AUCTION 07/29/17 | The Collection of Pierre Argillet, Royal Medici Family, & Other Fine Art


The Collection of Pierre Argillet, Royal Medici Family, & Other Fine Art


July 29, 2017 3:00PM PST

Lawrence Gallery, 19700 OR-18, McMinnville, OR 97128



One of the most anticipated and important art and jewelry auctions of the year will take place on July 29th at the Lawrence Art Gallery in McMinnville, Oregon. The public and press are invited for a preview on July 28th.
Auctioneer Brigitte Kruse of GWS Auctions will conduct two auctions:
9 AM: An auction of important investment quality jewelry, limited production designer pieces, large and rare GIA diamonds.
3 PM: A Fine Arts auction featuring 16 rare 20th Century works – some never before available –will include paintings and rare tapestries by Salvador Dali as well as notable pieces by Pablo Picasso, and Andy Warhol. Many of the pieces come from the prestigious collection of Pierre Argillet, Dali’s longtime friend and confidante, and from the collection of the Royal Medici family of Italy.

This is the first time the prestigious Pierre Argillet Collection, which includes works by Surrealist, Dada and Futurists artists, has been offered at auction. It is one of the most authenticated collections of Dali’s work throughout his career and demonstrates high standards of quality. The works have appeared in many of the world’s most prestigious museums including: Musee Boymans, Rotterdam; Musee Pushkin, Moscow; The Dali Museum, St. Petersburg, Florida; Kunsthaus, Zurich; Isetan Museum of Art, Tokyo; and Hiroshima Prefectural Museum of Art, Japan. The collection’s permanent homes are at the Museum of Surrealism in Melun, France and the Dali Museum in Figueres, Spain. The collection is also housed at the prestigious Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).
In 2016, Pierre Argillet’s daughter, Madame Argillet, explained the origins of her Collection: “My father began as a journalist with a true passion for Surrealism. His relationship with Dali was as sincere as it was passionate. They had together long discussions on the art in process and on literary topics that Dali would then illustrate. Dali was a man who saw the world as one in which everything was linked. That view of the world is evident in each and every piece of his art, for him it was never a progression of the idea that all things have a shared link…it was the common denominator.”

Pierre Argillet (1910-2001) was Salvador Dali’s publisher and long-time collaborator. Their friendship spanned five decades and produced what many art historians have termed ‘the finest bodies of the Master’s Art. Christine Argillet became President and Curator of the Museum of Surrealism after her father’s passing in 2001. Currently she presents Dali: The Argillet Collection; the Dada and Surrealist Publications of Pierre Argillet at museums and galleries worldwide. Since 2010, the collection has been shown in over thirty major exhibition presentations, including Washington DC, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Boston, New Orleans, Dallas, Austin in the U.S. Ms. Argillet’s objectives are both professional and personal.

“These museum-quality presentations of Dali: The Argillet Collection are a tribute to the work of my father, Pierre Argillet, as an extraordinary publisher of the Dada and Surrealist group,” said Madame Argillet. “This 2016 collection reflects a constant endeavor, a very personal archive of not only Dali’s finest etchings and tapestries, but an intimate glimpse into my family’s personal and cherished photos, films, anecdotes and memories of life with Dali and Gala.”

The Auction Catalogue can be viewed in advance at:
Images may be downloaded by the press at:


The Lawrence Gallery exhibition and collection opportunity offers works from Dali’s Suites, including Mythologie, Les Hippies, Goethe’s Faust, and the incomparable Poemes Secrets d’Apollinaire. Madame Argillet has also graciously included the rare titles, Etchings and Watercolors from 1934 to the late 1960’s. A very rare collection of etchings entitled “Songs of Maldoror,” entailed 50 etchings by Dali, done between 1934 and 1973. The Songs of Maldoror have only been exhibited once before, in a four-month exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Some highlights from the Catalogue are:

Lot 7: Salvador Dali (Spanish, 1904-1989) Original Ink & Watercolor Study for “Les Demons” Hand Signed in Exhibit Quality Frame From the Collection of Pierre Argillet W/COA. Estimate: $240,000 – $245,000
The piece was Dali’s original study for his “Les Demons” etching, later produced in 1967.

