Auction Results: Dora Maar, Unpublished, photographic collection, June 27 and 28, 2022 @Artcurial

A treasure trove of vintage Dora Maar negatives came up for sale earlier this week at Artcurial in Paris, offering an unusual bargain for buyers. In addition to the rare original negatives up for sale, the Dora Maar estate created a framework where an edition of 5 posthumous prints could be printed from each negative: 1 was printed by the estate and included with the sale, 2 more were printed and reserved by the estate, and the final two were to be made by the purchasers, under the supervision of the estate.

How those options and future rights factored into the decisions made by buyers isn’t entirely clear, but against the range of modest pre-sale estimates, the lots performed quite well, given their relative obscurity. Images of Picasso and his artworks, as well as beach scenes of Nusch Éluard and few of Maar’s more experimental and surreal compositions all performed well (and jumped to multiples of their high estimates), while more mundane images failed to elicit much interest (as seen in an overall Buy-In rate near 40%). In the end, the Total Sale Proceeds (of roughly €615K) fell in the middle of the aggregate pre-sale estimate range.

The summary statistics are below (all results include the buyer’s premium):

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 357
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate €506600
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate €720600
Total Lots Sold 216
Total Lots Bought In 141
Buy In % 39.50%
Total Sale Proceeds €618240

Here is the breakdown (using our typical Low, Mid, and High definitions). Given recent currency fluctuations, we have once again re-adapted our local currency thresholds to match roughly $10000 and $50000 break points between categories.

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 357
Total Low Lots Sold 216
Total Low Lots Bought In 141
Low Buy In % 39.50%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots €720600
Total Proceeds from Low Lots €618240
Mid Total Lots 0
Total Mid Lots Sold NA
Total Mid Lots Bought In NA
Mid Buy In % NA
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots €0
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots €0
Total High Lots 0
Total High Lots Sold NA
Total High Lots Bought In NA
High Buy In % NA
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots €0
Total Proceeds from High Lots €0

The top lot by High estimate was lot 14, Dora Maar, Buste en plâtre de Dora Maar dans l’atelier de la rue des Grands Augustins – Paris, 1941 (6 vintage prints/8 original negatives/5 modern prints), 1941/2022, estimated at €4000-6000; it found a buyer at €5904. The top outcome of the sale was lot 19, Dora Maar, Pablo Picasso sous les arbres – Hôtel Vaste Horizon, Mougins, c1936-1937, estimated at €1500-2000, sold at €11152 (image above, via Artcurial).

97.69% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were a total of 33 positive surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate). The 13 positive surprise lots sold at €6000 or above are listed below (images above, via Artcurial):

Lot 6, Dora Maar, Guernica en cours de réalisation dans l’atelier de la rue des Grands Augustins – Paris, mai-juin 1937, estimated at €2500-3500, sold at €8528

Lot 7, Dora Maar, Sculptures de Pablo Picasso – Têtes de femmes – atelier de Boisgeloup, 1937, estimated at €2000-3000, sold at €8528

Lot 12, Dora Maar, Dora Maar au rameau [dessin et découpage de Pablo Picasso], c1935, estimated at €1000-1500, sold at €7216

Lot 16, Dora Maar, Pablo Picasso dans son fauteuil en rotin – Mougins, été 1936, estimated at €2500-3500, sold at €7216

Lot 19, Dora Maar, Pablo Picasso sous les arbres – Hôtel Vaste Horizon, Mougins, c1936-1937, estimated at €1500-2000, sold at €11152

Lot 25, Dora Maar, Nusch Éluard sur la plage – Antibes, été 1937, estimated at €1500-2000, sold at €7872

Lot 26, Dora Maar, Nusch Éluard sur la plage – Antibes, été 1937, estimated at €2000-3000, sold at €7216

Lot 27, Dora Maar, Nusch Éluard sur la plage – Antibes, été 1937, estimated at €1500-2000, sold at €8528

Lot 59, Dora Maar, Compositions avec chaise miniature et rideau, c1930, estimated at €1500-2000, sold at €6822

Lot 141, Dora Maar, Expérimentation sur négatif (Femme dénudée), c1935/1980, estimated at €1000-1500, sold at €9971

Lot 142, Dora Maar, Expérimentation sur négatif (Femme les mains dans les cheveux), c1935/1980, estimated at €1000-1500, sold at €6560

Lot 145, Dora Maar, Expérimentation sur négatif (Femme la tête renversée et motifs concentriques), c1935/1980, estimated at €1000-1500, sold at €6822

Lot 183, Dora Maar, Pablo Picasso dans la salle de bains de l’atelier des Grands Augustins – Paris, c1940, estimated at €2000-3000, sold at €7216

Complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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