High prices paid for art dealer’s collection

Picassos, a Gaugin and a Paul Klee have all fetched top prices at the start of a two-day auction of the private collection of late Swiss art dealer Ernst Beyeler.

This content was published on June 22, 2011 minutes and agencies

Picasso’s Femme Assise, robe bleue was sold for £17.9 million (SFr24.6 million), four times its lower estimate, at Christie’s in London on Tuesday night.

Around 40 pieces went under the hammer, clocking up a total of $44.6 million. Another 50 works were being auctioned on Wednesday night, including ceramics by Picasso.

Paul Klee’s Tänzerin sold for $4.1 million, a world record for the Swiss artist at auction. Another Picasso, Buste de Françoise went for £10.6 million, slightly above its top estimate.

Le Vallon by Gaugin sold for £6.4 million and Renoir’s La source (nu allongé) for $5 million.

Not all works sold, however. Claude Monet’s Nymphéas did not go for its reserve of SFr23 million.

Smaller pieces are also up, providing a more intimate picture of the life of Beyeler and his wife Hildy. The proceeds will benefit the Beyeler Foundation museum near Basel.

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