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Culture

Picasso's Vollard Suite fetches 1.9 million euros at Paris auction

media Some of the etchings from Picasso's Vollard Suite Public domain/Intermedichbo

A complete set of Pablo Picasso's Vollard Suite was sold for 1.9 million euros at auction in Paris this weekend. Meanwhile in Hong Kong, Claude Monet's glasses sold for 51,457 dollars (43,130 euros) as part of a sale of the painter's possessions that raised a total of 11 million dollars (nine million euros).

The Vollard suite of 100 prints, which Picasso etched in the 1930s, is among the 20th-century artistic giant's best-known works.

He agreed to create it for art dealer Ambrose Vollard in exchange for two paintings, one by Paul Cézanne, the other by Auguste Renoir.

About 310 complete sets were printed at the time.

London's British Museum bought a set in 2011 for one million pounds (1.1 million euros).

The National Gallery in Washington, the Museum of Modern Art in New York and Paris's Picasso museum also have complete sets.

The set sold at the weekend went to an American collector.

The sale was part of an auction of prints from the stock of dealer Henri Petiet at Paris's Opéra Comique.

A total of 622 lots raised 3,320,000 euros, the auction-house Ader Nordmann announced in a statement.

Selling at 43,750 euros, a Renoir lithograph Le Chapeau Epinglé (The Hat Pins) fetched twice its estimated price, as did Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec's Le Jockey (The Jockey), which went for 40,000 euros.

Monet's possessions sold in Hong Kong

There was an even greater difference between the estimated value for Claude Monet's glasses and the price they fetched at a sale of the impressionist painter's personal effects in Hong Kong this weekend.

An unnamed Asian buyer paid 51,457 dollars (43,130 euros) for them, while auctioneers Christie's set an estimated price of between 1,000 and 1,500 dollars (838-1,260 euros).

The whole collection, which included Japanese woodblock prints Monet had collected as well as paintings and drawings by the artist himself, raised 10.99 million dollars (9.2 million euros) and 75 percent of it went to Asian buyers.

Zola's photographs and equipment to be sold in Paris

If you're desperate to snap up some French 19th-century cultural artefacts, don't despair!

Novelist Emile Zola was also a keen amateur photographer and original plates and prints of his work will be up for auction Artcurial in Paris on 4 December.

Zola took up photography in 1894, when he was 54, and took about 7,000 pictures between then and his death in 1902.

Nearly all the 2,000 plates that survive will be up for sale as one lot - estimated price 40,000-60,000 euros.

They come from the collection of his grandson, François Emile-Zola.

His favourite subject was his nearest and dearest, particularly his mistress Jeanne and the son she bore, Jacques.

But he also photographed turn-of-the-century Paris, including the 1900 World's Fair, which took place in the French capital, and the construction of the Eiffel Tower, which was built for the fair but has stayed on.

Several of Zola's cameras will also be up for grabs.

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