Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information
Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Second Yves Saint Laurent Auction at Christie’s

Christie’s, in collaboration with Pierre Bergé and Associates, announced the second sale of the Yves Saint-Laurent and Pierre Bergé Collection that will take place in Paris on 17th, 18th and 19th November 2009. Proceeds of the sale will benefit H.I.V research and the fight against Aids.

Almost 1200 works of Art from Château Gabriel à Bénerville as well as from the Parisian residences of the two collectors will be presented for sale. Seventeen specialist departments are involved: Old Masters and 19th Century Drawings and Paintings, Impressionist and Modern Art, Prints, Contemporary Art, Decorative Art, Furniture, Sculpture, Ceramics, Silver, Asian and Islamic Art, Antiquities, African and Australian Art, as well as pieces from Natural History, Books, Jewellery and Textiles. The value of the sale is estimated between €3 million to €4 million.

Marianne Haas
Interior Chateau Gabriel. © Marianne Haas. Photo: Christie’s Images Ltd. 2009

Chateau Gabriel
This property, certainly one of the most beautiful on the coast of Normandy, was built in 1874 for an American family. Yves Saint-Laurent and Pierre Bergé bought it at the beginning of the 1980’s. Eclectic in style, Château Gabriel is situated in the heart of a 74 acre park on Mont-Casiny in Bénerville, overlooking Deauville.

Yves Saint-Laurent and Pierre Bergé asked Jacques Grange to decorate the interior design. Together, they decided the decoration would seek inspiration from the world of À la Recherche du Temps Perdu, the atmosphere of the castles developed by King Louis II of Bavaria around Munich between 1869 and 1890, and the decor of Luchino Visconti’s films, especially Innocente which was Yves Saint-Laurent’s favourite.

In 2005, Jacques Grange told the New York Times: “I adore Château Gabriel. It is an incredible, extraordinary house. I would love to completely dismantle it and spread its spirit around the world”. Yves Saint-Laurent described his house in Bénerville as follows: “This is my haven between two storms. I come here to rebuild my strength”.

The Ground Floor: The Entrance Hall, The Living Room, The Winter Garden, Yhe Library and The Dining Room

The ground floor opens on the entrance hall, illuminated by a magnificent 19th century Dutch ceiling light made of copper with 34 arms (estimate: €50,000-70,000). The wooden steps of the grand staircase are reflected by a monumental 19th century mirror (estimate: €30,000-50,000). Further away, in the gallery leading to the living room and the library, sits a large Fahua type Ming Dynasty Chinese basin from the early 16th century (estimate: €40,000-60,000).

The living room: From the Napoleon III sofas and armchairs, one could enjoy Luna, a work by Sir Edward Burne-Jones, which was sold last February for a record price of €1,095,400. Yves Saint-Laurent wanted the walls painted in a way that would remind him of Claude Monet’s large Nymphéas, because this famous artist inspired Marcel Proust for his character of Elistir, the painter in A la Recherche du Temps Perdu. In this room, the furnishings were carefully selected to evoke the world and oeuvre of Proust: a group of six neo-Gothic rosewood chairs dating from Charles X (estimate: €15,000-20,000) sit on an Agra rug with Cairene motifs, made in Northern India at the end of the 19th century (estimate: €20,000-30,000). A multitude of objects, 19th century Barbotine ware, porcelain dishes, vases, flower pots as well as bowls and plates signed by André Metthey (estimate: from €800) and candleholders are all on display, reflecting the epitomy of taste and elegance.

The winter garden, next to the living room, was always packed with blossoming orchids in large Chinese vases made of blue and white porcelain, (estimate: €2,000-3,000).

