Emile Sagot: A Triumphant Return to Mont-Saint-Michel

On 03 September 2021, by Philippe Dufour

A unique set of drawings of the archangel's mount was duly preempted, while two pieces by Pierre Jeanneret illustrated the modern designer's popularity.

Émile Sagot (1805-1888), L'Abbaye du Mont-Saint-Michel, a set of 65 watercolor architectural drawings, some signed, each measuring between 32 x 51 cm/12.6 x 20 in and 70 x 105 cm/27.6 x 41.3 in.
Result: €45,260

Émile Sagot produced this set of 65 architectural drawings during the 1860s. These fascinating watercolors (which restored La Merveille to its original state on paper before the major renovation work of the 1880s) and the expert's proposals for the illustrious medieval abbey in Normandy were finally preempted by the Médiathèque de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine de Charenton-le-Pont for €45,260: over double the high estimate.  

In 1862, while Sagot was traveling through Normandy to illustrate one of the volumes of the famous series Voyages pittoresques et romantiques dans l’ancienne France de Taylor et Nodier (Picturesque and Romantic Journeys in Old France by Taylor and Nodier), he discovered Mont-Saint-Michel. Fascinated by this extraordinary place, he spent a long time there absorbing all the details and imagining how the abandoned site would look if restored. But ten years later another architect, Édouard Corroyer, was chosen to carry out this project. Sagot then gave all his compositions to his innkeeper as payment, according to family legend.

Much later, another architect was to revolutionize design with his clean lines and authentic materials: Pierre Jeanneret. In the early 1950s, he and his cousin Le Corbusier designed the furnishings for the city of Chandigarh in India. Created in 1957-1958, a bookcase-desk called the "Office Table" in teak or sissoo, with a box section on one side and a suspended drawer (72 x 82 x 122 cm/28.6 x 32.3 x 48 in), was up for sale and changed hands for €11,160. The "Kangaroo" living room set in sissoo dates from around 1955 and includes a two-seater bench (72 x 103.5 x 63 cm/28.6 x 40.7 x 24.8 in) and two low chairs (73 x 50.8 x 62.5 cm/28.7 x 20 x 24.6 in) with plastic caning. It was knocked down for €6,448.

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