France have hosted three successful sales this week which achieved a combined total of 9,717,375 including its first edition of the Women in Art sale dedicated to women artists which totaled more than 3 million and attracted 20% of new clients. The Mona Lisa Hekking sold for 2,9 million setting a new world auction record for a replica of Leonardo da Vincis Mona Lisa.
The Old masters sale held on 16 June achieved a total of 3,726,625. The top lot of the sale was a rediscovery of an impressive painting by Jan Brueghel the Elder, Orpheus in the underworld, which was sold for 1,556,000 more than doubling it high estimate.
Astrid Centner, Director of the Old Master paintings department: We are happy with the results achieved for our sale, some of which illustrate the success of the preview held in our Belgium office highlighting Flemish paintings, among which a very sensitive work by the Master of the Female Half-Lengths, A young woman writing a letter which sold for 275,000, tripling its presale estimate, as well as the poetic Winter landscape with a mill by Joos de Momper and Jan Brueghel the younger which was acquired for 362,500.
Further highlights of the sale included a Dutch theatrical composition representing Tartuffe and Elmire surprised by Damis executed by Willem van Mieris which achieved 375,000 against a presale estimate of 80,000-120,000. Beyond the finest quality of these works, collectors were also particularly mindful of their private provenance, fresh-to-market, and their exceptional state of conservation.
The first edition of the sale Women in Art auction held at Christies Paris on the same day achieved a total of 3,090,750, reaching its high estimate. The top lot of the sale was a large and delicate pastel executed in 1783 by Adélaïde Labille-Guiard representing Mrs Charles Mitoire with her children which was sold six times its presale estimate, for 644,000, establishing a new world auction record for a work on paper by the artist and achieving one of highest prices for a pastel sold at auction in Paris. This splendid pastel was acquired by the prestigious Getty museum (Los Angeles). Another world auction record was established for Marguerite Yourcenar with Loeuvre au noir which was sold 36,250 against a presale estimate of 6,000-8,000. Further highlights included a section dedicated to comics which offered the original cover of Culottées by Pénélope Bagieu which was acquired for 4,000. We can also not the great result achieved for the painting by Lee Krasner which realised 162,500, more than doubling its presale high estimate.
Alice Chevrier specialist in the Rare Books and Manuscripts department and Bérénice Verdier, specialist in the Old Master Paintings department, both in charge of the sale comment : Planned one year ago but postponed because of the pandemic, we were pleased to organise this auction alongside several tributes to women artists held in Parisian museums such as the musée du Luxembourg and the Centre Pompidou. The strong results achieved on Wednesday demonstrate the appetite of international collectors to discover new sales concept such as Women in Art highlighting women artists such as Anne Vallayer-Coste with Vase of Flowers and Grapes on Entablature (1781) which was sold for 400,000 doubling its presale estimate. We were also pleased with the results achieved for contemporary Japanese artist Ayako Rokkaku achieving strong prices. Finally, it was also a great opportunity for Christies France to bring together several departments to offer a cross category sale of high quality .
Finally, the Old Master paintings department Christies Paris was very pleased to hold a dedicated online sale from 11 to 18 June for the famous early replica of the Mona Lisa in a beautiful interpretation named the Hekking's Mona Lisa. After seven days of bidding between 14 international bidders from all around the world, the painting was finally sold to an European collector for an impressive 2,900,000, setting a new world auction record for a replica of Leonardo da Vincis Mona Lisa.
Pierre Etienne, International Director of Old Master Paintings: The result achieved demonstrates the ongoing fascination the Mona Lisa still exerts centuries after her creation. We were honoured to have presented this piece known by all scholars as the most famous replica of the Mona Lisa. Almost 70 years later, the mediatic phenomenon is still present and this sale attracted numerous medias in the past weeks as it did in the 1950s. Raymond Hekking is a fascinating character who is linked to this painting forever. We are pleased to know that another collector will enjoy it as much as he did for many years to come.