Admirers of Art Deco will certainly memorize the exclusive sale that took place in the end of March 2011 in Parisian Palais de Tokyo, when Christie’s auctioned the fine collection of Chateau de Gourdon. This sale caught a lot of attention and was compared to the sale of the collection of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge in February 2008.
Laurent Negro, the young owner of this exquisite collection, devoted his fortune to acquire unique pieces of Art Deco done by the UAM – Union des Artistes Modernes, represented by the names such as Francis Jourdain, Pierre Chareau, Robert Mallet-Stevens, Charlotte Perriand, Djo – Bourgeois, Rene Herbst, Sognot & Alix, Pierre Legrain, and he conserved them in his Chateau de Gourdon.
Eileen Gray – PARAVENT ‘BRIQUES’, (around 1923-1925) and ‘Bibendum’ club chair (around 1926-1929); Louis Majorelle – Desk ‘Aux Nénuphars’ (circa 1905); Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann – ‘Maharaja’ adjustable chaise longue ‘Aux Skis’ (1929) and The ‘Tardieu’ desk (1929).
The sale fell short of expected €60 million and realized “only” around €42 million, resulting in Negro’s loss on some pieces. For instance, reportedly he bought Gustave Miklos bronze sculpture “Jeune Fille” (1927) for €1.6 million in 2005, and managed to fetch with it €1.15 million without fees.
The best-selling name was furniture maker Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann, who is the author of four out of the five most expensive pieces. Her unique ‘Maharaja’ adjustable chaise longue ‘Aux Skis’ from 1929, was sold for €2,8 million making it the most expensive piece sold during this sale. His desk of black-lacquered wood and with chromed bronze mounts, made for André Tardieu, fetched €2,3 million.
For those who were wondering about the future of Chateau de Gourdon – it will close its doors to the public and be converted into a private residence.
Author: Miroslav Vuckovic