This 12¼ x 15in (31 x 39cm) composition of geometrical shapes, a youthful work by Vilhelm Hammershoi from 1879 in graphite, charcoal and white chalk on laid paper, was sold by the Galerie Michel Descours at the Salon du Dessin. Image copyright: Galerie Michel Descours.

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After cancellation last year and postponement from its usual date in late March/early April this year, the event was held at the Palais Brongiart from July 1-4.

Although visitors were limited to 1000 at the same time and many of the overseas collectors and museum curators for whom this is a circled diary date were unable to attend, commercial successes still emerged.

Strong start

A number of the 33 exhibitors enjoyed strong sales from the outset, including first-time exhibitor Benjamin Perronet from Paris who sold 16 drawings.

The de Bayser Gallery from Paris sold a dozen works including the pastel of a man by Simon Vouet (1590-1649) previewed in ATG No 2497 that was reserved by an American Museum.

The Tarantino Gallery sold nine works such as a pen and wash Portrait of a Man by Giovanni Antonio Burrini (1656-1727).

Among the seven sales made by Michel Descours (Lyon/Paris) was an eye-catching work by Wilhelm Hammershøi (1864-1916) depicting geometric shapes that was executed when the artist was just 16. This attracted considerable attention and sold to an American museum at the opening.


'A-1096, 1974', a 19½in x 2ft 1in (49.5 x 63.5cm) watercolour on paper by Maurice Estève signed and dated lower right that was sold by the Applicat-Prazan Gallery within the first hour.

Sales among the Modern works included the colourful signed watercolour by Maurice Estêve (1904-2001) pictured above, sold by the Applicat-Prazan Gallery within the first hour.

The AB Gallery from Paris sold a Picasso drawing, a Rodin watercolour and a Hans Hartung pastel. “I was very anxious, but in fact we had a good fair and I am very pleased,” said the gallery’s Agnès Aittouarès.

“I had called 118 clients by phone. Many were absent from Paris but nevertheless delighted that I contacted them. Those who came to the fair made acquisitions.

“I had fewer visitors…but very motivated clients.”