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Paris Under the Hammer: A Highly-Acclaimed 12th Sale

Publié le , par Anne Doridou-Heim

This was a fine harvest, with many pieces of the City of Paris's heritage safeguarded, now joining public institutions and private collections.

Victor Baltard (1806-1874), two medallions from the pediment of the monumental door... Paris Under the Hammer: A Highly-Acclaimed 12th Sale

Victor Baltard (1806-1874), two medallions from the pediment of the monumental door of the wheat and flour pavilion in Les Halles Centrales, Paris, one decorated with an allegory of the harvest, the other with the arms of the capital, cast iron bas-reliefs, c. 1860, diam. 100 and 90 cm/39.4 and 35.4 in.
Results: €41,712 and €11,376

This twelfth sale devoted to the French capital aroused a marked interest from public cultural institutions in pieces from Parisian history. The Musée Carnavalet-Histoire de Paris carried off three stained glass windows from the headquarters of the newspaper Le Petit Parisien for €3,286; the Musée d'Orsay landed two sketches for the façade of a building by the architect Antoine Chauchat (1869-?) for €822 each; the historic library of the City of Paris bought the diploma designed by Gustave-Louis Jaulmes (1873-1959) awarding a bronze medal to the Samaritaine department stores at the 1925 International Exhibition (€442); and the town of Bry-sur-Marne purchased a pair of the famous "bancs publics" public benches celebrated in song by Brassens for €3,286. The Holder company, soon opening a bakery museum in the Nord region of France, garnered the most sought-after piece: a cast-iron medallion from the pediment of the monumental door of the wheat and flour pavilion in the Halles Centrales, which fetched €41,712, as well as its "little sibling" at €11,376 (see photo). The former sports an allegory of the harvest; the latter, the coat of arms of the city surmounting the motto "Fluctuat nec mergitur". Both came from the demolition project orchestrated between 1971 and 1973 by Pierre Crucy's company and had remained in his family. Until now, only one other similar medallion was known, belonging to the collections of the Musée Carnavalet. "Beneath the Pont Mirabeau flows the Seine", said the poet... But under the brush of Charles Camoin (1879-1965), currently in the spotlight at the Musée Montmartre, it flows under the Pont Marie (46 x 55 cm/18.1 x 21.7 in). The 1929 painting fetched €33,496. €26,544 went to a pair of repainted carved wooden ornaments once adorning a former tearoom with, we assume, a certain old-fashioned charm, and €15,800 to a Sèvres porcelain bowl (52 cm/20.5 in high) designed by Edme Couty (1852-1931), which won an Excellence Award in the "fine arts" section of the 1878 Universal Exhibition.

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