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Records Abound at Buoyant Paris Auctions

Two major auctions were staged in Paris to overlap with the Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain, or FIAC. On Oct. 6 the 154-lot collection of Paris dealers Michel & Liliane Durand-Dessert totaled €4.47 million ($5.4 million) at Sotheby’s; it was 86 per- cent sold by value and 67 percent by lot, with a top price of

PARIS—Two major auctions were staged in Paris to overlap with the Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain, or FIAC. On Oct. 6 the 154-lot collection of Paris dealers Michel & Liliane Durand-Dessert totaled €4.47 million ($5.4 million) at Sotheby’s; it was 86 per- cent sold by value and 67 percent by lot, with a top price of €796,000 ($961,000), mid-estimate, given for Pino Pascali’s 15-foot-long La decapitazione della scultura, 1966.

There were record auction prices here for five Italian artists: Luciano Fabro—€404,000 ($488,000) for Edera, 1969, with its iron-framed dead ivy; Giovanni Anselmo—€370,400 ($447,000) for his metal-and-cloth Torsione, 1968; Giuseppe Penone—€202,400 ($244,000) for the giant Impronta digitale, 1982, the only trade buy in the sale’s top 10; Salvatore Scarpitta—€185,600 ($224,000) for Helikon, 1959; and Giulio Paolini—€156,000 ($188,000) for Primo appunto sul tempo, 1968.

An auction record also was reached for François Morellet when his 1963 lightbulb-panel 64 Lampes . . ., one of two he produced, claimed €114,000 ($138,000).

Cornette de St-Cyr’s 179-lot sale on Oct. 8 totaled €3.56 million ($4.27 million) and was 65 percent sold by lot. There was a strong response to the 23-lot ensemble from the Veranneman Foundation, consigned after the death of Belgian dealer Emiel Veranneman. This totaled €1.4 million ($1.68 million), with only a 1948 Victor Vasarely composition left unsold.

Niki de St-Phalle’s giant painted-resin Poète et sa muse was sold to a French collector for €392,000 ($470,000); and César’s 1978 Compression, made from Veranneman’s own Jaguar, landed €169,000 ($202,800), a record price for a César compression.

A record auction price was set for Yan Pei Ming when his 2001 Mao—Chine Vermillon #1 found a French buyer for €138,000 ($165,600).

A 1982 pastel drawing by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled, took €174,700 ($209,600), while Andy Warhol’s 1982 silk-screen and acrylic Two Sisters After De Chirico were sold after the auction for €189,500 ($227,400).

SIMON HEWITT

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