Held following a court order, this sale gave pride of place to the Medieval and Renaissance periods with sculptures and paintings.
Southern Netherlands, Bruges?, second quarter of the 15th century. Saint Michael in alabaster, with traces of gilding and polychromy, h. 60 cm/23.6 in.
The imposing head of a French king or high priest, carved in limestone from the Ile-de-France in the second third of the 12th century, had previously featured on the cover of the Gazette. It was bought for €36,570: a result within the range of the estimate. But it did not reveal its final secrets, because though its material (analyzed by a geologist) provided some information, it is still not clear if it was designed to adorn one of the abbey of Saint-Denis buildings. The situation was slightly different with the Portrait of Anne de Béthune (1548-1607), wife of Ferry de Choiseul, Lord of Praslin. The model's name is confirmed: her arms at the top of the painting (dated 1573), duly identified by expert Philippe Palasi, provide information on her identity and origin—a Spanish school, it appears. She garnered €19,400. Meanwhile, €39,998 went to this alabaster Saint Michael (one of the works attracting the most comments on social media, see photo), a piece from the Southern Netherlands dating from the second quarter of the 15th century. At €9,142, the Musée Unterlinden in Colmar preempted a piece of carved openwork rood screen or stall woodwork, showing the figure of Saint Paul the Hermit (h. 131 cm). The piece, with its subject clad in stylized oak leaves and flanked by two twisted columns, dates from the 1520s or 1530s. Meanwhile, a devotional plaque in pipeclay for private use from the second half of the 15th century garnered €12,571.