Monday, 22 October 2007

Picasso's Communist Party Membership Card for auction

It is not every day that 100 unknown Picassos go on sale. Just off the Champs Elysées in Paris today, there will be an auction of drawings, doodles and scribbles.

There are florid notes, scratched in Pablo Picasso's handwriting on scraps of paper with hurried messages like "I'm in the restaurant" – with an estimated price of €1,500 (£1,045).

There are five, signed copies of Picasso's Communist Party membership card from the mid 1960s – with estimated auction prices of €500. I predict that these will make MUCH more!

There are also previously unseen sketches and cut-outs by the Spanish artist, some beautifully child-like, others in his familiar Cubist style. All were collected over a period of 33 years by a relatively unknown but very important woman in Picasso's life. The woman, Inès Sassier, was never Picasso's lover or mistress or wife. She was, variously, for more than three decades, his friend, adviser, house-keeper, cook, nanny, model and confidante.

The collection has been put up for sale today at Artcurial, in the Rond Point des Champs Elysées,

The 150 drawings, photographs, mementoes, and a handful of signed lithographs, are expected to fetch up to €444,000 and possibly far more.

Mme Sassier kept many items that others might have thrown away. The auction includes elaborate notes bearing messages like "Je serais ici à 7 heures" (I'll be back at 7). There is also an envelope addressed to Inès at the Rue des Grands Augustin in 1957 containing Picasso's signature.

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