PARIS, Nov 26 (AFP) – An auction of a collection of 18th and 19th century Japanese prints fetched nearly EUR 1.8 million (USD 2.1 million) at a Paris auction this week that was marked by a fierce bidding war over a rare work by artists Katsushika Hokusai.
All but 20 percent of the 252 lots in the renowned Huguette Beres collection were snapped up in the Sotheby’s auction held Tuesday that attracted institutional and private buyers from around the world, particularly from Japan.
Although a portrait of a kabuki actor painted by Charaku was the most expensive piece sold, going at EUR 145,375, it was a variant of Hokusai’s “Blue Mt. Fuji” – one of four in the world – that saw the most competition.
Given an estimate of up to EUR 30,000, the work finally went to France’s Guimet Asian Arts Museum for EUR 72,050 after a tough series of bids and counterbids.
Experts expressed satisfaction at the auction, though some noted that there appeared to be a cooling of passion for some pieces.
“It seems collectors today are more interested in the image of the work itself rather than the artist who did it,” said one Sotheby’s specialist.
The auction was the second part of a sale of the Huguette Beres collection.
The first, held last year, brought in EUR 4.3 million for the Beres heirs.
Subject: French news