Want to Buy Monet’s Glasses? Christie’s Will Sell the Impressionist’s Personal Effects and Art in Hong Kong
The trove comes from a previously unrecognized descendant of the artist.
Want to buy a piece of Claude Monet? Soon, you can. In November, Christie’s will sell a trove of previously unknown works from the artist’s personal collection. The objects—which range from paintings by Monet’s Impressionist friends to a pair of his eyeglasses—have, until now, been kept in the artist’s family.
The sale, called “Dear Monsieur Monet,” will be held in Hong Kong on November 26. It includes 55 objects, from Japanese prints collected by the artist to works of art by Monet himself. The sale also presents works by the artist’s friends, such as Auguste Rodin and Paul Signac.
The collection was preserved for decades by Rolande Verneiges, described as “an unrecognized yet protected daughter of Claude Monet’s son Michel.” Although he did not formally acknowledge her, Michel gifted works to Verneiges throughout her life. She died in 2008; her descendants are offering the trove for sale.
Until now, the works’ whereabouts were unknown; they had only been seen in catalogue reproductions. The collection “presents an intimate and family-driven insight into one of art history’s most beloved artists,” according to the auction house.
Among the works in the trove are early Monet pastels and drawings that demonstrate critical moments in his development, including the earliest examples of the artist working in series. Highlights of the sale go on view in Paris today before traveling to Shanghai, Beijing, London, and New York. Prices range from $500 to $3 million.
The sale represents multiple firsts for the auction house. Christie’s plans to use it to try out an innovative new format. Although the sale will be held in Hong Kong, it will also be streamed live in Christie’s Paris auction room so that European bidders can participate in the action as well.
The auction is also the first dedicated Impressionist sale to be staged in Asia. Asked why the house decided to offer the collection in Hong Kong, a spokesperson for Christie’s said the auction house is “committed to investing in Asia as a collecting region—in February 2017, the London sale calendar shifted to accommodate Chinese New Year and in June 2017, buyers in the region accounted for over 20 percent of lots sold.”
See a selection of works in the sale below.
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