This summer has been a good year for the Hôtel de Ventes de Monte-Carlo. The 2017 summer sales have come to end, and the numbers are very impressive. The auction started a few days ago with some remarkable jewellery pieces, some of which were cheerfully sold for over a million Euros, and also included watches, Russian art, leather goods… There was quite a range on offer.
The quay Louis II turned into a showroom for race cars
On Sunday, at the Yacht Club, people were not coming for boats, but for the cars on display from the Monegasque auction house—and these were not just any cars, these were sports cars. The auction was entitled: “The art of living the race” and auctioneer Franck Baille, a former racer himself, brought all the necessary explanations to potential bidders.
The highlight of the sale: a Porsche 907, estimated between 2.8 and 3.2 million Euros, opened at 1.8 million, and was awarded for 2 million Euros. An excellent investment for the buyer, considering there are only 9 in the world out of the 15 produced.
Another remarkable car was Jean-Pierre Jarier’s 1988 Citroën AX Turbo Superproduction. A unique vehicle, where only enthusiasts can still spot the traces of the AX series, which parted for 150,000 Euros.
Art of yesterday and today
In the afternoon, archaeology was honoured. An exceptional piece of mosaic, snapped up by a museum and an Amazonian torso in white marble from the first century BC, whose bidding flew to 52,000 Euros.
Finally, modern art brought a close to the summer auctions. Among other remarkable pieces, a copy of the square head of Sacha Sosno, inspired by the famous building of the same name in Nice, which was awarded at 28,000 Euros. A painting by Gino Severini, estimated at 30,000 Euros, sold for 210,000 Euros.
For Chantal Beauvois, the head of HVMC, the summer of 2017 “is really a good cuvée”.
The god of the Ocean returns to his home in Vienna
Of the fifteen fragments of this mosaic, drawn in marble and limestone, we see the wet face of the ocean god, surrounded by numerous marine creatures.
This imposing piece, almost 7 meters long, and a little over 2 meters wide, was discovered in Vienna in 1845, and as fate would have it, was back on the market Sunday at the Yacht Club.
At the end of a great auction that brought the piece to 310,000 Euros, and while Franck Baille was adjudicating, a frail young woman stood up and claimed: “Subject to the right of pre-emption of the French State For the Museums of Vienna.”
The right of pre-emption saved this great mosaic.
It was Elsa Gomez, the curator of these museums, who is delighted with her acquisition: “It will return to its home. It will become a major part of our collection.”
And if such an operation was possible, it is because there is an agreement between France and Monaco to exercise a continuity of territory. Thus, even in this small country, the Hexagon may pre-empt pieces which it considers the loss to be highly detrimental.