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Spectacular Art Auctions in France: Unveiling the Top Houses and Notable Lots

Art Auctions in France: The Top Houses and

Notable Lots

When it comes to the world of art auctions, France is home to some of the most prestigious houses in the industry. Artcurial and Christie’s Paris are two prominent names that have earned their reputation for hosting incredible sales and presenting impressive collections.

In this article, we will explore these auction houses, their notable lots, and the diverse range of artworks they offer. Artcurial: France’s Leading Auction House

Located in the heart of Paris, Artcurial has established itself as the top auction house in France.

With a rich history dating back to 2002, Artcurial has gained international recognition for its expertise in contemporary works of art. The auction house prides itself on curating exceptional sales that captivate art enthusiasts and collectors alike.

One of Artcurial’s standout features is its commitment to offering a wide range of artworks, ensuring there is something for everyone. From modern masterpieces to emerging talents, Artcurial embraces diversity and allows both seasoned and novice collectors to explore the world of contemporary art.

Notable Lots at Artcurial

Artcurial has seen impressive sales throughout the years, with some lots standing out for their significance and value. Notably, the auction house has showcased works by esteemed artists such as Pablo Picasso and Jean Prouve.

Verre et Pichet by Pablo Picasso is a remarkable piece that fetched a substantial sum at Artcurial’s auction. This rare and exquisite artwork showcases Picasso’s mastery of color and form, reflecting his distinctive style and artistic genius.

Another notable lot is Trapeze “Table Centrale” by Jean Prouve, an iconic design that seamlessly blends functionality and aesthetics. These remarkable pieces highlight the caliber of artworks that can be found at Artcurial.

Christie’s Paris: A Prestigious Auction House

Christie’s Paris is another powerhouse in the art auction world, known for its exceptional sales spanning various fields of art. Situated in the acclaimed art district of Paris, Christie’s has been a beacon of excellence since its establishment in 1766.

The auction house continues to represent a wide range of artworks and attract a global clientele.

Notable Lots at Christie’s Paris

With its reputable name, Christie’s Paris has presented numerous notable lots over the years. The auction house is renowned for showcasing African and Oceanic Art, offering collectors a chance to own rare and culturally significant artworks from different regions.

Additionally, European Ceramics have been a prominent feature in Christie’s sales, with exquisite pieces attracting collectors who appreciate the craftsmanship and beauty of these delicate objects. Impressionist and Modern Art are also highly sought after at Christie’s Paris.

Owning a painting by renowned artists such as Claude Monet or Pablo Picasso can be a dream come true for art enthusiasts. Christie’s Paris provides a platform for collectors to bid on these illustrious artworks, ensuring their preservation and appreciation for future generations.


Art auctions in France continue to capture the attention of collectors and art enthusiasts worldwide. Artcurial and Christie’s Paris stand as pillars of excellence in the industry, hosting sales that showcase extraordinary artworks from a variety of genres.

Whether it’s contemporary pieces at Artcurial or the diverse range of offerings at Christie’s Paris, these auction houses provide opportunities for collectors to own remarkable creations. As the art market evolves, these institutions will undoubtedly continue to play a pivotal role in shaping the landscape of the art auction world in France and beyond.

Sotheby’s Paris: A Global Auction House in the Heart of Art

In the realm of art auctions, Sotheby’s Paris holds a significant place as an international powerhouse. With its location in an elite art district, Sotheby’s Paris exemplifies the pinnacle of art and culture.

In this section, we will delve into the essence of Sotheby’s Paris, exploring its offices in France and the captivating exhibitions and cultural events they offer. Sotheby’s Paris: An International Auction House

As a part of the renowned Sotheby’s franchise, Sotheby’s Paris embodies the essence of a global auction house.

Established in 1744, Sotheby’s has built a formidable reputation over the centuries, cementing its position as a leader in the art auction industry. Sotheby’s Paris upholds the legacy of its parent company, offering a prestigious platform for collectors and art enthusiasts to engage with exceptional artworks.

Location and Prestige

Sotheby’s Paris is ideally situated in the heart of the prestigious art district of the French capital, further adding to its allure. The location not only attracts a discerning clientele, but it also serves as a cultural hub, with numerous galleries, museums, and institutions nearby.

