This is the largest auction ever recorded in Morocco and Africa (excluding South Africa). For the French artist, it is the highest price ever achieved in the world since 2008, Artcurial said in a press release.
Artcurial Morocco’s sales totaled MAD 41 million (3.8 million euros), including costs, the press release added.
Collectors and lovers of Moroccan art were thus able to enjoy two specialties, one dedicated to Majorelle and its contemporaries, with 71 lots, including Etienne Dinet’s masterpiece “Le fils d’un Saint M’rabeth”, and the other dedicated to “Made in Morocco”, with 188 lots, the results of which were respectively MAD 29.3 million (2.7 million euros) and MAD 11.6 million (1 million euros).
Majorelle’s 4 paintings were awarded well above their initial estimate, as was the oil “Les Allamattes”, estimated at MAD 1.65-2.2 million, and sold for MAD 3.8 million.
The session “Made in Morocco”, dedicated to Moroccan decorative arts and modern art have honored the artists Mohamed Melehi, as well as Chaïbia and Hassan El Glaoui, the latter having won the highest bid with “La sortie du roi”, an oil sold 715,000 Dirhams (nearly 66,400 euros).
Chaïbia’s bid was set at 676,000 Dirhams (62,868 euros) with his painting “Un cycliste”, while Mohamed Melehi’s work “Flamme bleue” was sold for 650,000 Dirhams (60,450 euros).
The international customers were extremely active throughout the “Made in Morocco” session, particularly for jewelry, textiles and furniture. An amber necklace composed of 4 rows of amber pearls and weighing 1.6 kg (lot 108) was sold for 520,000 Dirhams (48,000 euros), while “Le voile de bain de mariée” from the 19th century multiplied by 12 its estimate, reaching 234,000 Dirhams (21,000 euros).
A large two-leaf door (Fez, 18th century) was sold for 260,000 Dirhams (24,180 euros), prices comparable to those obtained four years ago for the sale of the Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint-Laurent collection, Artcurial was delighted to announce.
After successfully developing a large number of experiments, presentations and duplex auctions in Morocco year after year since 2011, Artcurial opened a subsidiary in Morocco in November 2019, where it intends to develop its sales of orientalist paintings and contemporary African art, two important specialties of the house, with direct links to the African continent.
Artcurial Morocco will organize three auction sessions in 2020. One will take place at the beginning of June in Casablanca, and will be devoted to modern and contemporary Moroccan and international paintings, as well as contemporary African art. The other two sessions will take place in the autumn and at the end of December at the Mamounia in Marrakech.