Christie’s evening auction of Masterpieces Formerly in The Collection of Monsieur and Madame Riahi realised £19,842,600/ $31,887,058/ € 23,022,285. The sale was 95% sold by value. The top price was paid for a magnificent ormolu-mounted Japanese lacquer secretaire-à-abattant, circa 1755 by Bernard II van Risen Burgh (BVRB) - which is believed to have been in the collection of Mme de Pompadour, Royal Mistress to King Louis XV of France - it sold for £3,177,250/ $5,105,841/ €3,911,195 setting a world record price for a work by BVRB at auction.
Jussi Pylkkanen, President of Christie’s EMERI and auctioneer for the sale: “Christie’s has always believed that decorative arts are the DNA of the art market, and we reiterated this belief in 2008 by pioneering the innovative platform of ‘The Exceptional Sale’. Once again we have convened both new and established clients with exceptional works of art which will now go on to inspire the next generation of collectors.”
Charles Cator, Chairman, Furniture & Decorative Arts Department, Christie’s International: The response to this collection further highlights exciting developments in the vibrant market for European decorative arts which, since Christie’s introduction of The Exceptional Sale format in 2008, has continued to attract a new global following. The best works draw out old and new buyers and, as well as traditional American and European collectors, this sale welcomed bidders who are new to this field, with works bought by clients from growth markets including Russia, the Middle East and South America. The significance of this museum quality collection was complimented by Christie’s in-depth research, which revealed important new discoveries, and our world class presentation via the catalogue, international tour and pre-sale exhibition. The result pays tribute to Djahanguir Riahi, a passionate connoisseur who assembled this extraordinary collection over 50 years. The Riahi collection will always hold a legendary position among the greatest collections of French furniture sold by Christie’s, including the Givenchy, Lagerfeld, Ojjeh, Rothschild, Wildenstein and Champalimaud collections.”