See What Sold at Erotic Museum’s $500,000 Fire Sale
Clearly, sex sells.
Proving once again that sex sells, the now-defunct Paris’s Musée de l’érotisme sold its 2,000-piece collection to garner €450,000 ($498,000) at Cornette de Saint Cyr auctioneers on November 6, reports Agence France-Presse. The final tally was triple its pre-sale estimate.
Founders Jo Khalifa and Alain Plumey officially shuttered the space this weekend following the auction. The event attracted over 500 would-be buyers eager to get their hands on everything from sex chairs and ancient fertility totems to old photos of the Parisian brothel scene and erotic Japanese prints.
The 18-year-old museum, located in Pigalle, the city’s historic red light district, was a tourist favorite, but was forced to close when it lost its lease.
“Many people came here in the hope of acquiring a souvenir of this unforgettable museum,” said auctioneer Bertrand Cornette in a statement.
The top lot on the night was Rudolfo Buccacio’s Techno Lover, a massive bronze statue of a woman engaged in an erotic embrace with a robot. Despite a high estimate of just €8,000 ($8,850), the work hammered down at €38,160 ($4,221).
A bronze bas relief of Salvador Dalí’s 1954 canvas Young Virgin Auto-Sodomized by the Horns of Her Own Chastity, cast France’s Vonderie Valsuaini in 1977, sold for €20,608 ($22,800)—roughly 10 times the estimate. Alex Varenne‘s Les seins de Mona Lisa (Mona Lisa’s Breasts), a saucy nude take on the iconic portrait, fetched €13,524 ($14,930).
Another titillating work with a new home is Femme Fontaine, a sculptural 1991 fountain of a woman with water shooting out from her mouth, breasts, and derrière. The Charles-Eric Gogny piece went for €1,803 ($1,994) on an estimate of €1,200 ($1,327).
The auction also featured a new record price for the work of illustrator Georges Wolinski, who was killed in the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack in January 2015. A cartoon about the museum brought in €11,592 ($12,822), despite a starting price of just €1,500 ($1,660). According to the artnet Price Database, Wolinski’s previous auction best was just €3,537 ($4,665), for a work on paper titled Hommage à Matisse.
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