Lot 7B: Salvador Dali (Spanish, 1904-1989) 1973 “Burning Giraffe” (From the Tauromachie Surrealiste Suite) 67″ x 87″ Aubusson Tapestry Made Exclusively for Museums Numbered 3/6 W/COA. Estimate: $375,000 – $390,000
The Tauromachie Surrealiste suite was Dali’s transformation of Picasso’s famous “Tauromaquia Suite,” an extension of the lifelong artistic dialog carried on between the two artists. Dali shows himself walking in a ring, with long eyelashes to signify that he is asleep and this is a dream. The tapestry measures 67″ x 87″ and is the third in an edition of six. This series of tapestries were created because Pierre Argillet and Dali needed larger format art pieces to decorate the walls of castles they had individually built as their respective museums. This piece is from the personal collection of Pierre Argillet.

Lot 7C: Salvador Dali (Spanish, 1904-1989) 1985 “Nude With Garter” (From the Hippies Suite) 63″ x 50″ Aubusson Tapestry Made Exclusively for Museum Numbered EA 2/2 W/COA. Estimate: $160,000 – $175,000
Salvador Dali Aubusson tapestry, created from Dali’s “Nude With Garter” etching from the Hippies suite. The Hippies Suite was a series of eleven etchings created by Dali in 1969, inspired by photographs taken in India by Pierre Argillet. He and Dali commissioned the artisan, master weaver Raymond Picaud of Aubusson, to create their tapestries. One of each tapestry was destined for their museums, Dali’s Teatro-Museo in Figueres, Spain and Argillet’s Chateau de Vaux-le-Penil in Melun, France. The tapestries were key in creating a “Dalinian” environment in both institutions. Only 13 different images were crated in editions of six. Both Dali and Argillet oversaw the weaving process, which was all hand- made.

Lot 8: Salvador Dali (Spanish, 1904-1989) Original Ink & Watercolor Study for “Blue Horses” Hand Signed & Dated 1966 in Exhibit Quality Frame From the Collection of Pierre Argillet W/COA. Estimate: $190,000 – $210,000
The piece was Dali’s original study for his “Blue Horses” etching, produced in 1966. This piece comes from the collection of Pierre Argillet, an avid collector of work by Futurists, Dadaists, and Surrealists. Very early on he met the major artists of the 20th century, and when he met Salvador Dali, complicity led to a life-long friendship that lasted until the painter’s death in 1989. The piece measures approx. 24″ x 20″, and will come with a certificate of authenticity from the Museum of Surrealism in Melun, France.


The Royal Medici Collection originated with the de Medici Dynasty, which created the Italian Renaissance. The Medici name is associated with unparalleled historical contributions to art, politics, banking, cuisine, medicine, accounting, philanthropy, commerce, geography, agriculture, religion, textiles, and fashion. The current descendant and heir, Prince Lorenzo, is a philanthropist, international keynote speaker, television personality, chef and culinary expert, artist, and auto enthusiast, fluent in English, Italian, Spanish, Polish, and Russian.

Lot 3A: Jacobus Buys (Dutch, 1724-1801) Original Oil on Canvas Painting Titled “Bacchanal” Signed & Dated 1769, in Exhibit Quality Frame Attributed to Prince Lorenzo de Medici W/Letter on Personal Letterhead. Estimate: $500,000 – $650,000
“Bacchanal” depicts playful cherurbs in a garden. This special piece measures approx. 44″ x 47″, and is attributed to Prince Lorenzo de Medici. Jacobus Buys was a Dutch painter and engraver. He studied under Jacob de Wit and ultimately became director of the Amsterdam Drawing Academy. Buys specialized in refined, elegant interior scenes which are also theatrical, and sometimes comic in character. He became a member of Amsterdam’s Guild of St Luke in 1750. His work has been exhibited in museums such as Riiksmuseum Amsterdam, The Morgan Library & Museum, Indianapolis Museum of Art, and The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg.