The library is dominated by a monumental stone chimney decorated with a pair of Renaissance style large andirons, inspired by Barthélemy Prieur, representing Jupiter and Juno (estimate: €6,000-9,000). It was flanked on each side by a pair of twelve armed candelabras after Barye (estimate: €8,000-12,000). A colossal gilded bronze ceiling light, probably a work from Maison Baguès (estimate: €50,000-70,000), overhung this temple of knowledge. Photographs of Marcel Proust and Claude Monet were presented on a large Louis XVI style desk in dark wood (estimate: €4,000-6,000). Some bronzes representing The Farnese Hercules, 19th century Italian school (estimate: €4,000-6,000) further enhanced the room’s décor.

Around the corner, past a bouquet of wheat sheaves, found in each of their homes, is the dining room, with a black and white ceramic floor. In a corner, an Asian style earthenware stove dating from the 19th century (estimate: €7,000-10,000), faces a large rosewood veneered dining table (estimate: €8,000-12,000). Original glazed earthenware consoles (estimate: €15,000-25,000) held monumental porcelain cups, in the style of Meissen, decorated with three naked figures symbolizing the continents (estimate: €40,000-60,000). On the same theme are four statuettes in Meissen porcelain dating from the 19th century, representing Africa, Asia, America and Europe (estimate: €10,000-15,000) which used to surround a Louis XVI style centerpiece for a table in three parts, in neoclassical Italian style (estimate: €5,000-7,000).

The Upper Storeys: The First and Second Floors
Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé christened these rooms with the names of characters from Marcel Proust’s masterpiece À la recherche du temps perdu. On the first floor, composed of three suites, Yves Saint Laurent’s bedroom bore the name of Charles Swann, while Pierre Bergé’s was named after Baron Palamède de Charlus.

The overall atmosphere of the couturier’s suite brings us back to the turn of the 20th century. The adjacent cabinet boasts a salon ensemble of the Biedermeier era (six chairs and a sofa, estimated: €4,000-6,000), a ceiling light from the early 1900s (estimate: €15,000-20,000), enamelled glass vases of the same period (estimate: €300-400), a pair of Emile Gallé faience candlesticks, circa 1870 (estimate: €5,000-7,000), and various objects à l’antique, such as a pair of bronzes (estimate: €3,000-5,000) resting on a pair of carved bronze stands, dating from the second half of the 19th century (estimate: €30,000-50,000).

On entering Pierre Bergé’s suite, the visitor discovers a mantelpiece graced by a Louis Philippe carved and gilded bronze pendulum clock with cabochons of tinted glass (estimate: €4,000-6,000). A bearskin rug lies spread on the green-coloured floor. The walls are decorated with a silky, opulent mauve wallpaper. From either side of the Empire-styled bedroom, a bureau à gradin writing desk (estimate: €15,000-20,000) and a mahogany bed (estimate: €10,000-15,000) face each other beneath the glimmer of a Dutch-style copper ceiling light with 24 arms (estimate: €10,000-15,000).

The second floor was reserved for guests, and consists of six rooms. Each friend had his or her room, each with its Proustian character: Charlotte Aillaud would stay in the Oriane de Guermantes room, Anne-Marie Muñoz with Albertine, Loulou and Thadée Klossowski in the Verdurins’ room, Madison Cox in Morel’s, while Betty Catroux would take possession of the reconstructed universe of Madeleine Lemaire…

The Office of Yves Saint Laurent 5 Avenue Marceau
Just a few metres away from the studio where he had worked, the couturier designed an office inspired by the work of Christian Bérard, a painter who he admired, emblematic of the neo-romantic style that he developed with Eugène Berman and Pavlik Tchelitchev.

The pair of Doric plaster columns (estimate: €600-800) surmounted by gilded bronze and crystal garlands (estimate: €2,000-3,000) framed a mirror decorated with climbing reeds (estimate: €3,000-4,000), the bench and red velvet cushion with cream-colored buttoning and a fringe (estimate: €800-1,200), or the pair of stools in X attributed to René Prou (estimate: €2,000-3,000). A Louis XVI-style, gilded bronze and crystal chandelier (estimate: €5,000-7,000) illuminated the mantelpiece where a pair of the opulent garlands (estimate: €5,000-7,000) framed yet another amazing mirror, decorated in natural vegetation (estimate: €6,000-8,000). As in all his houses, a bouquet of wheat is present, reunited here as a sheaf in a large vase.

