attractive to new collectors as well as seasoned buyers. The sale was 100 per cent sold by lot and more than doubled the pre-sale low estimate, which is an exceptional result. It follows the hugely successful 2012 Madoura sale and paves the way for an annual sale of Picasso Ceramics. Bidders competed fiercely for the top lots in a packed saleroom and there was particularly strong bidding from across Europe and the US. This sale featured beautiful examples of Picasso editions, many of which were early pieces made close to the time of conception. The combination of beauty and age were key reasons for their desirability. We look forward to the next Picasso Ceramics sale in 2014.”

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