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EDITIONS
Thursday, 10 October, 2002, 09:41 GMT 10:41 UK
Picasso auction fetches 1.2m
Picasso's Taureau (left) and Chouette
Picasso's Taureau (left) sold for 21,510
Ceramics and prints by Pablo Picasso have gone under the hammer for more than 1.2m in a London auction of the legend's "forgotten art".

The auction of more than 200 items included plates, jugs and vases decorated by the artist as well as Picasso prints.

Much of the ceramic work on sale was created by local craftsmen near Picasso's home in southern France and decorated by the artist, who was then in his 60s.

His ceramics are often regarded as less important than his other artistic work, but have been praised for their sense of liberation and experimentation.

Priciest print

A 1958 Picasso print, Femme au Corsage Fleurs, made the highest price, selling for 35,850.

Only 19 of the lots went unsold.

Among the first works to be bought was a jug painted with a charging bull, Taureau, which exceeded its upper estimate of 18,000 to fetch 21,510.

Picasso's Minotaure Caressant une Dormeuse
Minotaure Caressant une Dormeuse fetched 23,900
A Christie's spokeswoman said: "An unprecedented number of private buyers enthusiastically took part in the sale which exceeded our expectations and confirmed the enduring appeal of Picasso."

The auctioneers said the sale was the first auction dedicated to Picasso's prints and ceramics, and revealed a lesser-known side of the artist.

He produced more than 2,400 prints during his life, and many of those that went on sale on Wednesday were inspired by his muses such as Marie-Therese and Dora Maar.

One depicting a minotaur caressing a sleeping woman, Minotaure Caressant une Dormeuse, sold for 23,900.

And an abstract coloured linocut, Pique (Rouge et Jaune), was estimated to be worth between 14,000-16,000, but went on to sell for 20,315.

Bargain

Work by Picasso, regarded by many as the most influential artist of the 20th Century, is highly sought-after.

The prices for his ceramics and prints are dwarfed by what collectors pay for his paintings.

The most expensive Picasso ever, Les Noces de Pierrette, was sold for $51.67m (32m) in 1989.

Wednesday's auction gave buyers on more modest budgets the chance to own a Picasso, with the cheapest lots selling for 1,000.

See also:

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