Lot 3B: 16th C. Original Oil on Canvas Painting Depicting “The Sibyl Predicting to Emperor Augustus the Birth of Christ” Attributed to Prince Lorenzo de Medici W/Letter on Personal Letterhead. Estimate: $2,000,000 – $2,250,000
This canvas painting beautifully narrates one of the first events during the transition between the Pagan and Christian times. The theme is the moment Emperor Augustus, the most powerful man of his time, asked the Sibyl, known for her prophecies, if it was suitable for him to be proclaimed a Divinity. The Sibyl revealed a prophecy about the imminent arrival of the real God on Earth. The painting is a figurative account of that moment. Believed to have been painted between 1500-1550, the painting measures approx. 75″ x 59″.

Lot 3C: Domenico Fetti Attributed 18th C. “David With the Head of Goliath” Original Oil on Canvas Painting Attributed to Prince Lorenzo de Medici W/Letter on Personal Letterhead. Estimate: $600,000 – $750,000
This painting can be attributed to Domenico Fetti, who created the original piece in addition to copies. The original painting is in the Royal Collection of the United Kingdom in Windsor Castle. The piece depicts the story of David and Goliath. Fetti cleverly contrasts the large scale of the decapitated head and sword with David’s smaller body. The painting measures approx. 60″ x 47.5″ and is attributed to Prince Lorenzo de Medici. Domenico Fetti (Italian; 1589-1623) was an Italian Baroque painter influenced by Venetian painters, as well as by Rubens. The artist’s technique is distinctive, with rapid brushstrokes of pure color applied as highlights over broader areas of paint on canvases primed with dark tones. Fetti’s works can be found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Louvre, the Hermitage Museum in St Peterberg.

Lot 3D: James Millar (English; 1735-1805) “Blind Belisarius” Original Oil on Canvas Painting Signed & Dated 1804 in Exhibit Quality Frame Attributed to Prince Lorenzo de Medici W/Letter on Personal Letterhead. Estimate: $600,000 – $750,000
Original oil on canvas painting depicts the Blind Belsaris, and is stunningly detailed. Flavius Belisarius, who lived between 505 to 565, was a Byzantine general, instrumental to the Emperor’s reconquering Mediterranean territory. According to legends, a jealous and fearful Justinian arrested Belisarius after his final victory and had him tried for treason. The loyal general’s eyes were put out, his estates confiscated, and he was forced to wander the streets of Constantinople begging for bread. The painting measures approx. 58″ x 48″. James Millar was the leading Birmingham portrait painter of the last quarter of the 18th century. Examples of his work can be found at the Royal Society, the National Portrait Gallery, London, and the National Museum of Art in Washington D.C.


Lot 3H: Andy Warhol (American; 1928-1987) Original Oil on Canvas Painting Titled “The Thinker”. Estimate: $1,500,000 – $2,500,000
Original painting by Andy Warhol, world renowned artist and leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art. This is said to be one of Warhol’s earliest works, and can be compared to drawings created before Warhol developed his Pop Art style. It has been suggested that this is a self portrait Warhol painted, holding a light box, which he often used to turn photographs into drawings. The painting measures approx. 40″ x 30″, and is signed by Warhol in the lower right corner. Warhol’s works include some of the most expensive paintings ever sold, with $105 million being the highest price ever paid. His works explore the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture, and advertising that flourished in the 1960s. Warhol created many portraits of prominent figures including the Shah of Iran, Mick Jagger, John Lennon, Diana Ross. Warhol has been the subject of numerous retrospective exhibitions, books, feature and documentary films. The Andy Warhol Museum in his native city of Pittsburgh, holds an extensive permanent collection.


With offices in Southern California and Vietnam, GWS Auctions, Inc., is a full service auction, consignment and real estate company specializing in the sale and disposition of real estate, fine art, celebrity memorabilia, antiques, unique collectibles, high-end furniture, jewelry, gold, coins, vehicles, equipment and surplus assets. Founded and headed by Brigitte Kruse, a fifth generation appraiser and multilingual auctioneer, GWS Auctions has sold more than $3 billion in assets.