Strong Asia presence at Saint Laurent auction

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The Independent Online

Buyers from Asia purchased all but one of the top 10 priciest items at the sale of the last belongings of late couturier Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Berge, Christie's said Friday.

As the four-day sale wound up, the auction house said that though only five percent of the bidders were from Asia, they accounted for 32 percent of the total raised at the auction - which fetched 8.99 million euros (13.3 million dollars).

Countries concerned were China, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan, said Christie's, which refused to identify buyers.

Buyers from those countries bought nine of the most expensive items, from a pair of rare 19th century ball armchairs that fetched 241,000 euros to a 91,000-euro chandelier, and including a Fernand Leger gouache, at 181,000 euros (269,000 dollars).

"It seems Saint Laurent is a very strong presence in Asia," said an official who asked not to be named.

The four-day auction, held inside a plush theatre off the Champs Elysees boulevard, involved some 30 auctioneers and more than 1,200 registered bidders.

Most of the 1,180 objects up for grabs were from the pair's country hideaway on the Normandy coast, including even its pots and pans. But the YSL mystique sent prices through the ceiling, with a total 98 percent of lots finding buyers.

It was nonetheless a far smaller sale than the February auction of the pair's valuable 700-item art collection, a record-smashing affair dubbed the sale of the century which netted 342 million euros (491 million dollars).

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