Visage de faune, a 22-carat gold repoussé plate by Pablo Picasso, was the top lot at Bonhams
new Picassomania sale in London today (23 March), achieving an impressive £312,750. The 100-lot sale, which celebrated Picassos expansive oeuvre and brought together works by the master himself, as well as photographs and ephemera, made a total of £1,292,523 with 75% sold by lot and 78% sold by value.
Head of Sale, Lucia Tro Santafe, commented: We are delighted that Picassomania lived up to its name attracting such competitive bidding across all the categories on offer. The standout lot was undeniably Visage de Faune. A prototype for Picassos creations in gold produced in collaboration with François and Pierre Hugo, this piece was simply exceptional.
In 1946 Pablo Picasso made his first visit to Vallauris in the South of France. It was there that he started to obsessively produce works in clay and would go on to design hundreds of works of pottery full of playful and mythological motifs alongside the talented craftsmen of the Madoura. A decade after his arrival in Vallauris, Picasso was introduced to the goldsmith François Hugo. Over the course of the next two decades, they collaborated on a series of plates, vases, medallions and compotiers, many of which were related to the designs that Picasso had created for his ceramics. During their collaboration Picasso created small editions of the silver dishes and gold medallions, as well as a single unique gold dish for each design.
Reflecting on his fathers partnership with Picasso, the master goldsmith Pierre Hugo, has said, On seeing the first finished gold plate Picasso was mesmerised: he took the work in his hands and brought it to his lips like a baby. What are you doing Pablo?, asked my father. I am tasting it, I have never tasted gold before! It has a taste!, answered the artist.
Other highlights included:
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Portrait de Jacqueline aux Cheveux Lisses, 1962. Sold for £112,750.
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Nature morte sous la Lampe, 1962. Sold for £100,250.
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Jacqueline au Bandeau de Face, 1962. Sold for £62,750.
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Tête de taureau. Sold for £40,250.
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Jacqueline au chevalet. Sold for £37,750.
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Pichet à glace, 1952. Sold for £35,250.
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Tête de faune. Sold for £35,250.
André Villers (1930-2016), Picasso avec le revolver et chapeau offert par Gary Cooper, circa 1960. Sold for £5,737.