Christie's charge a premium to the buyer on the final bid price of each lot sold at the following rates: 23.8% of the final bid price of each lot sold up to and including €150,000 and 14.28% of any amount in excess of €150,000. Buyers' premium is calculated on the basis of each lot individually.
ONCE UPON A TIME THERE LIVED A PRINCESS...
NIKI DE SAINT PHALLE (1930-2002)
My first step into her fairy tale world was in 1979 while I was working on a book and exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam called 'Fantastic Architecture'. After I got her telephone number from Mathey, the director of le Musée d'Art Décorative in Paris, I phoned her and told her that I would like to take some photographs of her architectural projects. She told me to go to Leplan de la Tour where she had made some architectural sculptures. When I was at the gate and rang noone was there, so I had to climb over a huge wall and jumped down into the garden. When I looked up I was spellbound. I had the feeling that a lovely strange witch had transformed her lovers and friends into strange wonderful dreamhouses and only at midnight they would come alive. When I wrote her this she asked me to come and see her in 'Le Cheval Blanc ' at Soissy sur Ecole. It took me some time as I was not sure that I wanted to be transformed into a fairytale house, but her spell had captured me and when I came to see her I was together with the eccentric English poet Edward James. When we entered 'Le Cheval Blanc' she had arranged a private concert for me with the blind Indian musician Ram Na Ra Jam. This together with Indian spices and perfume. She really bewitched me but not only me also Edward James fell madly in love with her and expressed this by buying her the next day a dream hat at Dior(..) My period with Niki was one of ever changing decors. Sometimes I had the feeling living with snowwhite surrounded by a lot of dwarfs, mostly Swiss, or she was Guinevere with Jean as King Arthur, Edward James as Merlin and me.., well you can guess. I know for sure that I was living with a dream witch who, as she often said herself, would have been burned at the stake in those dark middle ages. In the years I lived with her I was partly her flying Dutchman, but also her assistent, while Jean Tinguely, who became a very dear friend, taught me how to weld (..) In 1982 in St. Moritz where she had rented the house Villa Berna I welded for her 'La Grande Tête', 'The Hand', 'The Big Bird' and 'The Black and White Man'. Since she wanted to give me a present she asked me which one I would like to have and I chose the 'Black and White Man'. At first she wanted to paint it like the 'Grand Tête', but in the end she liked the way it was as it represented the Yin and Yang as the dark and light forces in man. There was also the perfume; a wonderful period for me as Niki didn't like to travel too much, so I was hopping up and down in the most exciting airplane of this time: the Concorde between Paris and New York, with the examples for the bottles and boxes. The perfume was for her a blessing, but also a nightmare as she sometimes felt like selling her soul to the commerce, but also realizing that it could partly pay for her tarotgarden in Italy and it was more than once that I had to rescue the designs thrown by her in despair all around. I also persuaded her to join the Peter Stuyvesant airplane as she was completely against smoking. So I said do it, if you can paint under the plane a non smoking sign, which she did. Half of the money she gave to handicapped children. Having been together for more than 3 years she needed another fairy tale. For me it has been a wonderful period where she and Jean Tinguely taught me not to be afraid, to live and express one's feelings, fantasies and dreams. They will live on forever as a colourful dream and reality in my mind. One should ask why I am selling this beautiful love story collection: it is to pay for the education of my two daughters and a project for some street children in Brazil.
Edward James wrote once to me a letter in which only was written:
'Help Help nobody writes love letters anymore', well this collection shows how wonderful it is to write love letters.
Mike Schuijt, 2004