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    Blue Chip Works Bolster Christie’s Paris Sales

    Christie’s Paris, also saw robust results at its December sales, starting with its auction of Impressionist and modern art on Dec. 1, which brought a total of €14.4 million ($19.4 million) compared with an estimate of €14 million/20 million.

    PARIS— Christie’s Paris, also saw robust results at its December sales, starting with its auction of Impressionist and modern art on Dec. 1, which brought a total of €14.4 million ($19.4 million) compared with an estimate of €14 million/20 million. The auction included works by Francis Picabia, Fernand Léger, Alberto Giacometti, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Gauguin and Amedeo Modigliani. Of the 116 lots on offer, 74, or 64 percent, were sold. By value, the sale realized 87.5 percent.

    The top-selling work marked a record for Auguste Rodin. L’âge d’airain, a bronze sculpture with black and green patina, conceived ca. 1875–77 and cast in the artist’s lifetime, before 1918. It sold for €4.7 million ($6.3 million), nearly doubling its estimate of €2.5 million/3.5 million.

    Several other works also sold for more than €1 million, including Paul Cézanne’s study of bathers, the oil painting Etude de baigneuses, ca. 1902–6, which fetched €2.3 million ($3.1 million), falling within its estimate of €2 million/3 million.

    An oil painting on board and mounted on canvas by Chaïm Soutine, L’Arbre de Vence, ca. 1929, sold for €1.3 million ($1.7 million), slightly under the estimate of €1.4 million/1.8 million.

    Marc Chagall’s painting of two green donkeys and several floating figures, Deux ânes verts, 1980, fetched €1.2 million ($1.7 million), compared with an estimate of €1 million/1.5 million. Other strong sales in the auction included Oscar Dominguez’s 1935 oil painting Composition au taureau et piano, which surpassed its high estimate of €500,000/700,000 to sell for €841,000 ($1.1 million). Odilon Redon’s pastel portrait of Simone Fayet taking her first communion, 1908, sold near the low end of the €300,000/500,000 estimate for €301,000 ($405,651).

    Picabia’s oil and charcoal, Femme aux arbres, ca. 1930, sold for €217,000 ($292,446), within its estimate of €180,000/250,000. And Femme debout, 1892–95, Aristide Maillol’s wooden sculpture of a standing woman, sold for €205,000 ($276,274), twice its low estimate of €100,000/150,000.

    Claude Monet’s La Seine à Port-Villez, ca. 1908–9, a small oil painting, sold for €205,000 ($276,274) against an estimate of €60,000/80,000. Rodin’s Man with a Broken Nose sold for €157,000 ($211,585) on an estimate of €150,000/250,000.

    Christie’s contemporary sale in Paris was held Dec. 8-9 and brought a total of €11.7 million ($15.7 million), with 68 percent selling by lot and 75 percent by value. Of 132 lots offered, 90 were sold.

    The top lot was Ultra-violet, 1984, an acrylic and oil painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat, which fetched €1.3 million ($1.7 million), doubling its low estimate of €600,000/800,000. Other top lots included Nicolas De Staël’s abstract landscape Paysage du midi, 1953, an oil painting on panel that sold for €1 million ($1.4 million), also doubling its low estimate of €500/000/700.000. Another top lot by De Staël was his oil painting, Composition, 1950, which sold for €289,000 ($386,393) against an estimate of €150,000/250,000.

    Zao Wou-Ki’s oil painting Cîme, 1955–56, doubled its low estimate of €300,000, realizing €661,000 ($883,757), as did Andy Warhol’s portrait of Enrico Carminati Jr., a triptych in synthetic polymer and silkscreen on canvas, which sold for €301,000 ($400,734) on an estimate of €140,000/180,000.

    Two works by Serge Poliakoff also brought solid prices: the oil painting Rouge, 1953, sold for €517,000 ($691,229) compared with an estimate of €400,000/600,000; and Composition abstraite, 1954, sold for €313,000 ($418,481), surpassing its estimate of €180,000/250,000.

    Works by Louise Bourgeois were also among the sale’s top lots. A sculpture combining steel, rubber, clothing, glass and bones, entitled Seamstress, mistress, distress, stress, 1997, surpassed its estimate of €400,000/600,000 to sell for €505,000 ($675,185).

    Frank Stella’s small version of Les Indes galantes, 1964, in fluorescent alkyd paints, sold for €457,000 ($611,009), on an estimate of €400,000/600,000.