• gerard van weyenbergh

Christie's and La Biennale de Paris make an alliance auction

Canceled due to Covid-19, the Biennale Paris has not said its last word: its exhibitors are selling some of their works at Christie's.Faced with the health crisis that has affected the whole world since the start of 2020, the National Union of Antiquaries (SNA), organizer of the Biennale Paris, former Biennale des antiquaires, decided in mid-May to cancel the 2020 edition which was to be held at the Grand Palais from September 17 to 21, 2020.

Instead, an online auction organized jointly by the SNA and Christie's was put together, from September 24 to October 8. "I found that online sales were working. So, after discussing it with the SNA, I spoke with Guillaume Cerutti, the CEO of Christie's Monde, to organize an online sale that would give visibility to antique dealers and merchants. Everything was decided very quickly," says Georges De Jonckheere , the president of the event. "This association is a great novelty, but it corresponds to the evolution of society. This could not have been done twenty years ago", comments, in turn, Anisabelle Berès-Montanari , president of the SNA. And Guillaume Cerutti added: "Even if this partnership between an auction house and a salon is far from obvious, I say all the same: 'Finally!' Because, without antique dealers, public sales would not exist. "

As a result, 42 dealers joined the adventure, each selling one, two or three works - a total of 91 lots for an estimated 7 to 10 million euros. Among the galleries that have entered one or more pieces for the auction include Aveline, Léage, Jean-Christophe Charbonnier, Anthony Meyer, Steinitz, Mitterrand, Haboldt, Gisèle Croës, Perrotin, and Florence de Voldère. Therefore, a wide range of specialties is represented: ancient art, archeology, design, Asian art, primitive arts, contemporary art… For the sake of fairness, the works auctioned are presented in alphabetical order (name of the dealer). As for the selling costs, on the buyer side, these are the classic costs of the house, without seller commission.

The works are exhibited at dealers and not at Christie's - with a few rare exceptions for foreign dealers who have not wished to exhibit at a colleague or a sister. A vernissage in the galleries participating in the operation is scheduled for September 28. "The idea of ​​the sale is to encourage collectors to go to galleries", explains Cécile Verdier , president of Christie's Paris. This is why an interactive map visible on Christie's website allows you to locate each of the galleries' works.

Le journal des Arts