See What Sold at Erotic Museum’s $500,000 Fire Sale

Clearly, sex sells.

Two persons stand in front of the the Erotic Museum of Paris on November 2, 2016 prior to the auction sale of the collection on November 6 and the closure of the museum. Courtesy of PATRICK KOVARIK/AFP/Getty Images.

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.

An art piece is pictured on November 2, 2016 at the Erotic Museum of Paris prior to the auction sale of the collection on November 6 and the closure of the museum. Courtesy of PATRICK KOVARIK/AFP/Getty Images.

An art piece is pictured on November 2, 2016 at the Erotic Museum of Paris prior to the auction sale of the collection on November 6 and the closure of the museum. Courtesy of PATRICK KOVARIK/AFP/Getty Images.

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).

Pre-Colombien erotic sculptures are pictured at the Erotic Museum of Paris. Courtesy of PATRICK KOVARIK/AFP/Getty Images.

Pre-Colombien erotic sculptures are pictured at the Erotic Museum of Paris. Courtesy of PATRICK KOVARIK/AFP/Getty Images.

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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