A collection of Art first: the Miller estate auction

A mythically expected auction

It's over two days, on 15 and 16 December, that will be the highly anticipated collection of Madeleine Meunier sale at the Hotel Drouot, a sale organized by the Millon study, in collaboration with Christie's. Madeleine Meunier being deceased in 2009, the sale of his collection was expected as an event. Assumptions about the content of his estate took on mythical proportions in recent years. Indeed, Ms. Miller was married to two great personalities of African and Oceanian art: Aristide Courtois and Charles Ratton. Everyone who played a major role in the discovery of the Arts first, courteous in Africa and Ratton in Paris.

Charles Ratton, one of the most important customers of Aristide Courtois

A few years later Madeleine Courtois separates Aristide Courtois and wife Charles Ratton. He had been a customer of her first husband. Purchases of Ratton from 1938 to 1943 books mention approximately 200 transactions with courteous, whose famous Kwele mask with six eyes said "Mask Lapicque" today preserved in the collections of the Museum of the quay Branly-Jacques Chirac. Charles Ratton (1897-1986) has marked the history of African art by his expert skills, collector and dealer. He played a fundamental role in the advent of the objects of Art first to the rank of works of art. His sensitivity and his erudition, forged through its activity of dealer "High time" (middle ages and Renaissance), led Charles Ratton interested to the arts of Africa, then to ancient artifacts from Oceania and America.

Two masterpieces art of the sale have a film pedigree

Ratton was also the artistic Adviser of the famous film "Les Statues Meurent also", directed by Chris Marker and Alain Resnais in 1953. Two pieces in the sale (37 lot and lot 40) appear in this film. The location of these two masterpieces remained a secret over the past fifty years, what made that increase the mystification around these parts.

We will be in this prestige vacation a beautiful wooden Fang statue and copper base by Inagaki (Lot 37 – estimate: 300 000 / €500,000).  An exceptional Luba Shankadi headrest wooden, visible in the film for which Ratton contributed, will also be presented at auction (Lot 40 – estimate: 500 000 / €800 000). This masterpiece can be attributed to the most famous African sculptor of the pre-colonial era: "the master of hair cascade", active at the end of the 19th century in Democratic Republic of Congo. Other rests of this artist can be found in major museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art (#1981.399), the British Museum (#AF46.481) and the Ethnological Museum of Berlin (III. C.19987).

A reliquary made concave-faced figure for sale ranks among the rarest

Some pieces of high quality also comes from the old collection, this time, to friendly Aristide.

Thus, we find this elegant and exceptional (lot 35) Kota reliquary figure. Estimated between 40 000 and 60 €000, the face of the reliquary is adorned to the upper register of horizontal slats, the bottom is pressed a sheet of brass adorned with a sketch of mouth dotted. On the reverse is sculpted in relief a losange and grid pattern. The patina of the metal shows that the plates and strips are as welded between them by the time and use.

Collectors and lovers of African and Oceanian art so will soon have the opportunity to acquire these treasures held by Madeleine Meunier for nearly half a century. This collection is testimony to a bygone era, illustrating the refined taste of two historical characters from the world of the Arts first.

Thursday, December 15 at 6:30 and Friday 16 December at 2 pm at the Drouot Hotel: