Picasso's $66,000 plates could see collectors clear up in Paris

A sale by French auction house Blanchet & Associés next month entitled 'Pablo Picasso and his Friends' will see the famous Cubist joined by many of his contemporaries.

It will feature paintings, sculptures, sketches and photography by such luminaries as Alberto Giacometti, Gertrude Stein and Marc Chagall.

However the attention will, of course, be focused on Picasso himself and the three top lots of the sale are exclusively his. But not necessarily in the mediums you expect.

Two of the highest-valued items are a pair of painted ceramic plates, both dating from 1956. The first of the plates is entitled "Paul toreador costume, 1956".

It features a depiction of a young boy dressed as a toreador and is dated 09/28/1956 to the right of the design. The plate is colourful and unique, and has an estimated value of $40,000 - $66,000 (US).

'Paloma to the doll' and 'Paul toreador costume',
both painted in 1956

The second plate is entitled "Paloma to the doll, 1956" and is equally charming, featuring a painting of a young girl holding a small doll. It was apparently painted a day earlier, with a date of 09/27/1956, and although the plate has seen a small restoration it has a pre-sale price of $26,000 - $53,000.

The most expensive lot of the sale is a Picasso sketch in ink and felt pen, entitled 'Female nude male gaze 1972' with an estimated price of $80,000 - $106,000.

'Female nude male gaze 1972' is valued at
$80,000 - $106,000

Drawn just a year before his death, it depicts a vivid abstract nude beneath the gaze of a many-eyed admirer. It measures 32cm x 50cm, and features the date and inscription "Picasso 10/25/1972 teddy bear".

The sale will take place on Thursday December 9 and should prove particularly popular with entry-level collectors and investors, as it features many smaller Picasso sketches with prices from $800 - $1,500.

Owning a Picasso can seem like an abstract concept in itself for many people, something completely out of reach, but his smaller works and sketches can often be quite affordable. 

Auctions like this prove that the world of art collecting isn't just for millionaires, and that it's definitely possible to start your own collection with a mini-masterpiece or two on the wall. 


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