Thierry and Guy Portier during
the viewing of the Le Véel auction
in 1979 © Studio Sebert

A raku Chawan Edo period, 17th
century Dim. 9,6 x 11,5 cm. Former
collection Louis Gonse (1846-1921)
Estimate: €5,000-7,000

Paris - The Portier family has chosen to entrust the sale of their personal collection of Japanese art to Beaussant Lefevre, in association with Christie’s. Consisting of 90 lots, this collection reflects the taste of four generations of experts and collectors, major figures of the Asian art market in France. Connoisseurs will have the opportunity to view part of the collection at Christie’s on June 18 and 19, and the collection in its entirety at Drouot on June 20 and 21, before the sale on the afternoon of Tuesday 21, in Drouot’s prestigious room n. 9, to be auctioneered by M. Beaussant and M. Lefevre.

Eric Beaussant and Pierre-Yves Lefèvre -auctioneers-, Geraldine Lenain -international director of Asian arts at Christie’s- and Alice Jossaume -expert in Asian arts- have said: “It is a true honour for us to pay tribute to the taste and wisdom of the Portier family, whose expertise has been a reference for the Asian art market for the past four generations. We are glad that this auction will take place at Drouot, where this family of collectors and experts have built this collection. We are exceptionally pleased with this collaboration between Beaussant Lefèvre and Christie’s, which will remain in the books of great Japanese art sales in Paris".

Highlights of the collection include 8 exceptional Japanese stamps from the Edo period. They are mainly okubi-e (portraits of actors) by some masters of this genre: Toshusai Sharaku (active between 1794 and 1795), Kitagawa Utamaro (17531806), Kitagawa Kunimasa (1773-1810) and Utagawa Toyokuni (1769-1825). Each piece was acquired by Henri Portier and his son Andre (1886-1963), great-grandfather and grandfather to Patrick, Thierry and Emeric Portier, through various auctions held at Drouot in the 1900’s.

With the exception of three exhibitions where some stamps were shown (Utamaro in 1976 and Sharaku, portraits d’acteurs at the Huguette Beres Gallery, Paris and Toulouse-Lautrec and Utamaro in 1980 at the Mitsukoshi museum, Tokyo), these works have remained out of the public eye since their acquisition over a century ago. The June auction will therefore offer a unique opportunity to admire them.

80 works of Japanese earthenware will also be offered during the sale, reflecting the passion with which the Portier family have been collecting them throughout the 20th century. Some were formerly part of prestigious collections, including that of Louis Gonse (1846-1921), a renowned art historian and expert in Japanese arts. This harmonious ensemble mainly comprises objects such as chawan (tea bowl), chaire (tea box) and kogo (incense box used in Japan during tea ceremony). Together, they perfectly illustrate the links between technique, aesthetics and the art of tea.

For this occasion, a tea ceremony will take place at Drouot in room 9, recently renovated by Erwan Boulloud, on the afternoon of June 20. The Urasenke school will demonstrate the role that each piece holds throughout the ceremony. It is a rare invitation for a few select, privileged attendees, as the tea ceremony usually takes place away from prying eyes.

Sale: Tuesday 21 June 2016 at 14:30 in room n°9 at Hotel Drouot
Saturday 18 from 10 am. to 6 pm.
Sunday 19 from 2 pm. to 6 pm.

Monday 20 from 11 am. to 6 pm.
Tuesday 21 from 11 am. to 12 pm.

9, avenue Matignon – 75008

9, rue Drouot – 75009

Tea ceremony : Monday 20 from 3 pm. to 5 pm. 9, rue Drouot – 75009

About Beaussant Lefèvre

BEAUSSANT LEFEVRE, auction house located in the heart of the Drouot district, established in 1990, organizes prestigious auction sales in Paris. Specialized in “Houses sales”, Beaussant Lefevre is well-known among important French Auction houses for the quality of the objects and collections displayed. Eric Beaussant and Pierre-Yves Lefevre, auctioneers, obtained in 2015, with 32 auctions sales, more than 15.45 million €, with, on average, 93% of lots sold. Among their highlights sales: Impressionist paintings from the Estate of Mrs. Julien Rouart, jewelry of Her Imperial Highness Princess Soraya and those of Princess Eugenie of Greece and Denmark, furniture of numerous castles including Duino, Chiffrevast and Digoine and exceptional items including recently an antique Chinese Qianlong seal sold 1.625 million €, an eighteenth century Vincennes porcelain sugar bowl sold € 607,000 or even a Joseph Chaumet tiara sold € 495,000 ...


About Christie’s

Christie's, the world's leading art business, had global auction, private and digital sales in 2015 that totalled £4.8 billion / $7.4 billion. Christie's is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and expertise, as well as international glamour. 2016 marks Christie's 250th anniversary. Founded in 1766 by James Christie, Christie's has since conducted the greatest and most celebrated auctions through the centuries providing a popular showcase for the unique and the beautiful. Christie's offers around 350 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie's also has a long and successful history conducting private sales for its clients in all categories, with emphasis on Post-War & Contemporary, Impressionist & Modern, Old Masters and Jewellery.

Christie's has a global presence with 54 offices in 32 countries and 12 salerooms around the world including in London, New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Amsterdam, Dubai, ZQrich, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Mumbai. More recently, Christie's has led the market with expanded initiatives in growth markets such as Russia, China, India and the United Arab Emirates, with successful sales and exhibitions in Beijing, Mumbai and Dubai.


About Drouot

Drouot is the world's biggest public auction venue, historically established in Paris. In its 17 rooms spread over 2 sites, Drouot Enchère provides its 76 affiliated auction houses with all the staff, equipment and multimedia facilities they need to stage auctions of objets d'art and collectors' items. The Drouot brand also covers other activities: information and content publishing with Auctionspress and Drouot SI; training with Drouot Formation, and expertise with Drouot Estimations. Drouot is a unique model, shored up by expertise recognised the world over. Open to everyone from novices to the most demanding connoisseurs, Drouot hosts around 1,300 sales each year, providing the opportunity to acquire nearly 500,000 lots made up of exclusive pieces. In 2015, the lots sold totalled €375 million, making Drouot one of the top international players in its market.



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