Two Record-Shattering Sales At Karl Lagerfeld’s Estate Auction


karl lagerfeld
Image: Chanel

Sotheby’s in Paris sold €6.2 million worth of possessions from the late Karl Lagerfeld. And two world records were set for a Chanel handbag and an artwork of Martin Szekely. Digital bidding was open on December 6 through Thursday (December 9), and live auctions took place on Tuesday and Wednesday (December 14 and 15) in Paris.

This comes as the second part in a series of three-part sales — taking place in the late designer’s three places of residence: Monaco, Paris, and Cologne. Possessions of Lagerfeld being sold include art, furniture, sketches and clothing.

The record-breaking handbag was a black Chanel crocodile tote bag from 2010 that the designer had carried daily fetched €94,500 and the Szekely artwork, “Miroir Soleil Noir” from 2007 sold for €375,500.

karl lagerfeld chanel crocodile tote
Image: Sotheby’s

The highest bid for a piece of Lagerfeld’s own artwork was a portrait of de Bascher, called “Return From the Valley of Emeralds,” which sold for €163,800, versus an estimate of €400 to €600. A watercolour artwork, featuring de Bascher and Anna Wintour at the Louvre, from 1985 took in €50,400.

Among his clothing, a Dior black wool jacket from 2008 took home €35,280, and a sequined Saint Laurent jacket from 2015 sold for €5,292.

Overall, almost 1,500 bidders from more than 60 countries took part in the Lagerfeld estate auctions. Altogether, the sale of almost 1,000 lots has brought in €18.2 million, four times the high estimate of €4.6 million.

marc newson ladder karl lagerfeld
Image: Sotheby’s

“Act two of the Karl sale has kept its promises, following the historic success of the inaugural Monaco sale,” said Pierre Mothes, vice president of Sotheby’s France, in a statement on Thursday night. “Collectors from the world over, snapping up Karl Lagerfeld’s objects and designs, have consecrated his status as a fashion icon. The ‘Kaiser’ would surely have been moved by this immense public success.”

karl lagerfeld print
Image: Sotheby’s

Lagerfeld, who died in 2019, revolutionised the brands he worked with, namely Fendi and Chanel, as well as running his own label, Karl. Most lots jumped ahead of their estimates via advance bids made online; and collectors in the room, on the phone, and online attempted to out-bid each other for pieces that represented the designer’s instantly recognisable aesthetic.

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