Givenchy sale

The first auction in a series of sales of items from two homes of the late fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy was a white glove affair. The sales continue (live and online) until June 23 at Christie’s Paris.

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The opening evening sale was a white glove affair with the top lot Alberto Giacometti's Femme qui marche which sold at €23.5m (or €27.2m including premium). It was one of the four numbered casts made during the artist's lifetime and the highest selling lot in France this year.

The evening sale brought a premium-inclusive total of €83m (£71.4m). Just 63 lots took more than four hours and two auctioneers to sell with a standing ovation at the end.

Pair of girandoles

Previously sold by dealers Alexander et Berendt in 1993, this large pair of girandoles depict two women holding the girandole base beside cherubs, one holding an ewer, the other a horn. Attributed to Pierre Philippe Thomire, they sold at €4.1m (£3.6m) at Christie’s Paris. Image: Guillaume Onimus via Christie’s.

Other highlights included a pair of Louis XVI monumental girandoles or torcheres attributed to Pierre Philippe Thomire (1751-1843) which were hammered down at €4.1m (£3.6m) or €4.95m including buyer’s premium (against an estimate of €700 000-1m).

Giacometti and Miro

Alberto Giacometti's Femme qui marche, which sold at €23.5m (or €27.2m including premium) in front of Joan Mirò Le Passage de l'oiseau-migrateur from 1968 which, against an estimate of €2.5m-3.5m, sold at €5.75m (€6.8m) at Christie's Paris. Image: Christie's / Nina Slavecheva.

Other top lots included Joan Mirò (1893-1983) Le Passage de l'oiseau-migrateur from 1968 which, against an estimate of €2.5m-3.5m, sold at €5.75m (€6.8m).

The 6ft 4in x 4ft 3in (1.94 x 1.3m) oil on canvas, which was purchased by Bunny Mellon shortly after its creation and then acquired by Philippe Venet, hung in de Givenchy’s bedroom during the later years of his life and had not been on the market before.

Charles Cator, deputy chairman at Christie’s International, said: “This was an historic night for decorative arts. This was Monsieur de Givenchy’s great love and it was particularly thrilling to see the spectacular prices achieved by the furniture, gilt bronze objects and sculpture.”

Givenchy (1927-2018) was chairman of Christie’s France advisory board and sold parts of his collection at the auction house in 1993 and 2017.

Cator, who also worked on the previous sales with Givenchy added: “It has been a great honour to celebrate his extraordinary vision in a way that we hope he would have approved, as in the past we always were able to follow his lead. It has been immensely inspiring to see Hubert's taste and all that he created with (partner) Philippe Venet (1929-2021) so admired and appreciated.”

Other highlights included a bureau plat in Indian ebony veneer with chiselled and gilded bronze ornamentation. It was attributed to Joseph Baumhauer (d.1772). Against an estimate of €600,000-€1m it was hammered down at €1.9m.

Givenchy’s collection comes from two of his homes: the Hôtel d’Orrouer in Paris and Château du Joncher in Loire Valley and the sales continue (live and online) until June 23 at Christie’s Paris.

Givenchy collection

One of the room sets at Christie's in Paris.

Several rooms from Givenchy's homes have been recreated in Christie's Paris building on Avenue Matignon including a garden in its saleroom and a tent in its courtyard.