A horse trots through this scene, timeless yet highly modern, while fine furniture by Parisian cabinetmakers also set the tone.
František Kupka (1871-1957), Le Cheval blanc, la chapelle Sainte-Anne devant la mer, Trégastel (The White Horse, Saint Ann’s Chapel before the Sea, Trégastel), 1909, oil on canvas, signed and dated lower right, 54.5 x 81.5 cm (21.46 x 32.09 in).
The sale was dominated by an eagerly-awaited early painting by František Kupka from a private collection in Brittany. Le cheval blanc, la chapelle Sainte-Anne devant la mer, Trégastel (The White Horse, the Sainte-Anne Chapel in Before of the Sea, Trégastel) of 1909 more than doubled its high estimate with a splendid €774,900. This symbolic landscape lies at the crossroads of the figurative and abstract periods of this champion of Orphism. It also evokes the Czech painter's fascination with an eternal Brittany, shared by many of his fellow artists.
The other lots consisted of the contents of the Château de la Paluelle, a private property dating from the 15th-17th centuries in the Manche region of France. They included an impressive Transition period chest of drawers, stamped RVLC (and with a warranty mark), i.e. by Roger Vandercruse, known as Lacroix, admitted as master in 1755 (88.5 x 134 x 57 cm/34.8 x 52.8 x 22.4 in). The piece features kingwood trellis marquetry with maple quatrefoils on a bloodwood background and tulipwood surrounds. It has a protruding central part, and sports chased gilt bronzes, including a cul-de-lampe with a mask of Mercury: everything it needed to charm a buyer ready to pay €57,810.
In the picture department, one painting stood out from the rest: a still life with a basket of figs, a loaf of bread and a blue and white porcelain plate on a stone entablature signed "Gios: R." i.e. Giuseppe Recco (58 x 71.5 cm/22.8 x 28.1 in). The work is typical of this talented 17th-century Neapolitan who ended his life in Spain. Here each element is treated in a thick material you can practically taste. It went for €38,130.