Being in such esteemed surroundings ensures that Sotheby’s Paris is at the center of the ever-evolving art scene in France. Sotheby’s Offices in France

Sotheby’s Paris is just one expression of the auction house’s presence in France.

With offices in other major cities like Lyon and Marseille, Sotheby’s extends its reach to art enthusiasts throughout the country. These regional offices not only facilitate easier access to the auction house’s services but also host exciting exhibitions and events that bring the world of art closer to local communities.

Exhibitions and Cultural Events

Sotheby’s Paris does not merely confine itself to auctions; it goes beyond traditional sales and incorporates immersive exhibitions and cultural events. These endeavors aim to celebrate art in its various forms and engage audiences on a deeper level.

Visitors have the opportunity to view a wide array of artworks in an environment that fosters appreciation and understanding. Sotheby’s Paris often collaborates with galleries, artists, and cultural institutions to curate unique exhibitions that showcase the breadth and depth of artistic expression.

These exhibitions serve as a meeting ground for artists, critics, collectors, and enthusiasts, nurturing a rich dialogue around the artworks and the ideas they represent. In addition to exhibitions, Sotheby’s Paris hosts cultural events that provide an immersive experience for attendees.

These events could include artist talks, panel discussions, performances, or exclusive previews. By expanding beyond traditional sales, Sotheby’s Paris positions itself as a hub for artistic exploration and enrichment.

Bonhams Paris: An Auction House with Rich Heritage

While Artcurial, Christie’s Paris, and Sotheby’s Paris dominate the French auction scene, Bonhams Paris also contributes its distinguished heritage. Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the oldest privately-owned auction houses in the world.

Its Paris branch, located near the iconic Louvre museum, offers collectors a comprehensive range of artworks across 50 categories.

Location and Proximity to the Louvre

Bonhams Paris benefits from its strategic location near the remarkable Louvre museum, which attracts millions of visitors each year. The proximity to this cultural landmark provides collectors and art enthusiasts with an added incentive to explore the auction house.

The Louvre’s influence on the art world permeates the surrounding area, making Bonhams Paris an ideal destination for those seeking exceptional artworks.

Auction Categories and Expertise

Bonhams Paris boasts expertise in an extensive range of art categories, ensuring that collectors with diverse interests find something to suit their tastes. From paintings, sculptures, and drawings to furniture, jewelry, and watches, Bonhams Paris covers a broad spectrum of artistic disciplines.

The auction house’s commitment to diversity is further exemplified through their auctions featuring African, Indian, and Islamic art. Bonhams Paris recognizes the cultural significance and artistic merit of these genres, allowing collectors to delve into diverse artistic traditions and acquire exceptional pieces that tell stories of different cultures and periods.

Bonhams: A Privately-Owned Auction House

One of Bonhams’ distinguishing features is its status as a privately-owned auction house. This independence and autonomy have allowed Bonhams to maintain a unique approach to the art market and develop long-term relationships with collectors and sellers.

The privately-owned nature of Bonhams fosters a sense of intimacy and personalized service that resonates with both seasoned collectors and those new to the art auction world.


As we explore the diverse landscape of art auctions in France, Sotheby’s Paris and Bonhams Paris emerge as significant players alongside Artcurial and Christie’s Paris. These auction houses contribute to the rich cultural fabric of France, offering extraordinary artworks and engaging events to art enthusiasts and collectors.

From Sotheby’s international stature and immersive exhibitions to Bonhams’ extensive categories and heritage, these auction houses exemplify the vibrancy and prestige of the French art auction scene. The art market in France continues to evolve, ensuring that these institutions will remain at the forefront of this captivating industry.

Cornette de Saint-Cyr: Making Waves in the French Auction Scene

While Artcurial, Christie’s Paris, Sotheby’s Paris, and Bonhams Paris dominate the French art auction market, Cornette de Saint-Cyr has steadily risen through the ranks. Ranking second among French auction houses, Cornette de Saint-Cyr has garnered attention for its innovative approach, increase in turnover, and atypical sales that include charitable auctions.

