Karl Lagerfield auction: Treasured momentos of a discerning collector

From Rolls-Royces to Choupette’s scratcher, these are some of Karl Lagerfeld’s treasured momentos set to go under Sotheby’s hammer at One Monte-Carlo, and you’ll be surprised at some of the prices.

Luxury auction house Sotheby’s was entrusted with the sale of Karl Lagerfeld’s personal estate after the designer’s death from prostate cancer in 2019. The lots, gathered from his residences in France and Monaco, are an anthology of his personal taste but also of his life and career.

The lots can be viewed in person from Saturday 27th November until Thursday 2nd December at One Monte-Carlo and the first session of sales is taking place from Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th December. The Monaco sale will present a broad selection of pieces, from precious art to household linens and glassware.

2017 Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead coupé, source: Sotheby’s

Auction highlights include a Takashi Murakami portrait of Karl Lagerfeld estimated at between 80,000 and 120,000 euros, and a 2017 Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead coupé, with a starting price of between 350,000 and 400,000 euros.

Not surprisingly, there is an incredible array of furniture designed by the likes of Louis Süe and André Mare, Terence Harold, and Christian Liaigre – all of which are in impeccable condition.

Art works include a Dom Pérignon Balloon Venus by Jeff Koons (20,000-30,000 euros), which comes complete with a bottle of champagne and the original box.

Dom Pérignon Balloon Venus by Jeff Koons, source: Sotheby’s

There a many personal items created at the hand of Karl Lagerfeld, such as a pencil self-portrait signed “KL à NY oct 86” (2,000 – 3,000 euros), while three inspirational “scrapbook” notebooks from the mid-80s provide a window into the magnificent mind of the designer. One with a cotton blanket is inscribed “Lagerfeld, man’s perfume, pub ideas 86”, and includes newspaper clippings and handwritten notes; another has newspaper articles and notes; and the third features some felt-tip sketches and an adhesive label “Karl Lagerfeld” on the cover (3,000 to 5,000 euros).

Three inspirational and “scrapbook” notebooks, mid-80s, source: Sotheby’s

With over a thousand items going under the hammer, Lagerfeld fans have a real chance of getting their hands on some of the designer’s personal items, including a set of five pairs of glasses adapted to Karl Lagerfeld’s vision for a starting bid of just 100-150 euros.

Lagerfeld’s signature look is also up for grabs, with numerous black jackets, matching lambskin gloves and sunglasses selling for an estimated 2,000 – 4,000 euros.

Dior Black and Multicolor Wool Jacket, circa 2000, comes with Causse gold lambskin pair of gloves and E.B. Meyrowitz sunglasses, source: Sotheby’s

Among the more bizarre lots is a personalised scratching pad for his beloved cat Choupette (50-100 euros), a plastic construction helmet with Karl Lagerfeld’s profile (50-100 euros), and numerous Lagerfeld figurines.

Bids can be made in person at One Monte-Carlo by telephone for estimates above 4,000 euros, or online.

So, who is set to benefit from the auction and inherit the fortune that it raises? It is not Choupette, his precious blue-cream tortie Birman cat, although that would be simpler. In his will are seven heirs who will share the fortune: Sebastien Jondeau, Lagerfeld’s famously handsome bodyguard, who was once a model; Baptiste Giabiconi, one of Lagerfeld’s favourite models; Caroline Lebar, one of Lagerfeld’s longest serving employees who worked on his public relations team; Francoise Cacote, his housekeeper and the personal maid of his cat, Choupette; father and son models Brad and Hudson Koenig, the latter of whom is Lagerfeld’s godson; and finally Jake Davies, a Yorkshire-born model who starred in several campaigns.

But the person responsible for executing Lagerfeld’s will – his “trusted” accountant of many decades Lucien Frydlender – has disappeared for “health reasons”. So who knows when the estate will be finalised.

The auction in Monaco will be followed by another Sotheby’s auction in Paris on 14th and 15th December.

To view all of the Monaco auction items, click here.

Top photo source: Sotheby’s

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