An online auction of Pablo Picasso’s ceramic works through Christie’s netted $1,052,250 in May this year, continuing an upward climb in total sales volume since 2009 for the artist’s ceramics.
The collection included pieces from the estate of Edgar M. Bronfman, head of the Seagram’s distillery company, a philanthropist and former president of the World Jewish Congress. The auction included 47 works by Picasso, who created more than 4,000 at his (now-dilapidated, but salvageable) studio in the south of France. Some of the lots were estimated as high as $90,000.
Artnet recently ran an interesting writeup regarding Picasso’s ceramic works. They state:
While the market for Picasso ceramics has had its high points in the past, such as in the mid-1980s, and again in the mid-2000s, more recently it has experienced yet another more significant resurgence, with the ceramics’ inclusion in notable sales of private collections in the past few years.
In May 2010, at the sale of the collection of Los Angeles philanthropist Frances Lasker Brody at Christie’s New York, Picasso’s 1932 painting Nu au Plateau de Sculpteur, a portrait of his mistress Marie-Therese Walter, broke the world record for a work of art ever sold at auction when it brought in $106.5 million. Meanwhile, making quieter headway at the day sale of that same auction was a selection of the artist’s ceramics. Grand vase aux femmes nues (a 25-inch ceramic vase painted with female nudes) was pocketed for $230,500, nearly quadrupling the lot’s low estimate of $60,000.
The site ran a graph which shows a steadily-increasing value of Picasso’s ceramics sold at auction. Among some of the reasons they cite for this trend are increased critical awareness of this period of Picasso’s life, a broad profile of interested buyers and the affordability of the pieces when compared to Picasso’s paintings or works on paper.
Featured image: Pablo Picasso’s 1960 “Vase Gros Oiseau Vert” on display at Sotheby’s auction house in central London on March 15, 2014.
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