Renowned Artist’s ‘Muse’ Mercedes to Star in Bonhams’ First Paris Sale

. December 17, 2007

1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K owned by leading Abstract Expressionist artist, Georges Mathieu.

The celebrated French artist Georges Mathieu will sell the 1936 Mercedes-Benz that he has owned for more than 50 years in Bonhams’ inaugural Paris sale on Saturday 9 February 2008.

Mathieu, who held a major retrospective of his work in Paris in 2003, bought the 1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Cabriolet A at a time when his career as an abstract painter was propelling him to stardom. He has used the car on a daily basis in and around Paris ever since.

Matthieu Lamoure, Head of European Cars at Bonhams says,” We are particularly proud that one of the most renowned French artists has entered his “muse” of more than 50 years, into our sale. This model is certainly one of the most elegant in Mercedes’ pre-war production, which proves Mathieu’s subtle taste. It is fitting that a car with such important French history should headline Bonhams’ first sale in Paris.”

The imposing and supremely elegant two-seater cabriolet, boasting an 8-cylinder supercharged engine, is one of the most sought-after models from this golden age of motoring. Chassis no. 105383 has been carefully maintained and has recently undergone a complete restoration by the distinguished, André Lecoq who won the prize of the Best Art Restorer in 1989. It is estimated to sell for 900,000 – 1,300,000 Euros.

Georges Mathieu was born in Boulogne in 1921 and took up painting after studying literature and philosophy. A flamboyant character, he developed a distinctive calligraphic style of abstract painting in the 1950s, often executed as theatrical events in front of an audience. Pioneering the style of Lyrical Abstraction and Art informal, Mathieu was the only French artist whose work of this period rivalled the great American masters of Abstract Expressionism, and it was Mathieu who introduced Jackson Pollock to Paris.

Mathieu also produced furniture, tapestries and sculptures. During the 1970s his calligraphic designs were seen everywhere in France – he produced work for Air France, the TV station ‘Antenne 2′ and designed the face of the 10 Franc coin. His work can be seen in major art galleries worldwide.

The Sale of Exceptional Motor Cars will take place at the Salon Rétromobile, Paris Expo on Saturday 9 February 2008.

Category: Auction News

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