16 déc. 2007

Auction marks 2008 : Paul Chaland's automatized Theater of Venice

An extraordinary masterpiece shall be presented in a judiciar auction sale in Carcassonne on Tuesday, January 8, by the ministries of Jean dit Cazaux and Sahuquet, in the presence of the Aude department auctioneer, J. Deleau.

Very well presented in two videos by Interencheres, it is a scenery of mechanical automata named "Theater of Venice" of large size (19 x 6 x 4.20 meters) from the collection of Paul Chaland, with the voice of Marcello Mastroianni among others. Collector of Xmas cribs (crèches) and dioramas, Paul Chaland was also the producer of this Theater of Venice. One of the videos referred above indicates the names, to be noted, of the major artists of that work: Giorgio Spiller, Guerrino Lovato, Giovanni Traversari. Several Chaland productions got the honors to be presented and operated on Paris City Hall place; this one, the manufacturing of which lasted 18 months, dates from 1993.

In the same sale are included 200 Xmas cribs and some dioramas, consisting in one-third of the total collection, and 6 sets of the same quality as the Theater of Venice would still be owned by Mr. Chaland, so we anticipate other exciting auctions in the future.

Automata were not stopped (it's a pun) with the outstanding productions of the later 19th century manufacturers Vichy, Roullet-Decamps, Lambert, Phalibois.
On November 18, Artcurial-Deauville launched the fashion of auctioning automata of the years 1980/1990, with the P. collection which included unique pieces created especially for collectors, some of them in imitation of the old models. This is a new category of art and crafts of the end of the last century that come gradually in sales, and that deserves full recognition.

In this category, the quality of the workmanship will be undoubtedly the dominant element in the price.

In the past some full wooden horse roundabouts achieved bids or six digits in Euros, but I think this is the first time that a lot such as the Theater of Venice is presented at auction in France.

(UNSOLD, no bidder at 60 K €; in a few years we will look with dismay why nobody wanted it at this price. Thanks to Elisabeth Studer to have undergone investigation of this result. For more information, read her story and her comments in LeBlogLuxe).

Pierre Tavlitzki, ArtHitParade