Nana Pregnant (Last Night I had a dream) by Niki de Saint Phalle - €46,000 (£40,000) at Neumeister.

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They consigned to Neumeister (30% buyer’s premium) in Munich for the sale on September 28-29.

The 7in (17cm) high painted figure was titled Nana Pregnant (Last Night I had a dream).

In the mid-1960s, Saint Phalle had created the first of her Nanas which were inspired by a friend’s pregnancy and were to become a fundamental part of her oeuvre.

The figure offered in Munich was closely connected to an 18-part relief that the artist had presented at a Parisian gallery in 1968 under the name Last Night I had a Dream.

The reliefs included her Nanas, several of her favourite animals and other symbols connected to her life and loves.

Many of these motifs figured prominently throughout her career; some as painted polyester models of differing sizes, others in drawings and screen-prints.

In contrast to the polyester figures shown in Paris, the auction piece was made of plaster. This, and the fact that it was fresh to the market, go some way to explain the international interest.

The winning bid from a French collector who outpaced his competitors was €46,000 (£40,000), over seven times the lower estimate.