Helene Rochas' art collection to auction at Christie's in September

The art and furniture collection of Helene Rochas is coming to auction at Christie's in Paris later in the year, with Balthus' Japanese Woman with Red Table set to star.

The September 27 sale will display the late Parisian socialite's renowned taste, with the collection expected to achieve in the region of €8m.

Balthus Japanese woman
Balthus’ Japanese Woman with Red Table has a €5m estimate

Modern and post-war era paintings are among the highlights, but there will also be opportunities for buyers of old master and 19th century works, in addition to European objets d'art and furniture.

"The embodiment of Parisian elegance and perfection; her refined taste was bold and sober, and epitomised French style at its best," says the auction house.

"Helene Rochas' social life knew no boundaries, allowing her collection to reflect the rich and varied international milieu where she shined so naturally."

Rochas, who died last year aged 84, took control of her husband's eponymous fashion house following his death in 1955, transforming it into a major fragrance brand.

Japanese Woman with Red Table is the undoubted highlight of the auction. The 144 by 192 cm painting, produced by the Polish-French artist between 1967-76, will appear at the sale with a €3m-5m valuation.

It depicts his second wife Setsuko Ideta, whom he married in the year he undertook the work.

Francois de Ricqles, president of Christie's France, comments: "This unique ensemble comprises the exceptional works of art and 'souvenirs' of a true lady, whose benevolence and extraordinary taste was admired by all."

Braunes Schweigen, a 1925 work by Kandinsky which hung in Rochas' living room, will come to the auction with a €2m high estimate, while four specially commissioned Andy Warhol portraits of Rochas from 1974 have high valuations of €300,000.


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