Jun 16, 2009
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Kenzo strips down at auction

Jun 16, 2009

PARIS, June 16, 2009 (AFP) - From rare Japanese lacquers to Hopi Indian dolls and Chinese statues 2,000 years old, fashion icon Kenzo Takada waves off his personal art collection at auction Tuesday as he downsizes his Paris home.

Photo : Miguel Medina/AFP

In all, the Japanese designer known simply as "Kenzo" is putting 1,043 items up for sale at a two-day auction estimated to ring up between 1.5 and 1.8 million euros (2.0 and 2.5 million dollars).

Amassed over two decades, the now retired fashion king opted to strip away the collection after deciding earlier this year to move from his spacious multi-storey Paris designer house to a flat that is 80 percent smaller.

"I am upset to part with these objects, but really now I have decided to turn the page and sell everything," Kenzo said prior to the sale.

His timbered home, a former factory tucked away in a Paris courtyard, was redesigned as a Japanese house complete with bamboo gardens, a cascade, balconies, and an indoor pool. It measures 1,200 square metres (12,915 square feet).

Now Kenzo, who retired a decade ago after handing over his fashion empire and his first name to French luxury giant LVMH, is moving to a 200 square metre flat in the heart of Paris with a balcony and a view.

"I love this home but I want to turn the page, to live more freely, to have a view of Paris, which is something I miss" he said.

Among pieces going under the hammer are a Han wooden horse estimated at between 80,000 and 100,000 euros, a Thai statue in pure gold from between the 7th and 9th century valued at 60,000-100,000 euros and Tang statuettes estimated at 15,000-20,000 euros.

"There are museum-worthy pieces in this collection," said auctioneer Claude Aguttes.

Also on sale are rare kimonos, African masks, Australian Aboriginal artefacts, kachina dolls from the Hopi Indians, Japanese negoro lacquer pieces from the 1500s, and vases, crockery and art.

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