Picasso’s Granddaughter Is Selling a Trove of His Unique—and Highly Coveted—Ceramic Works at Sotheby’s London Next Month

The eclectic collection of ceramics and drawings has relatively approachable prices for Picasso.

Pablo Picasso, Visage (1965). Image courtesy of Sotheby's.
Pablo Picasso, Visage (1965). Image courtesy of Sotheby's.

A treasure trove of Picasso objects with a sterling provenance—from the artist’s granddaughter Marina Picasso—is sure to ignite excitement at Sotheby’s London’s Impressionist and modern art sale next week.

Unlike the typical blockbuster seven- and eight-figure paintings that often draw trophy hunters to evening sales, this is a much more approachable and eclectic selection of works. Included are Cubist drawings from the 1910s and a selection of unique ceramics that reflect the artist’s fascination with faces and portraiture. Prices range from £6,000 to £60,000 ($7,800 to $78,000).

Pablo Picasso, <i>Visage soleil</i> (1956). Image courtesy of Sotheby's.

Pablo Picasso, Visage soleil (1956). Image courtesy of Sotheby’s.

The combined presale estimate for the lots in the sale, titled “Tete a Tete,” is £799,000 to £1.1 million ($1—1.5 million). Two of the 42 works on offer, both silver plates, have a separate designation from the rest of the group since they are not unique, and comprise the last two lots in the sale. The remaining 40 lots are all unique works.

According to Sotheby’s, these objects resided with Pablo Picasso for his entire life and were inherited by Marina Picasso in 1973. Marina, the daughter of Picasso’s son Paulo (from his first marriage to Russian ballet dancer Olga Khokhlova), described her early life as miserable because Paulo, an alcoholic, frequently had to beg his artist father for money, according to the Telegraph.

Picasso never made a will, but when he passed away in 1973, Marina inherited one fifth of his estate, or about 10,000 works of art. She has sold work in the past, at times to raise money for charity, through the late Swiss dealer and Picasso specialist Jan Krugier.

Pablo Picasso, <i>Femme au collier (Portrait de Madame Rubinstein)</i> (1923). Image courtesy of Sotheby's.

Pablo Picasso, Femme au collier (Portrait de Madame Rubinstein) (1923). Image courtesy of Sotheby’s.

Among the highlights of this latest offering is Femme au collier (Portrait de Madame Rubinstein) (1923), which has an estimate of £30,000 to £40,000 ($39,000 to $52,000). A large, round, painted and glazed ceramic plate, Visage (1965), is estimated at £25,000 to £35,000, and Visage de profil (1959), brush and ink on paper, is also expected to sell for £25,000 to £35,000 ($32,500 to $45,500). Meanwhile, Visage Soliel, a bright yellow sun with a face, on a ceramic square tile from 1956, is estimated to sell for £10,000 to £15,000 ($13,000 to $19,500).

Pablo Picasso, <i>Visage de profil</i> (1959). Image courtesy Sotheby's.

Pablo Picasso, Visage de profil (1959). Image courtesy Sotheby’s.


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