Where to buy a 'cheap' Picasso

There are well over 1,300 lots in the Tiroche of Herzliya three-day auction (September 23, 24 and 25), a fun offering of bits and pieces of antiques and objets d'art.

October 9, 2005 12:51
3 minute read.


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There are well over 1,300 lots in the Tiroche of Herzliya three-day auction (September 23, 24 and 25), a fun offering of bits and pieces of antiques and objets d'art. The lots, mostly from estates, range from kitsch to serious pieces. They include sets of furniture, handsome wall clocks and wristwatches, silverware, carpets, paintings, Judaica, jewellery and ethnic pieces from Africa and Japan; and this time, some serious pre-Colombian pieces (if they are real, that is). Notable is a Tolima funerary urn from Colombia which is estimated at $8,000. The lid of this ceramic pot is surmounted by a protective male figurine. Sotheby's London will auction ceramics designed by Pablo Picasso at Olympia on October 26. Many of the more than 100 plates, bowls, jugs, tiles and vases decorated with classic Picasso motifs stem from two distinguished private collections. Estimates range from GBP1,000-GBP35,000. But are they all from Picasso's hand? Picasso became interested in ceramics after seeing the work of the Madoura Pottery at a craft fair in the south of France in 1946. The Madoura was run by Suzanne and Georges Ramie', who gave Picasso space in their studio to use whenever he visited. In return, he authorized them to reproduce limited editions of his designs. Picasso also made individual ceramic pieces, which he usually retained for his own private collection. Most of these are now in the hands of his heirs or in museums. Between 1947-1971, more than 600 different plates, bowls, vases and pitchers were produced by Picasso and the Madoura Pottery, mostly in limited editions ranging from 25 to 500. Picasso did not touch most of them. His involvement in their execution varied between working on the clay mold designs and undertaking the design of their decoration. Included in the forthcoming sale will be a striking painted and glazed earthenware vase entitled Tripode, executed in 1951 in a numbered edition of 75. It was one of Picasso's earliest designs and also one of his largest, measuring 75.5 cm. in height and is the most valuable piece in the sale, with an estimate of GBP28,000-GBP35,000. Other works worthy of note include a painted and partially glazed earthenware pitcher entitled Femme du Barbu, one of an edition of 500 (GBP4,000-GBP6,000); and an earthenware plate entitled Visage de Femme(GBP5,000-GBP7,000) one of an edition of 400. A painted terracotta dish executed in 1957 and entitled Hibou aux ailes de'ploye'es is one of 200 and is expected to fetch GBP4,000-GBP6,000. Two very rare earthenware tiles from 1956 are both "unique" works by Picasso. Entitled T te de Faune IV (GBP9,000-GBP12,000) and T te de Faune VIII (GBP8,000-GBP12,000). A small group of works by Jean Cocteau (1889-1963), made under Picasso's influence in the late 1950s, are also on offer.

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