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Monet: Rare objects and artefacts to be sold at auction

07th September 2017

A variety of previously unknown objects and artefacts from the personal collection of French Impressionist Claude Monet are to be sold to art enthusiasts at auction, it has been reported. 

In the past, these items were unknown to the public as they have remained within the artist’s family. The selection of objects include works of art by the artist himself and his companions Édouard Manet, Auguste Rodin and Paul Signac. In addition to this, Japanese prints that are believed to have inspired Monet, photographs, spectacles and a garden pot, will also be sold. 

Most recently the items were owned by Monet’s son Michel, but after he passed away in 1966, they were left to France’s Académie des Beaux-Arts and its Marmottan Museum.

The mystery behind the revelation of the items is that Michel also had a daughter - Rolande Verneiges - that he did not formally recognise. Unknown to the world, while he was alive, he gifted various items to his daughter, the same items that have been rediscovered and will now be sold at auction. 

According to the Guardian, co-chair of Christie’s impressionist and modern art department, Adrien Meyer, said that the collection “remained with the family of Claude Monet right until this day. It encapsulates the magic of the man, not only the artist but the collector he was.”

In 2008, Michel’s daughter passed away and three years ago Mr Meyer was invited to the family to home to discover the Monet trove. The whereabouts of these items were previously a mystery to the art world. 

Mr Meyer said: “This is what we do our job for, to experience these unexpected encounters and stories.”

The collection of objects and artefacts includes paintings and drawings by Monet that art bodies weren’t aware existed because they were owned by Michel. It features an early example of Monet’s series of views of poplar trees, with the rest scattered in museums across the globe. 

Trois Arbres à Giverny (Peupliers) from 1887, is being sold with an estimate of $2m-$3m (£1.5m-£2.3m), claims the Guardian. 

Contrary to this, a pair of Monet’s spectacles are expected to sell for ($1,000-$1,500). The terracotta pot that has been spotted in a number of Monet’s paintings such The Artist’s Garden at Vétheuil (now on display at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC) is also up for auction with an estimate of $1,000-$2,000.

Mr Meyer said that Rolande Verneiges was “a very modest and discreet woman” and that it was an honour to showcase the rediscovered pieces at auction for the first time.

The auction will also include a watercolour by artist Rodin of Salome, with an estimate of $50,000-$80,000.

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