June 23rd, 2016: Sotheby’s Boundless: Contemporary Art Auction in Hong Kong
On June 23, 2016, Sotheby’s will mark the first time a complete set of Picasso silver plates have ever appeared at an auction. The auction will take place in Hong Kong, at the bi-annual Boundless: Contemporary Art Auction. The 24 plates will be offered as a single lot valued at $1.55-$2.33 million. The plates, alongside medallions, were created between 1956 and 1967 through creative collaborations between Picasso and François Hugo. The casting was completed by Victor and his son Pierre through private request. Each plate comes from an edition of 20, making them an exceptionally rare acquisition.
Of this upcoming lot, Isaure de Viel Castel, Head of Boundless Sales says “we are privileged and honoured to be entrusted with the sale of this unique set of 24 Picasso silver plates at the Boundless Sale in Hong Kong. Having established itself as a cross-cultural platform offering Western and Asian art and design objects, Boundless is the perfect stage to present this lot of immense artistic importance. Extraordinarily precious in material and rare in quantity, Picasso’s 24 silver plates offered as a single lot provide an unprecedented acquisition opportunity for collectors from the region and beyond.”
The History Behind the Plates
Picasso worked from almost every medium, his ceramic works as varied as his works on canvas. Each silver plate was taken from a ceramic counterpart. Picasso was introduced to the ceramic medium in 1946 when he visited Vallauris. As with the ceramic plates, the subjects featured on each silver plate include portraits of Matisse, Jacqueline Roque. In addition, bulls, bullfighting and whimsical faces are also prominent. Each of the 24 plates is different, adding to the unique quality of this set. As a whole, the plates offer an intimate glimpse into Picasso’s personal life.
Understanding their value, Picasso originally kept these creations secret, only authorizing a limited number to be created for sale in 1967. Nevertheless, in 1977, a solo exhibition titled Picasso – 19 silver platters based in London’s Lever Galleries and Paris’s Galerie Matignon brought these plates to the public eye. This exhibition propelled Picasso into international stardom and heightened the appreciation for his non-painting works.
We can only imagine the return of Picasso’s silver plates on the market will have an equally noteworthy impact on Picasso’s legacy.
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In 1906, American writer and art collector Gertrude Stein arranged for famed artists Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso to meet. Little did she know that this fateful meeting would change the entire course of Modern art history.