Cornette de Saint-Cyr: A Strong Contender

Founded in 1973, Cornette de Saint-Cyr has established itself as a formidable player in the French auction scene. With a focus on art, design, and jewelry, this auction house encompasses a wide range of artistic disciplines, attracting collectors from various backgrounds.

Increase in Turnover

Cornette de Saint-Cyr has experienced significant growth in recent years, resulting in an increase in turnover. This achievement signifies the auction house’s ability to attract both seasoned collectors and new buyers, solidifying its position among the top auction houses in France.

This growth is a testament to Cornette de Saint-Cyr’s expertise and its ability to curate compelling sales that resonate with the market.

Innovative Approach

Cornette de Saint-Cyr has gained recognition for its innovative approach to art auctions. The auction house goes beyond traditional sales, embracing unique opportunities to engage with the art community and make a positive impact.

One notable example is its charitable auctions, where artworks are sold to raise funds for various causes. These charitable auctions demonstrate Cornette de Saint-Cyr’s commitment to social responsibility and its desire to use art as a catalyst for change.

By auctioning off artworks and donating the proceeds to charitable organizations, Cornette de Saint-Cyr helps bridge the gap between art and philanthropy, showcasing the transformative power of creativity.

Atypical Sales

In addition to charitable auctions, Cornette de Saint-Cyr stands out for its atypical sales that go beyond the usual scope of art auctions. These sales may feature unique collections, historical artifacts, or items of cultural significance.

By broadening the definition of what can be auctioned, Cornette de Saint-Cyr attracts a diverse range of collectors who appreciate the unconventional and the extraordinary. Tajan: A Focus on Modern and Contemporary Art

Tajan, another notable auction house in France, has carved a niche for itself by focusing on modern and contemporary art.

Founded in 1994, Tajan has become a trusted name in the art auction industry, offering a platform for artists and collectors to engage with the ever-evolving art scene.

Notable Lots

Tajan’s expertise in modern and contemporary art is reflected in the notable lots it presents to collectors. From iconic works by masters of modernism to cutting-edge pieces by emerging artists, Tajan showcases the diversity and innovation of the art world.

The auction house often features artworks by renowned artists such as Pablo Picasso, Joan Mir, and Marc Chagall. These artworks, created during the transformative periods of modern and contemporary art, embody the spirit of artistic exploration and expression.

Collectors have the opportunity to acquire these significant pieces, owning a slice of artistic history.

Locations and Presence

Tajan operates its Paris office from a distinctive former bank building, providing a grand and atmospheric setting for auctions. The venue adds to the allure of the artworks being showcased, creating an immersive experience for attendees.

In addition to its headquarters in Paris, Tajan has a presence in other major French cities such as Lyon and Monte-Carlo. This expansion allows Tajan to reach a wider audience and cater to a diverse range of collectors throughout the country.

By having multiple locations, Tajan ensures that its auctions are accessible to art enthusiasts beyond the capital.


France’s art auction scene is a vibrant and dynamic landscape, with Artcurial, Christie’s Paris, Sotheby’s Paris, Bonhams Paris, Cornette de Saint-Cyr, and Tajan leading the way. Cornette de Saint-Cyr has managed to secure its place among the top auction houses through its innovative approach, increase in turnover, and atypical sales that include charitable auctions.

Tajan, on the other hand, has found its footing by specializing in modern and contemporary art, offering collectors the opportunity to acquire remarkable works. As the French art market continues to evolve, these auction houses will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in shaping and defining the future of art auctions in France.

Piasa: Where Elegance Meets Authenticity

In the realm of French art auctions, Piasa stands out as an elegant and authentic auction house. With its collaborations with interior designers and its location near rue Drouot, Piasa has gained recognition for its focus on interior architecture and design.

Piasa: A Distinguished Auction House

Established in 1996, Piasa has become synonymous with sophistication and authenticity. The auction house has built a reputation for showcasing exceptional artworks and objects that embody timeless beauty and elegance.

Piasa’s commitment to curating collections of the highest caliber has earned it a dedicated following of discerning collectors.

Collaborations with Interior Designers

Piasa takes a unique approach by collaborating with interior designers to create immersive and inspiring auction experiences. These collaborations allow Piasa to present artworks and objects in curated settings that bring out their inherent beauty and cultural significance.

