Auction Results: Man Ray et les surréalistes. Collection Lucien et Edmonde Treillard, March 2, 2021 @Christie’s Paris

The single owner sale of art and photography by Man Ray at Christie’s in Paris earlier this week was not without its share of controversy. The works on offer came from the collection of Edmonde Treillard, the widow of Lucien Treillard, who had been Man Ray’s assistant. The Man Ray Trust claimed that many of the works for sale were stolen from the estate, and asked Christie’s to cancel the auction. After further review, the sale went forward, and the outcomes were frothy to say the least.

All 96 lots of photography that were available found buyers, and a whopping 62 of those sales happened at double the high estimate price or higher, with three lots coming in above 10X their high estimates. When the dust settled, the Total Sale Proceeds tallied up at €2.85M, more than double the top of the aggregate pre-sale estimate range.

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

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 96
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate €924800
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate €1309700
Total Lots Sold 96
Total Lots Bought In 0
Buy In % 0.00%
Total Sale Proceeds €2852750

Here is the breakdown (using our typical Low, Mid, and High definitions):

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 44
Total Low Lots Sold 44
Total Low Lots Bought In 0
Low Buy In % 0.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots €201700
Total Proceeds from Low Lots €754625
Mid Total Lots 44
Total Mid Lots Sold 44
Total Mid Lots Bought In 0
Mid Buy In % 0.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots €618000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots €1301875
Total High Lots 8
Total High Lots Sold 8
Total High Lots Bought In 0
High Buy In % 0.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots €490000
Total Proceeds from High Lots €796250

The top lot by High estimate was tied between four lots: lot 91, Man Ray, Les doigts d’amour de Man Ray, la ligne, la couleur, la forme, l’espace, l’air, 1951; lot 117, Man Ray, Sans titre, 1927; lot 130, Man Ray, Sans titre, 1959; and lot 162, Man Ray, Sans titre, 1959, each estimated at €50000-70000. All four lots sold: lot 91 at €187500, lot 117 at €47500, lot 130 at €43750, and lot 162 at €52500. The top outcome of the sale was lot 88, Man Ray, Erotique voilée, 1933, estimated at €50000-60000, sold at €312500 (image above, via Christie’s.)

91.67% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and astonishingly, there were a total of 62 surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate). The works listed below are those 13 lots whose outcomes were at least 5X the high estimate (images above, via Christie’s):

Lot 12, Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, tonsure, 1921/after 1950, estimated at €2000-3000, sold at €22500

Lot 13, Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, Belle Haleine Eau de Voilette, 1921/after 1950, estimated at €2000-3000, sold at €43750

Lot 15, Man Ray, Integration of shadow, 1919, estimated at €2000-3000, sold at €17500

Lot 25, Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, obligation pour la roulette de Monte Carlo, 1924/after 1950, estimated at €2000-3000, sold at €27500

Lot 39, Man Ray, Le groupe Dada : Serge Charchoune, Philippe Soupault, Tristan Tzara, Paul Chadourne, Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes, Mme Soupault, Jacques Rigaut, Paul Eluard, c1922/1930-1940, estimated at €2000-3000, sold at €20000

Lot 75, Man Ray, Nusch et Paul Eluard, c1935, estimated at €3000-4000, sold at €32500

Lot 77, Man Ray, Lee Miller, 1930, estimated at €4000-6000, sold at €65000

Lot 78, Man Ray, Profil solarisé, 1930, estimated at €3000-4000, sold at €32500

Lot 88, Man Ray, Erotique voilée, 1933, estimated at €50000-60000, sold at €312500

Lot 98, Man Ray, Le groupe surréaliste : Man Ray, Arp, Tanguy, Breton, Tzara, Dali, Eluard, Ernst et Crevel, 1929-1930, estimated at €2000-3000, sold at €17500

Lot 110, Man Ray, Ady Fidelin, c1936, estimated at €2000-3000, sold at €31250

Lot 126, Man Ray, Objet mathématique : divers types de points coniques, c1934-1936, estimated at €6000-8000, sold at €43750

Lot 167, Man Ray, Nancy Cunard, 1926, estimated at €6000-8000, sold at €42500

Complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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