Basel auction house prepares for first sale after being acquired by Artcurial


The Basel-based auction house Artcurial Beurret Bailly Widmer is hosting a huge 375-lot sale following Art Basel, testing the market for the first time since it was acquired by the French auction firm Artcurial earlier this year. “It’s our first official auction together,” an Artcurial spokesperson says.

The sale, which includes works by Howard Hodgkin (Egypt, 1993-96; est SFr500,000-SFr700,000) and Henri Matisse (Vase de Fleurs, 1945; est SFr40,000-SFr60,000), is due to take place on 21 June. A selection of works from the estate of Florence and Antoine Poncet, including several works by the 19th-century French painter Maurice Denis (La première têtée ou La chambre violette, 1906; est SFr150,000-SFr200,000), will also go under the hammer.

Artcurial acquired an undisclosed stake in Beurret Bailly Widmer, which was founded in 2011 by Nicolas Beurret and Emmanuel Bailley, with Markus Schöb, of Galerie Widmer, later joining the firm in 2018. Specialising in Modern and contemporary art, the Swiss auction house has locations in Basel, Zürich and St Gallen.

“It’s a very busy week for the art world but collectors can walk over from the fair [to see works],” Beurret says, adding that joining forces with Artcurial means “we can expand globally; Chinese and US collectors bid for our works.” On a regional level, he also hopes to open an office in the French-speaking part of Switzerland.

In the auction catalogue, Nicolas Orlowski, the chief executive of Artcurial, writes that the three founders “will pursue this [new] adventure with Artcurial in order to develop Artcurial Beurret Bailly Widmer’s position in this part of Europe”. Meanwhile, “several development projects” are said to be planned for the next two years.

Artcurial has sale locations in Paris, Monaco and Marrakech, and also owns John Taylor, which specialises in luxury real estate, and Arqana, focused on the sales of horses.


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