Notebook 2 – Public auctions (translation from the French by Carla Briner)

1- Rembrandt Bugatti collectors and public auctions

Part of the former Ettore Bugatti collection was sold at public auction by his family at a sale dedicated to Art Nouveau and Art Deco and presided by the auctioneers Guy Loudmer and Hervé Poulain on the 16th May 1979 in Paris. Lots included drawings, sketches, furniture, objets d'art, paintings, sculpture, plasters, documents and photographs by Carlo and Rembrandt Bugatti. It was the first public sale in the world to present a collection of this kind.

In 1979, collectors of Rembrandt Bugatti were extremely rare yet extraordinarily passionate. Then as now, they have shown infinite patience, unshakeable confidence and a ferocious will to succeed, not to mention the audacity and impertinence necessary to support the work of an animalier artist who had been forgotten for over forty years. Jacques Chalom des Cordes initiated this movement in 1967, when he presented a collection Rembrandt Bugatti bronzes at the art gallery owned by his father Samy Chalom. The Bugatti family collection was featured as part of the exhibition.

During a good part of the twentieth century, cultural and institutional circles were dominated by analysis of human forms, mental and conceptual construction, and by surrealist, abstract, conceptual, minimal transavantgarde and post-Modern art, before arriving at the Immaterialists. This state of confidence and the subsequent lack of interest aroused by the work of this animalier sculptor, meant that Bugatti was not listed as part of any particular movement and did not appear in any encyclopaedia.

The first French museum to incorporate Bugatti's plaster models into its collections was the Musée d'art moderne in Strasbourg in 1975, following a donation by Ébé Bugatti. In England, Mary Harvey would publish the first book on the work of Rembrandt Bugatti in 1979: The Bronzes of Rembrandt Bugatti, an illustrated catalogue and biography. As the author acknowledges, this book was put together with the help of the Antwerp Zoo archives and its director Walter Van den Bergh as well as Ébé Bugatti, Jacques Chalom des Cordes and John. R. Kaiser from Pennsylvania State University Libraries.

Public auctions would be a chance for certain collectors and art dealers to assert and indeed intensively encourage their concerted efforts to see Rembrandt Bugatti's bronzes (A.-A. Hébrard original editions) and Carlo Bugatti's furniture reunited as collections. Alain Lesieutre was one of the most committed of these collectors. Part of his Carlo Bugatti collection was exhibited at the Musée d'Orsay in 2001 and his collection of Rembrandt Bugatti bronzes was presented at the Galerie Univers du Bronze in Paris.

2 – Public auctions between 1990 and 2017

Between 1990 and 2017, public auctions in London, New York and Paris established Rembrandt Bugatti in the public's collective memory. These auctions featured part of the prestigious Alain Delon collection, the Florio Paladino collection (Palermo), the Michel Kellermann collection, the Alain and Ginette Lesieutre collection, the Joseph Tanenbaum collection (Toronto), the Cécile Singer collection, the Genesee Musuem collection and the Joel Schur collection (New York), the collection of an Europeen (New York, Christie's, Impressionist Department).

The Alain Delon collections (“Les Bugatti d'Alain Delon”) 1988-2016

In 1988, the Rembrandt Bugatti sculptures owned by Alain Delon were the subject of a book published by the French publisher Éditions de l'Amateur. This collection was sold at auction by Sotheby's of London in 1990 and presented in the auction catalogue under the title: “39 Sculptures by Rembrandt Bugatti. The Property of Alain Delon”. This was the largest collection of Bugatti sculptures in the world to be sold at public auction. The collection was comprised of A.-A. Hébrard original editions in bronze, marble and plaster: Lion et Lionne dévorant, Deux panthères marchant, Couple de panthères marchant, Deux jaguars, Lion et Lionne de Nubie, Deux petits léopards, Grand tigre royal, Deux loups d'Egypte, Éléphant de l'Inde au feuillage, Éléphant d'Asie en marche, Trois casoars, Rapace serpentaire, Petit pélican au repos, Cerf chinois et ses quatre biches, Cerf suivi par deux biches et un faon, Chien et deux chiots entre ses pattes. Most of the A.-A. Hébrard original edition bronzes were acquired by two private collectors. Alain Delon bought back the plaster Lionceau et lévrier, Lionne couchée baillant, the small Jaguar accroupi and the marble Lion couché. Since then a new collection has been established and “Les Bugatti d'Alain Delon” live on.

The 22 of November 2016 Christie's Paris will present twelve bronzes from the Alain Delon Collection-

The Joël Schur collection

In 2010, another prestigious collection went under the hammer at Sotheby's of New York: the Joël Schur Bugatti collection (A.-A. Hébrard original editions). This collection was put together over a ten-year period, with the majority of pieces being acquired from the Sladmore Gallery. Auctions were conducted by the Sotheby's department of Impressionist and Modern Art in May and November 2010.

An European collection, New York 2017= Christie's

Impressionist and Modern Art Department

3 – Donation of the J.M. Desbordes collection

In 1980, Jean-Marie Desbordes inherited the collections of his godmother, Ébé Bugatti. Iris and Jean-Marie Desbordes, both teachers, had devoted their lives to the education of children. Thanks to their extreme generosity, Rembrandt Bugatti's works were given to the Réunion des musées nationaux or RMN (the public institution in charge of France's thirty-four national museums). Their donation, the only one of its kind in the world, would not have been possible without Anne Pingeot, curator of the department of sculpture at the Musée d'Orsay, whose help was invaluable. As the collection had been kept for years in a damp cellar, the plasters were subject to extensive restoration and reconstruction. Some were then given to modern art museums or those with collections of animalier art. The Musée d'Orsay retained approximately thirty plasters for display in a new gallery dedicated to Rembrandt Bugatti and François Pompon planned for 2013.





  L 'édition A.A.Hébrard et les multiples

The Sladmore Gallery

La collection Ettore Bugatti

La collection Hébrard

La collection Alain Delon

Les pièces uniques

  Traduction en anglais/english chapitre 1=

  Qui sont les "pères"de Rembrandt Bugatti?

Les musées exposent

Rembrandt Bugatti

    Bugatti et Pompon


  "The Art of Bugatti"

  Bugatti et le Nu

  2014: BERLIN

Where to buy the english

or the french editions?

  2016: nouveaux livres

  en anglais et en français

Rembrandt Bugatti


  Visit the page

Partagez / Share

  1h / AUDIO 1999

  The Cleveland Museum

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