This particular event on on September 29, titled Jean Cocteau et l’Atelier Madeleline-Jolly, une amitié sans faille, celebrated the friendship and working partnership between the poet, artist and author Cocteau and the artists Marie Madeleine-Jolly and Philippe Madeline who had a pottery workshop in Villefranche-sur-Mer in the south of France.
After an intense period of directing films, Cocteau had spent much of the 1950s focused on visual arts.
He found that painting provided relief from depression, and in 1957, he embarked on a new creative collaboration with two ceramicists. At the age of 68, he happily became the ‘apprentice’ to Marie and Philippe, working in their studio in Villefranche-sur-Mer until his death in 1963. Together they created a unique process to transform Cocteau’s drawings into ceramics, producing over 300 designs.
All the examples offered by Bonhams were original editions created at the pottery during Cocteau’s lifetime (some accompanied by the corresponding design drawing), between 1957 and 1963. This collection being sold by the Madeline-Jolly family, all fresh to the market, was the largest group of Cocteau ceramics to be offered at auction.
The sale raised a premium-inclusive total of €470,475 with an 85% take-up by lot.
Among the best-sellers, at a double-estimate hammer price of €12,000 (£10,525), was aplate titled Chèvre-pieds jumeaux (pictured top). The 14in (36cm) diameter part glazed terracotta and engobe plate, which is signed Jean Cocteau and inscribed original to the reverse, is the original model from 1962 created by him for the subsequent edition of 35.