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SALES RESULTS / François and Betty Catroux

A white glove sale, with particularly strong results for François Catroux's designs – Astrid Malingreau offers her analysis.

By Astrid Malingreau / 1st March 2022
Derya Akdurak for Megaron, 'Quatre guéridons', circa 2000 (Lot 77, estimate: €1,500-2,000. Sold for €37,800) COURTESY: Sotheby's

Derya Akdurak for Megaron, ‘Quatre guéridons’, circa 2000 (Lot 77, estimate: €1,500-2,000. Sold for €37,800)
COURTESY: Sotheby’s

AFTER MORE THAN three hours, the collection of François and Betty Catroux was successfully dispersed by Sotheby’s Paris with a white glove sale totalling €2,524,321 (€2,069,686 hammer) – more than twice the total high estimate of €965,620. Overall, lots performed on average 182.5% above their high estimate, which is impressive even though the estimates were low. This sale demonstrated once again the impact of a glamorous provenance, a coherent collection and inviting estimates.

The bidding was lively as collectors and esthetes – particularly for lots that seem to embody Catroux’s singular vision of elegance. Works by the decorator himself sold well above their estimates, such as the two rare consoles which sold 600% above their high estimate (Lot 9 and Lot 10, estimate €2,000-3,000 each, result €26,460 each)

François Catroux, 'Console', 1967 (Lot 9, estimate €2,000-3,000. Sold for €26,460) COURTESY: Sotheby's

François Catroux, ‘Console’, 1967 (Lot 9, estimate €2,000-3,000. Sold for €26,460)
COURTESY: Sotheby’s

The best performing lot of the sale was a French console estimated at the – very low – price of €700-1,000 that fetched €32,500 (Lot 62, €25,000 hammer). Another noticeable performance was by the ‘Quatre guéridons’ by the contemporary Turkish designer Derya Akdurak, which echoed Catroux’s predilection for touches of metal in his interiors and sold for €37,800 (Lot 77, estimate €1,500-2,000, hammer €30,000).

However, the metal creations of Ron Arad failed to exalt bidders, most likely due to their more robust estimates. The auction house, however, had made sure to have low reserves and each of the ‘Volume’ works found a new home. For instance, the rare ‘Two legs and a table’ sold for the hammer price of €55,000 (€69,300 with fees) against an estimate of €70,000-100,000 (Lot 42).

Ron Arad, 'Two legs and a table', circa 1990-1994 (Lot 42, estimate: €70,000-100,000. Sold for €69,300) COURTESY: Sotheby's

Ron Arad, ‘Two legs and a table’, circa 1990-1994 (Lot 42, estimate: €70,000-100,000. Sold for €69,300)
COURTESY: Sotheby’s

François and Betty Catroux: a Mediterranean setting at Sotheby’s Paris.

Article by Astrid Malingreau
Article by Astrid Malingreau
Astrid Malingreau is an independent advisor focused on 20th century contemporary design. She previously worked for Christie's in London and New York as a specialist in decorative arts and design. View all articles by Astrid Malingreau