Carla Bruni 'racey' photograph sells for £8k
Sold alongside a £361k Allen Jones lingerie advert, Bruni starred in a London art sale
A collection of erotic photography and artworks made a big impression at Phillip's de Pury & Co's March 19 sale, last Friday.
Promising to 'advance the conversation of contemporary art, sexuality and the interplay between them,' works in the sale featured the likes of Helena Christensen and France's First Lady Carla Bruni.
Many of the images - 'challenging our concepts of desirability, gender and the way we consume sexual imagery' - are too explicit to show here.
However, emerging as the sale's highest lot was a highly-sophisticated piece of advertising by Allen Jones, executed in the mid-1960s.
Soft Thread, 1966-67 was painted upon Jones' return to London from America and depicts a clever life-sized fragment of the female anatomy: a gartered leg in an impossibly high stiletto.
According the Phillip's de Pury & Co's experts, "the illusionistic modelling of the anatomy, together with the detailed rendering of the sensual curves and folds of the skin, adds to the sexual charge of the image by concentrating attention on both its tactility and fetishistic associations."
The image's tactility and fetishistic associations obviously appealed to bidders. The historic artwork sold for well above its £60,000-80,000 estimate, realising £361,250.
Elsewhere, an image from 1992 by Helmut Newton sold with an estimate of £3,000-5,000 after generating much interest from the press.
Featuring Carla Bruni, France's First Lady - and also the wife of a noted stamp collector - the piece entitled Carla Bruni with Family Photos brought £6,875.
The image was signed, titled, dated and numbered 1/10 in pencil.
The sale also featured sketches by Pablo Picasso - another artist unafraid to employ muses, and look to love and sex for inspiration...
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Image: Phillips de Pury