PARIS—Christie’s Paris celebrated the 210th anniversary of the birth of French writer Victor Hugo with the auction of “The Hugo Collection,” held on April 4, featuring artwork and memorabilia. The books, paintings, drawings, engravings, photographs and other objects offered were all related to the lives of Hugo and his family.
Estimated to bring in some €1 million, the auction tripled expectations to total €3.2 million ($4.3 million), achieving six records in the process. Of the 411 lots offered, 341 were sold, representing 83 percent by lot and 98 percent by value.
The top lot was Hugo’s wash drawing of a Flemish landscape, in charcoal, black ink with gray and brown wash, and white highlights on brown paper, titled Souvenir de Belgique. Estimated at €50,000/80,000, it fetched €409,000 ($540,452), the second-highest price for a Hugo drawing ever sold at auction.
Vivez; et Mourez, Hugo’s ink drawings on three wooden panels, sold for €277,000 ($366,027), against an estimate of €100,000/150,000.
His Projet de carte de visite (project for a business card), 1855, a small sketch in charcoal, brown ink and wash with white highlights, blue chalk and scraping, was estimated at €50,000/80,000, and sold for €85,000 ($112,319).