Sotheby’s Reports Record Prices For Art Dealer Jan Krugier’s Collection

Sotheby’s has reported a 100% sales result for the collection of the art dealer Jan Krugier. The Combined Total of £74.8 million – More than Doubles the High Estimate of lots offered in the auction. In the course of the last two days, 119 works from the Private Collection of Mr Krugier have met with enormous enthusiasm at Sotheby’s, selling for a combined total of £74.8 million ($122,128,701/ €89,957,075), more than double the pre-sale high estimate (est. £24.2-35.3 million). The sale was 100% sold by lot, with 82.5% of the lots selling for prices above their high estimates and many auction records established.
A survivor of the Holocaust, the legendary Swiss gallerist amassed – together with his wife, Marie-Anne Krugier-Poniatowski – one of the world’s most spectacular collections of works on paper. Spanning the history of art from the late 18th to the mid-20th century, the group offered incorporated powerful works by the greatest names of their time: Goya, Delacroix, Géricault, Corot, Turner, Degas, Manet, Bonnard, Monet, Renoir, Cézanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Seurat, Matisse, Klee, Picasso and Giacometti.

The group was led by Pablo Picasso’s Composition (Composition au Minotaure) which sold for £10,386,500 / $16,943,497 (est. £1.8-2.5m) – a record price for a work on paper by the artist at auction. Alberto Giacometti’s iconic sculpture Homme Traversant Une Place Par Un Matin De Soleil (1951) achieved £8,482,500/ $13,837,502 (est. £3/5 million). The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles has emerged as the buyer of Georges Seurat’s Mendiant hindou from the Personal Collection of Jan Krugier. Held to be among the greatest drawings Seurat produced, the haunting depiction of an Indian begger dates from a key transitional moment in the artist’s career. It sold today for £2,434,500 / US$ 3,971,643 against an estimate of £80,000-£120,000 (US$129,000- 194,000)
New Auction records were established for works on paper by Pablo Picasso, Giorgio de Chirico, Alberto Giacometti, Pierre Bonnard, for a print by Pablo Picasso and for a work by Victor Hugo.
Record price for a work on paper by Pablo Picasso – Composition (Composition au Minotaure) from 1936 sold for £10,386,500 / $16,943,497 (est. £1.8-2.5m)
Record price for a print by Pablo Picasso – La Femme qui pleure I (1937) sold for £3,218,500 / $5,250,339 (est. £1.2-1.8m)
Record price for a work on paper by Giorgio de Chirico – Studio per Piazza d’Italia (c. 1913) sold for £1,314,500/ $2,144,475 (est. £35,000-45,000)
Record price for a work on paper by Alberto Giacometti – Femme nue debout (1946) sold for £1,022,500 / $1,668,004 (est. £120,000-180,000)
Record price for a work on paper by Pierre Bonnard – Nu dans la baignoire (c. 1940) sold for £602,500 / $982,858 (est. £180,000-250,000)
Record for a work by Victor Hugo – his gouache on paper La Planète (Saturne)(c. 1854) sold for £434,500 / $708,843 (est. £60,000-80,000)

Jan Krugier’s personal collection reflected this eclectic style.  At the time Krugier began collecting with his wife, Marie Anne Krugier-Poniatowski, many works on paper were both underrated and undervalued, allowing them to build one of the most important groupings of drawings in the world.  As he grew his collection over the years, the masterpieces he would acquire rivaled some of the world’s most prominent museums.  His collection toured to enthusiastic crowds in Berlin, Venice, Madrid, Paris, Vienna, and Munich in a series of exhibitions entitled ‘The Timeless Eye.’ Krugier dedicated these landmark shows to his family and those who had perished in the Holocaust, as well as to the men and women like himself who had survived, to anyone “forever locked in the prison of their memory.”  

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