• NRuskell

Karl Lagerfeld's private collection auction explodes Southeby's expectations

The Monaco auction of the designer's personal collection was battled over by bidders, earning Southeby's four times what they expected.

Karl Lagerfeld standing in front of his design for the Odyssey at the Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo.

Between the 4th and 5th of December, Southeby’s France broke all expectations in its Monte-Carlo auction of late fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld’s personal collection. Longtime designer for Maison Chanel, Lagerfeld also designed collections for Fendi and created his own line, Karl.

Shortly after the unexpected death of the designer in February 2019, there was speculation on the fate of his immense art and furniture collection. Now, two years later, the first of several planned auctions with Southeby’s has taken place, in Monaco, close to one of his favourite homes, La Vigie, perched above the Monte-Carlo Beach resort. Overall, Southeby’s is planning eight auctions across Europe to move more than 1,000 pieces of art, collectables, furnishings, clothing, jewels, and accessories.

The first, much-anticipated Monaco auction kicked-off the evening before with an exclusive dinner at One Monaco, attended by the late designer’s close friend, Princess Caroline. Over 100 guests were present and could view the collection before the following days’ sale.

Eager to have a piece of the legendary designer’s collection, bidders literally fought it out over the 582 lots, earning Southeby’s four times the expected sum. Most pieces were sold above estimate, including some real surprises, like the Joana Vasconcelos portrait of Lagerfeld’s beloved cat, Choupette. Estimated at €7,000 the portrait sold for €20,320. His 1968 Marzio Cecchi diapson desk sold for a whopping €35,000 above the estimate, for a total of €38, 100.

The top grossing items were, of course, Lagerfeld’s 3 Rolls Royces, which brought in €1.2 million alone. Every single lot was sold and at the end of the two-day affair, Southeby’s took in over €12 million. Pierre Mothes, Vice President of Southeby’s France described the auction in a statement: “There was an electric atmosphere for this incredible first sale which saw explosive bidding, with buyers fighting hard for everything from Karl’s drawings to the art he chose to surround himself with, as well as many of his personal belongings.”

The next auction will take place in Paris from 12-17 December, followed by Collogne, Germany in Spring 2022.

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