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With the Paris auction market soon to be cracked wide open to outside competition, all eyes were on the first major sales to be held this year

Tip-top results for two very different sales

They were very different affairs. The first featured the newest arrival on the market, the upstarts Camard, a father-and-family team that has been shaking up the traditionally closed world of auctioneering. Specialists in Art Deco and Art Nouveau, the firm has started organising its own sales and hiring a commissaire-priseur to hold the hammer.

Camard held its second sale on 4 April in the splendid surroundings of the Hôtel d’Evreux on the Place Vendôme, specially hired for the occastion.

Featuring Art Deco furniture and jewellery, the auction exceeded expectations by clocking up FFr22.6 million (£2.17 million, $3.1 million). Leading the sale was a bronze standard lamp, designed by Alberto Giacometti and made by Jean-Michel Frank, which soared to FFr3.8 million (£371,000, $532,000). A low table by Paul Dupré-Lafon made FFr1.55 million (£148,000, $213,000).

A few days later, Maître Jacques Tajan, France’s leading commissaire-priseur and now part of Bernard Arnault’s Phillips-de Pury auctioneering and art dealing empire, dispersed the Gourgaud collection in the Hôtel George V.

This group of Empire furniture and objects were somewhat distantly connected with Baron Gourgaud,Napoleon’s companion during his last exile. The sale was a triumph, more than tripling expectations by making almost FFr 70 million (£6.8 million, $9.6 million), with a decidedly Napoleonic table by Weisweiler, standing on curved iron legs and decorated with Empire motifs, doubling its estimate at FFr 5.54 million (£541,000, $760,000).

Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'Paris flexes its muscle'