Because there will always be Paris, this new sale dedicated to the capital, which took place the same week the city emerged from its torpid lockdown, met with an eager welcome.
C. 1910, double arched wrought iron gates decorated with repoussé work gilt sheet metal leaves and flowers, Louis XIV style, from the Hôtel de Lauzun in Paris, 330 x 257 cm/129.92 x 101.18 in overall.
This 11th event was unlike any other. The context certainly had something to do with that. There was a real sense of excitement and hope, and the sale ended on a highly successful note. At the outset, auctioneer Christophe Lucien, who loves Paris, delightedly announced that the public bench designed by Gabriel Davioud under Napoleon III had been withdrawn and, thanks to funds raised by the #saccageparis collective, and was sold privately so that it could resume its former life on one of the capital’s streets. Then the double gate installed by Louis Pichon in the courtyard of the Hôtel de Lauzun in 1910 (see photo) created a buzz in the room after creating a stir on social media. Sold as five lots, the wrought iron and gilt sheet metal gates displaying all the majesty of the Louis XIV style fetched a total of €65,728.
Next came the preemptions. For €884, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France acquired both of the manuscript scores by Jean Constantin (1923-1997): Mon manège à moi, whose lyrics he wrote, and Mon truc en plume, which he composed—a song of celebration and liberation. The French National Archives bought the watercolor drawing of the project for the Alexander III Bridge (60.8 x 93.3 cm/23.94 x 36.73 in) by architects Gaston Cousin (1859-1901) and Joseph Marie Cassien-Bernard (1848-1926). The city of Nogent-sur-Marne, near Paris, which owns one of the famous Les Halles pavilions designed by Victor Baltard (1805-1874), bought a Rue Baltard nameplate for €404, while the city of Bry-sur-Marne paid €1,517 for a fountain bollard by the Durenne foundry, which will be set up outside the municipal theater. A gastronomic establishment paid €6,320 for the Bœuf à la Mode restaurant’s sign, and for €2,528 a Paris luxury company became the new owner of a marquetry panel (85 x 49 cm/33.46 x 19.29 in) designed by René Prou (1889-1947) for an Orient Express sleeping car. A parisian enthusiast bid €17,696 for Paris qui s'en va (Disappearing Paris), a highly symbolic 1975 drawing by Sempé (b. 1932) dedicated to film director Jacques Tati (41.5 x 69.8 cm/16.34 x 27.48 in), showing old parts of the city being torn down.