The magnificent Collection of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé, offered by Christie’s in association with Pierre Bergé & Associates auctioneers, became the most valuable private collection ever sold at auction. Despite global financial problems, a slew of world auction records were smashed during the stellar event. The spectacular Grand Palais exhibition hall in Paris was transformed into the largest saleroom in Christie’s history, where hundreds of the world’s collectors gathered as exceptional and rare works of art with impeccable provenance came under the hammer. The top lot was a Henri Matisse painting entitled Les coucous, tapis bleu et rose, which sold on the opening day for €35.9 million (US$46.4 million)—a new world record for a work by the artist at auction. The auction featured 16 works of art that sold above €5 million, while an astounding 61 lots sold for more than €1 million. Numerous records were set over the three-day sale including world auction records for the most valuable private impressionist and modern art collection, silver, and 20th-Century decorative arts; multiple world records were also set for artists at auction. Further highlights were “Dragons” armchair, a circa 1917–1919 art deco masterpiece by Eileen Gray, which sold for €21.9m (US$23.3 million), and a pair of ancient Chinese bronze statues (Quinlong period, 1736–1795) that each sold for €15.7 million (US$20.4 million).
Christie’s Great Estates was present at the auction, where magazines, property brochures, and a video presentation of luxury real estate were displayed. Click here for more information and photos from the historic sale.
Abraham Lincoln’s Original Re-election Speech Sells for a Record $3.44 Million at Christie’s New York
The original 1864 victory speech, handwritten by Abraham Lincoln, was sold by Christie’s New York on February 12, the bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth. The four-page document realized $3,442,500, a new world auction record for a Lincoln manuscript, a presidential manuscript, and any American historical document. The Speech was delivered at the White House on 10 November 1864, immediately after Lincoln’s re-election to a second term as President. The precious manuscript remained with Lincoln’s papers until 1916, when Robert Todd Lincoln, son of Abraham and Mary Lincoln, presented it to New York Congressman, John A. Dwight, as thanks for his efforts to secure Congressional funding for the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. In 1926, Dwight’s widow gave the document to the Southworth Library Association in Dryden, New York. Proceeds from the sale will fund construction of a new addition to the library.