With help from François Hugo, Picasso translated figures into precious metals, a facet of the master's genius that remains little-known to the general public.
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), complete set of twenty-four 23-kt gold medallions inscribed with Picasso's signature, goldsmith’s hallmark, copy and model numbers, designed 1955-1956, edition of 20 copies + two for the artist, two for Hugo and eight not intended for sale, original case, certificates by Pierre Hugo from September 8, 2021
© Succession Picasso, 2022
A rare, complete set of 24 gold medallions designed by Pablo Picasso in the late 1950s fetched €254,000. Each one bears the artist’s inscribed signature, the number of the piece and model and the hallmark of the goldsmith, François Hugo. The idea of gold artifacts occurred to Picasso in 1956, when he began making an iconic series of silver plates, also presented in the Cannes sale (the operator did not wish to release any information about it). Each series includes 20 medallions, plus two for Picasso, two for Hugo and eight not intended for sale. They feature recurring themes in Picasso’s imagery, such as "Head of a Faun", "Flute Player and Horsemen", "Jacqueline in Profile", "Taurus" and "Pisces". This unique set comes from a private collection in Southern France. Next came a turned vase called Chouette mate (Matte Owl). Better known—and more affordable at €19,050—it was created in 1958 in red faience with engobe decoration engraved with a knife, and features the seals "Madoura Plein Feu" and "Édition Picasso" and "199/200 Édition Picasso Madoura" (28 x 21.5 cm/11.02 x 8.46 in).