From the Parisian Apartments
The auction in February 2009 boasted the masterpieces of the Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé collection. In November the auction will present a multitude of objects of a more understated charm, often with a very personal relevance, which reflected the everyday existence of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé. These include more than 500 pieces of Modern Art, Art Deco, Furniture, European Art, Antiquities and Old Master and 19th Century Pictures and Drawings.

We will once again encounter the mélange of periods and styles that were so dear to these two collectors: the little Art Deco boxes that one could find peppered throughout the library, the bedroom or the grand salon, some in straw marquetry, others in enamel, shagreen or silver (estimate: from €300); their small Art Deco clocks, including some signed by Cartier (estimate: from €700); certain copperware pieces from the music room, signed by Jean Dunand or Claudius Linossier (estimate: from €800).

Also from the Art Deco period a pair of alabaster night lights by Michel Dufet, circa 1921 (estimate: €1,200-1,500), seven Jean Perzel wall lights (estimate: from €500) and six Baguès rock crystal and gilt bronze wall lights, circa 1970 (estimate: €40,000-60,000) will also be offered. They graced the walls of Yves Saint Laurent’s bedroom.

Art Deco furniture features prominently: among the pieces are several screens, including one of eight leaves in leaf-gilt beechwood (estimate: €1,200-1,500), a low table, circa 1930, in shagreen-veneered poplar (estimate: €2,000-3,000), and a pedestal table (estimate: €3,000-5,000) whose stylised wheat-sheaf base recalls the bouquets of wheat favoured by Yves Saint Laurent. In his bedroom, another table with a gilt ear-of-wheat base (estimate: €800-1,200) served as the support for some of his most precious possessions (sold in the February sale), such as those that appear in Willy Maywald’s famous photograph of Marie-Laude de Noailles in her salon, by a pedestal table covered with objects worked in bronze, silver and silver-gilt. Certain important objects have been set aside exclusively for this sale, such as the gilt bronze box by Line Vautrin, decorated in relief with the title of Paul Verlaine’s celebrated poem Il pleure dan mon cœur (estimate: €1,000-1,500), as well as a small glass cross, probably Spanish or South American, 19th century (estimate: €200-400).

From the grand salon of the rue de Babylone apartment come a pair of low circular armchairs, made for the Indian Ball given by Queen Hortense in the nineteenth century (estimate: €2,000-3,000), and L’Homme de Draguignan by César (estimate: €40,000-60,000). Six works of art by César will be offered, including a compression of lemonade capsules on a panel of painted wood, 1991 (estimate: €20,000-30,000).

Etchings signed by Joan Miró (Equinoxe, 1967, estimated €25,000-35,000) and Picasso (Sueño y mentira de Franco, 1937, estimated €10,000-15,000), as well as watercolours by Frantisek Kupka (estimate: €20,000-30,000) and Natalia Goncharova (showing a study for a ballet costume, estimated €3,000-5,000) complete this ensemble. The highlight of the Modern Art section is a gouache entitled Les travailleurs au repos, executed by Fernand Léger in 1950 (estimate: €80,000-120,000).

Ten jewels, one-of-a-kind creations by Yves Saint Laurent, were placed in his bedroom and in the grand salon. Shaped like crosses, hearts or sheaves of wheat, these unique and personal pieces, made of rock crystal and smoked quartz, decorated in lead, gold and semi-precious stones, populated the dream-like everyday life of the couturier (estimate: from €800).

This final sale will also feature their luggage – Louis Vuitton (estimate: from €500), three crocodile-skin Hermès suitcases (estimate: €4,000-6,000) – as well as his last car, the elegant Mercedes Benz S Class 350L, 2007, in black with a V6 petrol engine (estimate: €30,000-50,000)