A valuable auction: Monaco and Paris saw a huge Karl Lagerfeld estate auction

Shared between Monaco, Paris and Cologne, the collection tells the story of the designer, the collector, the decorator and the photographer.

Very famous for his distinctive personal style or what he designed for Chanel and other houses, Karl Lagerfeld is a name synonymous with luxury. Recently, Sotheby’s paid tribute to this genius designer with the sale of more than a thousand lots from his residences in France and Monaco to present an anthology of his personal tastes, life and career.

Shared between Monaco, Paris and Cologne, the collection tells the story of the designer, the collector, the decorator and the photographer. It was the first time a personal collection from his estate had been auctioned since his death in 2019. Monaco and Paris saw a huge auction in December 2021 and the third in the series will be held in Cologne in March of This year.

The December collection ended in extraordinary fashion, bringing the cumulative total of the collection to 18.2 million euros, attracting nearly 1,500 bidders from more than 60 countries. Now the third auction of the Lagerfeld estate in Cologne includes a selection of works and objects from various periods and styles, with a focus on early 20th century German art: furniture from the architect and designer Bruno Paul, as well as an important set of German “advertising” posters that Lagerfeld collected over 30 years.

An insatiable collector, Karl Lagerfeld has created daring interiors throughout his life. Pierre Mothes, vice-president of Sotheby’s France, said: “After the historic success of the inaugural sale in Monaco, collectors around the world have been obsessed with the objects and drawings of Karl Lagerfeld, consolidating his status as an icon of the fashion. The “Kaiser” would surely have been touched by the tremendous public success of these sales.

Both Parisian sales featured many important pieces of decorative art reflecting Karl Lagerfeld’s passion for contemporary design from the 2000s. Furniture by Marc Newson, Martin Szekely, Gino Sarfatti and Maria Pergay were all sold at prices well above their estimates, reflecting the designer’s innate sense of style, which naturally extended to his private world.

Glasses, mittens and jackets emblematic of the style and the immediately recognizable silhouette of the designer were auctioned, as well as objects bearing his likeness. Personal objects and drawings retracing his creative processes and which revealed the man behind the icon, also undoubtedly passionate about collectors, the objects revealing his personal links with his friends and family, including his companion of almost 20 years , Jacques de Bascher, arousing great interest .

The Parisian auction presented 29 lots by designer Martin Szekely. Lagerfeld was particularly fond of Marc Newson, whose Zénith armchair, made in 1998 and installed at 8 rue des Saints Pères, sold for €81,900 and the Atmos 561 clock, 2012, created in collaboration with Jaeger-Lecoultre and Baccarat, which doubled its high estimate to achieve €27,720.

Karl Lagerfeld’s drawings, from moving sketches of his family and friends to self-portraits often tinged with humor, figured prominently in Paris sales. Among the most sought-after works, the portrait of Jacques de Bascher, Return from the Valley of Emeralds, sold for €163,800 against an estimate of €400-600. Among the portraits, a drawing entitled Café de Flore showing Karl Lagerfeld sporting the famous ponytail that the couturier had adopted since 1976 sold for €94,500 with another work showing him in profile in silhouette of cut-and-pasted paper, June 1990, reaching €32,760. An anonymous drawing showing the designer “carrying” his famous cat Choupette, also sold for €6,500.

The designer’s sketchbooks also sparked major bidding battles for €201,600. Among the key pieces on offer was a black leather Chanel tote bag, 2010, which Karl Lagerfeld carried with him every day. After a fierce bidding battle, the bag went for €94,500, a record price for a Chanel bag. Other pieces in the designer’s wardrobe have seen fierce competition, sparking numerous bidding wars for his signature jackets. Highlights include a black wool Dior jacket, 2008, which far exceeded its estimate at €35,280, a Saint Laurent sequin evening jacket, 2015, which increased its estimate fivefold to €5,292, and a set of 10 pairs of gloves that made €20,160 on an estimate of €300-500.

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