by Lauren Stewart-Ebert
Last week's auction of Japanese designer Kenzo Takada's personal collection of art and artifacts at the Paris Drouot auction house was a resounding success. The auction netted a total of $2.63 million, selling over 75% of the pieces on the block. The wide range of prices (from $850 to $150,000) kept the auction accessible and the diversity of his eclectic collection attracted huge crowds of buyers from all over the world.
Amongst his stunning assemblage was furniture, statuary, and laquerware from around the globe including China, Japan, France and Belgium.
Living in Paris since the early 1960's, the retired fashion icon developed a keen sense of style. His home was a tasteful mix of Asian and European elements.
A French Louis XV armchair sits next to a Japanese rice paper sliding door.
Bamboo flooring and neutral colors reminiscent of a Zen garden are complimented perfectly by a pair of French Louis XVI meridiennes and Italian Chiavari chairs.
A beautiful eighth century pure gold goddess statue from Thailand drew the highest bids. Originally estimated at $80,000 to $100,000, it sold for $150,000.
Kenzo's reason for offering up his remarkable collection at auction was a desire to simplify, "After 20 years in this house, I wanted to turn the page and live lighter. For parties, it was great, but sometimes when I’m here alone, it’s far too big".
He is moving from his spacious 12,000 square foot mansion in the Bastille area of Paris to a 2,700 square foot apartment on the Left Bank.
Chinese funereal statues from 5th century BC, valued at $20,000 to $60,000.
Chinese horse statues from the 6th century, valued at $14,000 each.
One piece which, surprisingly, did not sell was a large Chinese Han era wooden horse from the 2nd century B.C., estimated at $100,000 to $140,000.
Kenzo has said his new apartment, in the Saint-Germain-des-Pres neighborhood, will have a markedly European feel. The influence of living in France for the past 45 years is significant, "I discovered Japan only after I had moved to Paris. Now I'm going to rediscover Paris."
We have no doubts that the mix will be nothing short of a masterpiece...