The latest mixed-owner sale of Old Masters, furniture and objets d’art in Paris held at Drouot by Beaussant Lefèvre saw some estimate-crushing prices and two pre-emptions by the Louvre.
The sale was full of pieces with attractive
provenances and topping the list was this 7in (18cm) high marble
bust of Christ attributed to 15th century Italy and perhaps
Siennese, which was guided at €8000-10,000 but ended up selling to
a separate buyer for €275,000 (£250,000) plus 20% buyer's
The bust was one of several lots in the sale
on April 5 that had come from the collection of Paul Corbin
Another lot from the same source was a 3¼ x
5in (8.5 x 13cm) Parisian carved ivory plaque from the side of a
casket dated to the early 14th century and delicately carved in
high relief with a secular scene featuring the Arthurian knight
Gawain from the story of the Holy Grail by Chrétien de Troyes.
The Louvre, who have already recently
acquired two medieval ivory statuettes from the Corbin collection,
pre-empted the plaque at €37,000 (£33,635).
The Louvre's other pre-empted purchase was a
2ft x 16in (61 x 40cm) oil on canvas by François Boucher signed and
dated 1733, titled Le repas de chasse, which was one of
several lots in the auction from the collection of Humbert de
Wendel, which the museum secured just below the estimate at
The auction also included an unusual 19th
century wooden frame measuring 2ft 1in x 23in (65 x 58cm) with a
mirror centre bordered by a series of 22 parchment miniatures from
a late 14th century illuminated bible, 20 of them by the Parisian
artist Perrin Remiet.
Estimated at €10,000-15,000, this was
eventually knocked down for €145,000 (£131,820).
£1 = €1.1