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The auction sale of the Yves Saint Laurent / Pierre Bergé collection (February 21 - 25 2009)

Wed, 18/01/2012 - 16:59 -- admin
The auction sale of the art collection put together Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé was held from February 21-25 2009. It was the first ever auction sale to be staged in the Nave of the Grand Palais. The event turned out to be memorable.

See the media:In just 2 ½ days, nearly 34,000 people came to get a glimpse of the fantastic collection
Exhibition and sale of the Yves Saint-Laurent and Pierre Bergé collection. In just 2 ½ days, nearly 34,000 people came to get a glimpse of the fantastic collection. © Collection Grand Palais, François Tomasi
All eyes were trained on the Grand Palais, and for two and a half days, nearly 34,000 visitors flocked to the Nave for a glimpse of the fantastic collection assembled by fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent and impresario Pierre Bergé. The scenography, designed by Nathalie Crinière, recreated the magical atmosphere of Yves Saint Laurent's downtown Paris flat in rue de Babylone.
For the sale, 1,200 seats were installed along with video screens to help bidders and onlookers keep track of the rising bids and the auctioneers' hand movements. Some 700 items were on sale for an initially estimated total value of 200 to 300 million euros, but th atmosphere was electric as the records were shattered. 373.5 million euros were collected and will mainly be donated to the medical research foundation set up by Pierre Bergé.
Record-breaking items were: the Brancusi sculpture, Madame L.R. which fetched 28.1 million euros. The Matisse Cuckoos went for a spectacular 32 million, smashing the estimated figure of 12 to 18 million euros. Marcel Duchamp's Belle haleine, eau de voilette fragrance bottle fetched 7.9 million euros. Last but not least, a legendary item in the collection, Eileen Gray's "dragon" armchair, defied all expectations, the sale price of 21.90 M€ being ten times the pre-sale estimate.
The produce of the sale will be financing a medical research foundation, whose prime vocation is to combat AIDS. A prestigious, outstanding and moving event, with so many fine works of art heading for their new homes, this unique sale exceeded all expectations.
 

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