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Christie’s announces its first online-only sale of Picasso Ceramics

Christie’s announces its first online-only sale of Picasso Ceramics

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Pablo Picasso is more known for his paintings as well as sculptures. The Spanish artist has not really been famous as a ceramicist. However Christie’s is set to highlight his ceramic artworks with its first online-only sale of Picasso Ceramics.


The highlight of the collection is the Service Visage Noir, which is known to be an extremely rare and early set of Picasso plates. Picasso’s trademark style shows up in form of mischievous and playful motif of fauns’ heads. Only 100 such sets of thirteen plates were made of which very few sets comprising of all the plates have hit the auction block. Not only is this set complete, but it also has a consistent shade of deep emerald green in the decoration. Estimated to fetch $65,000 to $113,000, this rare set of Service Visage Noir offered in sale is one of the first ceramic editions Picasso created. It was originally presented as a wedding gift to Rita Hayworth and Prince Aly Khan by the town of Vallauris in 1949. Consisting of one large plate and 12 small plates, each piece of the set is stamped and marked ‘Madoura Plein Feu/D’Apres Picasso/Edition Picasso’.

Picasso_Ceramics_Visage_aux_yeux_rieursThe Visage aux yeux rieurs, a partially glazed and engraved ceramic pitcher, is expected to go under the hammer for about $30,000.

Michelle McMullan and Keith Gill, Co-Heads of Sale, stated that “Picasso ceramics continue to attract significant interest from buyers across the world. Picasso always intended his ceramics to be accessible, and the online format of this sale will provide an opportunity for a greater audience to enjoy these playful and beautiful objects. The Service Visage Noir, one of the rarest lots in the sale, is likely to generate a great deal of interest, as there were only 100 editions ever produced and very few sets remain intact having been split and sold separately during the 80s and 90s. The quality and colouring of the decoration and the stamps on this particular set show it to be one of the earliest in the edition and it has been in a private collection for more than 20 years. The Rita Hayworth connection is an example of how this period in Picasso’s life and work became synonymous with the fame, fortune and the artistic creativity of the golden age of Hollywood. This sale follows exceptional results in our recent Impressionist & Modern Art and Picasso Ceramics sales. With the market for Picasso ceramics continually strengthening, we anticipate interest in this sale from all corners of the globe.”

About 80 lots will be offered at the first-ever online-only auction of Picasso Ceramics. It is scheduled to run for two weeks with bidding open from 15 – 29 October 2013. A selection of the works will be on view at 45 Park Lane from 1 – 20 October and the sale will be on view at Christie’s King Street from 22 – 29 October.


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