KARL’S KEEPSAKES, TAKE TWO: More of Karl Lagerfeld’s possessions went under the hammer — this time at Sotheby’s in Paris, where 6.2 million euros’ worth of the late Chanel artistic director’s belongings were sold, and records were set for a Chanel handbag and a Martin Szekely work.
Digital bidding was open from Dec. 6 through Thursday, and live auctions took place on Tuesday and Wednesday in the French capital in what was part two of the estate sale, following a session in Monaco.
Sotheby’s Paris’ sales included decorative art, reflecting Lagerfeld’s passion for contemporary design dating from 2000 onward. He owned furniture by designers such as Marc Newson, Gino Sarfatti and Maria Pergay. Lagerfeld’s iconic socks, mittens and blazers, plus effigies of the man himself, changed hands. His drawings — of friends, relatives and his companion of more than 20 years, Jacques de Bascher — were also sold.
Two world records were set. A black Chanel crocodile tote bag from 2010 that Lagerfeld carried daily fetched 94,500 euros, and Szekely’s “Miroir Soleil Noir,” from 2007, went for 375,500 euros.
The highest bid for Lagerfeld’s artwork was the portrait of de Bascher, called “Return From the Valley of Emeralds,” which sold for 163,800 euros, versus an estimate of 400 euros to 600 euros. A watercolor, featuring de Bascher and Anna Wintour at the Louvre, from 1985, took in 50,400 euros.
Numerous portraits of Lagerfeld were auctioned off, and his sketchbooks caused bidding wars. Two notebooks, which were estimated to sell for between 300 euros and 500 euros, went under the hammer at 201,600 euros.
Among his clothing, a Dior black wool jacket from 2008 commanded 35,280 euros, and a sequined Saint Laurent jacket from 2015 sold for 5,292 euros — five times its estimate.
The designer had expansive tastes and interests. Also in his estate were Philippe Starck-designed POAA dumbbells, a Shu Uemura makeup box dedicated to Karl Lagerfeld by Takashi Murakami from 2016, and two limited-edition “Karlito” Fendi key rings featuring Lagerfeld’s image.
The Paris auction results came in three times above the high presale estimate. Ninety-eight percent of its lots sold, and 90 percent of the lots went for more than their estimates. The auction garnered interest from more than 500 bidders from more than 25 countries. Of those, one-third were new to bidding and buying at auction.
Overall, almost 1,500 bidders from more than 60 countries took part in the Lagerfeld estate auctions, which started at Sotheby’s in Monaco and ran from Dec. 3 to 6 there. Altogether, the sale of almost 1,000 lots have brought in 18.2 million euros, four times the high estimate of 4.6 million euros.
“Act two of the Karl sale has kept its promises, following the historic success of the inaugural Monaco sale,” said Pierre Mothes, vice president of Sotheby’s France, in a statement Thursday night. “Collectors from the world over, snapping up Karl Lagerfeld’s objects and designs, have consecrated his status as a fashion icon. The ‘Kaiser’ would surely have been moved by this immense public success.”
Lagerfeld never remained attached to possessions for very long. “I find the joy of collecting, the fun of hunting for objects, the exciting thing,” he told WWD. “But once I [win] it, I lose interest. I don’t want to be a curator living in a museum.”
The third part of Lagerfeld’s estate auction will take place at Sotheby’s in Cologne, Germany, in March 2022.
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