Les Folles, femmes a l’eventail, €420,000 (£371,680) at Art Valorem.

Image copyright: Art Valorem/Drouot

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Poirot-Delpech was the assistant at the Galerie Maurice Garnier from 1972-2002 and the works on offer here had passed down by descent.

All 39 lots found buyers to chalk up a premium-inclusive total of over €4.7m.

The ensemble included paintings by Jean Fautrier, Alberto Giacometti and Antoni Clavé, but at its heart were no fewer than 29 lots by Bernard Buffet (1928-99), who was the Galerie Maurice Garnier’s main artist, made up of mostly paintings with a small selection of lithographs.

Prices were well in excess of estimates in many cases. Topping the list and the sale was Buffet’s 4ft 9in x 3ft 9in (1.47 x 1.15m) oil on canvas from 1970 Les Folles, femmes à l’eventail, which more than doubled its guide at €420,000 (£371,680).

Works on paper by Buffet were also keenly contested with his 1986 signed Venetian view of the Piazetta and Doges Palace in ink and watercolour measuring 19½in x 2ft 1½in (50 x 65cm) taking a double estimate €88,000 (£77,875).

A suite of Venetian lithographic views from the same year – a work with text by the artist’s wife Annabel Buffet – made €44,000 (£38,940) against a €4000-7000 guide. This was one of 10 artist’s copies comprising 10 colour lithographs measuring 2ft 6in x 23in (76.5 x 58cm) and 10 in black, all signed by the artist, with proof of printing countersigned by Annabel.

A further selection of over 300 prints and lithographs by Buffet from Poirot-Delpech’s collection were offered in an online sale by the same auction house on April 13.