By incorporating the expertise of interior designers, Piasa elevates the auction experience, making it more than just a transaction, but a journey into the world of art and design. These collaborations not only enhance the visual appeal of the auctions but also provide valuable insights into the potential integration of artworks and objects within interior spaces.

By showcasing the pieces in carefully curated environments, Piasa enables collectors to envision how these items can enhance the aesthetics and ambiance of their own living spaces.

Location near rue Drouot

Piasa’s strategic location near rue Drouot further enhances its appeal to art enthusiasts and collectors. Rue Drouot, situated in the heart of Paris, is renowned as a hub for art auctions and galleries.

Its proximity to this vibrant art district ensures that Piasa is at the center of the art market, attracting a diverse clientele and fostering a thriving auction community. Piasa’s focus on Interior Architecture and Design

Piasa has carved a niche for itself by placing a particular emphasis on interior architecture and design.

The auction house recognizes the significance of art and objects within the context of interior spaces, and seeks to showcase pieces that seamlessly integrate into the world of interior design. From exquisite paintings and sculptures to furniture and decorative objects, Piasa offers a broad range of items that cater to interior design enthusiasts.

The collection boasts a harmonious blend of classic and contemporary pieces, ensuring there is something to suit every taste and style. Osenat Auctions: Classical Arts in Multiple Locations

While Artcurial, Christie’s Paris, Sotheby’s Paris, Bonhams Paris, Cornette de Saint-Cyr, Tajan, and Piasa dominate the French art auction market, Osenat Auctions brings a unique focus on classical arts.

With salerooms in multiple locations, including a noteworthy presence in Versailles, Osenat has become synonymous with timeless beauty and antique charm.

Multiple Saleroom Locations

Osenat Auctions operates its salerooms in various locations, allowing art collectors and enthusiasts from different regions to engage with its auctions. From the historic city of Fontainebleau to the picturesque town of Isle-sur-le-Doubs, Osenat brings the world of classical arts closer to collectors beyond the confines of major cities.

These regional locations provide an opportunity for a diverse range of art enthusiasts to participate in the auction experience.

Focus on Classical Arts

Osenat Auctions boasts a steadfast focus on classical arts, curating collections that celebrate tradition, craftsmanship, and historical significance. From exquisite antique furniture to delicate porcelain, Osenat presents a diverse range of categories that reflect the rich cultural heritage of classical art.

Emphasis on Antique Furniture

Osenat’s auctions regularly feature antique furniture with impeccable craftsmanship and timeless beauty. The collection encompasses a wide array of styles and periods, including Rococo, Louis XVI, and Empire, allowing enthusiasts to acquire pieces that suit their personal tastes and preferences.

The intricate detailing, luxurious materials, and exquisite craftsmanship of the antique furniture on offer exemplify the pinnacle of furniture design.

Opening Sale at Versailles

Osenat’s presence in Versailles adds an air of grandeur to its auctions. Versailles, with its opulent palace and rich history, is an emblem of classical art and architecture.

Osenat further establishes its connection to this cultural landmark by holding an opening sale at Versailles. This grand event attracts collectors from around the world, offering them a chance to acquire rare and exquisite pieces in the very vicinity of the majestic Palace of Versailles.


The French art auction landscape is a thriving ecosystem, with Artcurial, Christie’s Paris, Sotheby’s Paris, Bonhams Paris, Cornette de Saint-Cyr, Tajan, Piasa, and Osenat Auctions playing prominent roles. Piasa’s collaborations with interior designers and its location near rue Drouot solidify its position as an elegant and authentic auction house.

Osenat’s focus on classical arts and its multiple saleroom locations, including the prestigious presence in Versailles, emphasize its dedication to preserving timeless beauty and antique charm. Together, these auction houses contribute to the rich tapestry of French art auctions, providing art enthusiasts and collectors with diverse offerings that celebrate the beauty and cultural heritage of artwork from different genres and periods.

Hotel Drouot: The Iconic Auction Venue

In the realm of French art auctions, Hotel Drouot stands as an iconic venue that has played a pivotal role in shaping the art market. With its multiple salerooms and significant locations, Hotel Drouot exudes a sense of heritage and tradition that resonates throughout the Parisian art community.

