WHAT: Estimated to sell at about $17,000 to $26,000, a 10-inch partially glazed ceramic plate titled “Visage” (eye) painted by Pablo Picasso ended up selling for more than $90,000 at Sotheby’s London recently. The plate, decorated with a hand-painted eye, plus swipes of color, is dated May 16, 1963, and numbered on the reverse.
MORE: Sold in a collection of works owned by Marina Picasso, the artist’s granddaughter, authenticity is confirmed by Claude Picasso, the artist’s son and Marina’s uncle.
SMART COLLECTORS KNOW: Celebrated for his paintings and flat artworks, Picasso also worked in wire, wax, sculpture, weavings and clay.
HOT TIP: Marina Picasso’s sale of works on paper, ceramics and terracotta sculpture — 186 in all —happened as a battle raged between a major art dealer and the royals of Qatar over a bust the artist did of a mistress, and whether or not Picasso’s aged daughter actually sold it twice.
BOTTOM LINE: With Picasso paintings bringing astronomical prices when they come to market, collectors have turned to his less traditional pieces. As this heavily documented plate demonstrates, they, too, have soared out of reach for many.