Karl Lagerfeld fans battle it out in “explosive” Monaco auction

The atmosphere was “electric” at the Karl Lagerfeld estate auction hosted in Monaco this past weekend, where a total of €12 million was realised, far above the pre-sale high estimate of €3 million.

It was Part One of three auctions to be held by Sotheby’s and it featured 582 lots of 1,000-plus items, an anthology of Karl Lagerfeld’s personal taste as well as his life and career.

The possessions of the iconic designer, who spearheaded the collections of Chanel, Fendi and his own label, came from his homes in Paris, near the French capital, and Monaco.

After months of anticipation, the auction in Monaco and online attracted the attention of more than 1,400 bidders from 58 countries and, according to Vice-President of Sotheby’s France Pierre Mothes, the energy at One-Monte Carlo was infectious.

“This incredible first sale took place in an electric atmosphere throughout the weekend,” said the lead auctioneer. “The explosive auctions are a nod to the global recognition of this designer. The bidders fought to obtain the graphic works of Karl Lagerfeld but also those with which he had chosen to surround himself, as well as many of his memorabilia.”

This set of three Karl Lagerfeld figurines had a high estimate €150, and sold for €1,134. Photo by Monaco Life

Three Rolls Royces, displayed at the Hotel Fairmont Monte-Carlo, soared past their high estimates, selling for a total of €1.18 million. The artworks owned by Lagerfeld were also some of the highest selling items, particularly a portrait of the designer by Takashi Murakami which secured €289,800 – more than double its €120,000 high estimate.

Another portrait by designer Gianni Versace sold for €94,500, while works by Georges Lepape far exceeded expectations, including two drawings estimated at €800, that sold for €56,700.

Salon, circa 1930, attributed to Bruno Paul, high estimate €4,000, sold for €81,900. Photo by Monaco Life

Overall, 96% of lots sold for well above their estimate, like three inspirational scrapbooks Lagerfeld created in the mid-1980s that sold for €151,200 (high estimate €5,000), a 1986 self portrait for €107,250 (high estimate 3,000€) and Choupette’s cat scratcher that sold for more than 10X its €80 high estimate.

Not a single item was left unsold.

Three inspirational “scrapbook”notebooks from the mid-1980s had a high estimate of €5,000, but attracted a top bid of €151,200 on auction day. Photo by Monaco Life

As Pierre Mothes told Monaco Life on Friday, the 2 to 3 million euro auction estimate was a tentative figure and the end result was expected to be higher, but perhaps not this high.

Sotheby’s will hold the Karl Lagerfeld Estate Part II live auction from 14th to 15th December in Paris, while Part III will be online from 6th to 16th December.

Top photo: the Chanel Cruise Trophy, 2010, had a high estimate of €3,000 and sold for €78,120. Photo by Monaco Life 


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