Hotel Drouot: Timeless Grandeur

Hotel Drouot, located in the bustling 9th arrondissement of Paris, holds a special place in the hearts of art enthusiasts and collectors. Founded in 1852, this historic auction house has witnessed countless auctions and hosted renowned sellers and buyers from around the globe.

Its status as an iconic venue stems from its rich history and cultural significance.

Multiple Salerooms

Hotel Drouot boasts numerous salerooms, each dedicated to different categories of art and objects. This division allows for a comprehensive and curated auction experience, ensuring that each artwork or item receives the attention it deserves.

These specialized salerooms embrace the diverse spectrum of the art market and enable collectors to engage with their preferred genres. From Old Masters and Impressionist paintings to contemporary art, furniture, jewelry, and even wine, Hotel Drouot’s salerooms cover a wide range of artistic disciplines.

This breadth of offerings attracts collectors with varying interests, transporting them into a world of artistic beauty and creative expression. Unveiling Drouot’s Locations

Hotel Drouot encompasses several locations that add to its allure.

The main building, located at 9 Rue Drouot, captures the essence of this historic venue. Here, art aficionados can peruse the auction previews, soak in the ambiance, and participate in the excitement of the bidding process.

In addition to the main building, Hotel Drouot has extended its presence to various locations within the vicinity. These locations, including Htel Marcel Dassault and Htel Drouot Richelieu, provide collectors with an expanded auction experience.

Each location exhibits its own distinct atmosphere, offering a unique backdrop that enhances the art auction process.

The Exceptional Cafe

One aspect that makes Hotel Drouot truly unique is its exceptional cafe. Located within the auction house, this cafe has become a gathering spot for art enthusiasts before or after auctions.

It serves as a hub for discussions, reflections, and conversations about art, creating a sense of community among collectors, sellers, and art professionals. The significance of Hotel Drouot within the Parisian art community is further accentuated by the presence of this cafe.

It serves as a meeting place where like-minded individuals can share their passion for art, exchange ideas, and forge connections. As collectors gather at the cafe, they become part of a wider network of art lovers who appreciate the beauty and cultural significance of the artworks being showcased.

The Importance in the Parisian Art Community

Hotel Drouot’s significance within the Parisian art community cannot be overstated. Its presence and influence extend beyond mere auction events.

It is a symbol of tradition, authenticity, and expertise that has shaped the dynamics of the art market in the city. The cultural heritage embedded within Hotel Drouot serves as a strong foundation for the Parisian art community, fostering a sense of pride and admiration for the craftsmanship and creativity found in art.

Hotel Drouot has been a source of inspiration for artists, collectors, and connoisseurs for centuries. Its auctions have catapulted artists into fame, launched iconic collections, and provided a platform for the exchange of artistic ideas.

The auction house’s enduring legacy aligns it with the heart and soul of the Parisian art scene, validating its significance and ensuring its place as a pillar of the art market.


Hotel Drouot, with its multiple salerooms, exceptional locations, and significant presence, stands as an icon within the French art auction community. Its timeless grandeur, rich history, and connection to the Parisian art scene make it a beacon for collectors, sellers, and art enthusiasts alike.

Hotel Drouot’s enduring legacy and cultural significance continue to shape the art market in France and provide an immersive auction experience that encapsulates the beauty and creativity of art. In conclusion, the French art auction scene is a thriving and diverse landscape, with various auction houses commanding prominence.

Artcurial, Christie’s Paris, Sotheby’s Paris, Bonhams Paris, Cornette de Saint-Cyr, Tajan, Piasa, Osenat Auctions, and Hotel Drouot each contribute to the rich tapestry of art auctions in France. These auction houses not only offer an array of exceptional artworks and objects but also foster a sense of community and appreciation for art.

From the innovative approaches of Artcurial and Cornette de Saint-Cyr to the focus on specific genres by Tajan and Osenat Auctions, these institutions provide endless opportunities for collectors, while exhibiting the intrinsic value of art. Hotel Drouot, with its iconic status and historical significance, remains a pillar of the Parisian art community.

As the French art market continues to evolve, these auction houses will undoubtedly play a vital role in shaping the cultural landscape, preserving artistic heritage, and captivating the hearts of art enthusiasts around the world.

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