PARIS — Karl Lagerfeld, the charismatic designer who died in 2019 and was as much a pop culture figure as a fashion superstar, would have been amused by what has been going on at Sotheby’s in Monaco and Paris this month.
“Karl felt that objects are there to serve, and people shouldn’t be enslaved by them,” said Pierre Mothes, vice president of Sotheby’s France.
“He never wanted to be shut in a mausoleum, like a pharaoh. Twenty years ago, he told me: ‘I don’t want to be the conservator of my own collection.’”
But a series of three auctions of 1,200 lots from that collection, assembled from Mr. Lagerfeld’s five residences in and around Paris and in Monaco, has demonstrated that his fans have no such qualms.
“Karl’s taste and his photographic eye inspired affection and positive feelings for a lot of people, which makes them want to own part of his personal universe,” said Mr. Mothes, who is also the sale’s curator and head auctioneer, likening the sales to “a luxurious yet streamlined photograph of Mr. Lagerfeld’s universe at the end of his life.”
Earlier this month, 1,400 bidders registered for the first sale: 582 lots including sketches, memorabilia and personal objects, as well as Art Deco furniture and contemporary works by artists such as Takashi Murakami, Joana Vasconcelos and Jeff Koons. Plus, a Rolls-Royce Phantom.
Originally estimated at two to three million euros ($2.3 million — $3.4 million), the auction closed at €12 million ($13.3 million). At one point, a set of five pairs of Chanel fingerless leather gloves reached a hammer price of €48,260 ($54,680).
“Those are really
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