Chinese porcelain vied with a work by a French master for first place in this prestigious, resoundingly successful sale, which also included items by Jouve and Dalí.
China, Guangxu period (1875-1908), pair of large “Tianqiuping” vases in polychrome porcelain, six-character “Guangxu” mark on the base. h. 56.5 cm (approx. 22.25 in)
This good-sized (56.5 cm, or approximately 22.25 in, high) pair of “Tianqiuping” (“celestial sphere”) vases from the Guangxu period (1875-1908) fetched €92,250. Their globular body, surmounted by a tubular neck, features an imperial décor of clawed dragons moving amidst flaming pearls and clouds. A six-character “Guangxu” mark on the base confirms the period. Next, a moving painting from the Louis XV period, Charles Antoine Coypel’s La Mise au Tombeau (The Entombment), sold for €67,650. It was a preparatory sketch for an altarpiece in Saint-Nicolas du Louvre collegiate church (located between place du Carrousel and the Seine side of the Tuileries Gardens, razed before the Revolution). François Joullain engraved the composition after 1734, but with variations, this reproduction perhaps being situated somewhere between the sketch and the final work. Salvador Dalí’s 1951 watercolor with sepia ink and pencil on cardboard (41.8 x 29.9 cm, approx. 16.46 x 11.8 in) entitled Virgile réconforte Dante (Virgil Comforting Dante) is an illustration of “Hell”, canto II of Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, appearing in the work published by Les Heures claires (1959-1963). It found a buyer at €24,600. Lastly came Georges Jouve’s Forme libre (Free Form), a hanging mirror designed c.1955, with a black enameled ceramic frame (31.8 x 34.9 x 8.5 cm, approx. 12.5 x 13.7 x 3.3 in). Signed Jouve and with the monogram “A.P.” for “Apollo” on the back, it fetched €25,830.