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5 – 7 December 2023: Winter Tales Live, results

The season and the year 2023 ended in all beauty with a more than successful ‘Winter Tales’ auction. Brief report below with hammer prices (excluding commission 25/ 28%).

Lot 102. Albéric Collin. Two Nile antelopes. Bronze, black patina. Cast between 1928 and 1933. Res.: € 32000

Within the Winter Tales auction series, interest in ‘animaliers’ proved sought-after. Thus, the highest price was achieved for a pair of antelopes in bronze by Albéric Collin (lot 102, res.: €32000) while a small hippopotamus by Josué Dupon (lot 101, res.: €8500) also fared quite well. From the varied array of some 320 lots, we also highlight the hammer prices for a nighttime beach scene by Norwegian painter Baade (lot 74, res: €8200), as much as what was called for a 1967 work by Guy Vandenbranden (lot 275). In turn, a Rivière necklace (lot 196) turned out to be worth €8500, an Hermès ‘Kelly’ necklace (lot 216) €13000 and a round Tiffany watch pendant (lot 144) €8000.

However, the focus of this December session was on the four Works on Paper sessions: rare books/catalogues, editions, prints and drawings from the 20th-21st century were on offer including the collection of the late Patrick Kuppens, the Ghent antiquarian of ‘The Blind Traveler’. A printed catalogue entitled ‘Blind Traveler finds a Home’ was provided especially for the occasion.

Lot 275. Guy Vandenbranden. Untitled. 1967. Res.: € 8200
Lot 74. Knud Andreassen Baade. Oil on canvas. 1850. Res.: € 8400

The sessions on Wednesday 6 December already saw some striking results for works by Panamarenko (lot 1176, res.: €11000), Francis Alys (lot 1268, res.: €15000) and Philippe Van Snick (lot 1606, res.: €7000). ”Emile Verhaeren à la veste rouge” by Théo Van Rijsselberghe (lot 1097) doubled her estimate (res.: €6200), ‘Cloche de Verre’, a 1918 colour lithograph by Spillaert did the same (lot 1095, res. : € 4600) and works by Eugeen Van Mieghem (lot 1062, res. € 3200), Maurits Escher (lot 1104, res.: € 6500), André Franquin (lot 1033, res. € 3000) and James Ensor (lot 1094, res.: € 13000) were also eagerly bid for, both live in the room and online via the three sales platforms.

Lot 1268. Francis Alys. Collage (pencil, oil paint and tape on mylar). Titled, signed and dated in pencil. Res.: €15000
Lot 1094. James Ensor. Etching on simili-Japan paper. Signed in the plate. Signed in pencil. Mounted under passe-partout. Res.: €13000
Lot 1176. Panamarenko. Pencil, coloured pencil, ballpoint pen, red ink, gouache on brown paper. Res.: € 11000

The highest bid landed on a collage by Paul Joostens. The lot (lot 1082), estimated at around € 10000, went to a new owner at more than double (res.: € 22000).

Lot 1082. Paul Joostens. Untitled. Collage (coloured paper, cardboard, pushpin). Framed. Res.: €22000

The auction of Patrick Kuppens’ collection, ‘Blind traveler finds a home’, was a great success. Spread over an afternoon and evening session, there was often fierce competition for rare editions/ photographs/ ephemera, catalogues …. The first lot where there was heavy competition was Marcel Duchamp’s ‘candy paper’ (lot 2015), which eventually found its way across the ocean for 6400 euros. A little further on, a collage letter by Marcel Mariën (lot 2052) was hammered off at 1700 euros. The extensive collection of ephemera and catalogues around Marcel Broodthaers all swiftly changed hands for fine prices, including 500 euros for a very rare 1969 invitation card to a film evening featuring work by Broodthaers, Lamelas and Beuys (lot 2083).

Lot 2349. René Heyvaert. Untitled. Wood, metal, rope. Signed on the reverse in pencil. Res.: €8800

In the delightful collection around Zero/ Nul, we started with a nice result for a (later?) print of the legendary photomontage ‘La saut dans le vide’ by Yves Klein (lot 2110), which found a new owner at €3400. Then again, a fine copy by Jes Petersen ‘Piero Manzoni. life and work’ (lot 2122) sold at 1150 euros. A somewhat odd duck was the original photo ‘Lochblendenstruktur/ 3.8.14. E 1’ from 1967 by Gottfried Jäger, which was settled at €2400 after a fierce battle online. A collection of ‘Vice Versand’ editions, including work by Robert Filliou sold on the phone for 1700 euros.

A great lover of photography, Patrick Kuppens also collected some remarkable pieces in that field over the years, such as a rare photograph by Miroslaw Tichy (lot 2264), which eventually sold for 1500 euros. In the evening session, a large colour picture by Richard Prince from the ‘Adult Comedy Action Drama’ series (lot 2387) was sold to a collector by phone for a very fine 3900 euros.

The artist undoubtedly most looked forward to was René Heyvaert. The Kuppens collection was, without doubt, home to one of the most extensive in that field. The sculpture in the shape of a wooden cross (lot 2273) sold online at 5000 euros, the extremely rare ‘IX’ catalogue left at 1700 euros. The fascinating 1976 drawing, encased in a frame designed by the artist himself (lot 2282) also sold online for a staggering 8200 euros.