MILAN — Under the white vaults of the 16th-century Palazzo dei Giureconsulti, 221 antiques collected by Gianni Versace over 20 years and shelved inside his sumptuous Via Gesú palazzo were auctioned off Thursday night for 2.6 million euros, or $3.4 million at current exchange.
“I felt it was time to move on,” said Donatella Versace.
There were no over-the-top heirloom pieces at the auction, which was organized by Porro & C., a Milanese auction house that will also handle the sale of antiques belonging to Versace’s Villa Le Fontanelle on Lake Como. Scheduled for May 28, that sale will be held at the resort Villa d’Este on the lake’s shores.
Meanwhile, Sotheby’s is organizing four auctions of more prestigious pieces collected by the late designer to be held in New York through April and May.
A hearty crowd filed into the auction room Thursday to bid on an eclectic mix of bronzed and marble chandeliers, porcelain vases, Flemish paintings, 19th-century globes, gilded mirrors and silver sculptures, which represent about 20 percent of Versace’s vast art collection. And the Versace aura was evident as numerous pieces went for two or three times their estimated price. Two key pieces sold were a couple of silver oil lamps dated 1805, chiseled and partly gilded by Giuseppe Valadier, which went for $198,000, and a 17th-century oil painting by Giovanni Paolo Panini, which went for $108,000.
This story first appeared in the April 8, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.