Who says the Art market was affected by the global crisis? This week Yves Saint Laurent sales in Paris proved that it is not. The total sale (732 lots) on the 23rd and 24th of February amounted for 373,935,500 euros making it by far the the biggest single owner sale with 5 auctions records.
All the ingredients were present for an unprecedented sale : an amazing collection of Art (furniture and objects), a prestigious provenance, the wonderful setting of the Grand Palais and some very rare pieces like the wood sculpture from Brancusi portrait de Madame L.R. which fetched 29,185,000 euros (estimates were 15 to 20 millions euros).
As well as Marcel Duchamp (using his pseudo Rrose Selavy)ready made Belle Haleine Eau de Violette, which sold for 8,913,000 euros while the highest estimate was 1,500,000 euros!!!
Bids for Matisse "Cowslips, a Blue and Pink Rug" were by millions! and went to an Americana bidder for 35.9 million Euros.
Not only fine art but decorative art as well reached high prices. Eileen Gray's armchair netted 21.9 million euros almost 10 times the lower estimates.
The Yves Saint Laurent sales was a real success not only due to the amount the sale achieved (373.9 million euros) but as well for the number of visitors, 20,000, who have queue for hours in order to see this amazing collection. Moreover it has raised the profile of Paris, which has lost its 3rd position as an auction capital to Hong Kong behind NY and London.