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In collaboration with Bonhams, Bruun Rasmussen held a grand CoBrA auction Tuesday evening. A work by the Dutch painter Corneille set a world record for the artist when it achieved a hammer price of EUR 532,401 (including buyer's premium).
In collaboration with Bonhams, Bruun Rasmussen held a grand CoBrA auction Tuesday evening. A work by the Dutch painter Corneille set a world record for the artist when it achieved a hammer price of EUR 532,401 (including buyer's premium).

Press release -

Art with a Bite Sold for Dizzying Prices at Bruun Rasmussen

The historic saleroom in Copenhagen was filled to the brim with people, and the bids flew freely as Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers in collaboration with Bonhams held a magnificent Live Auction Tuesday evening with works from the artist group known as CoBrA. One of the evening’s highlights was a painting by the Dutch artist Corneille, which after an exciting bidding war was sold for no less than EUR 532,401 (including buyer’s premium) against an estimate of EUR 161,333-201,667. A total of seven other works also achieved hammer prices of more than a million Danish kroner.

It was a colourful sight that greeted the guests at Bredgade 33 in Copenhagen when 121 CoBrA artworks came under the hammer at Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers on Tuesday evening. The auction is the result of a close collaboration between Bruun Rasmussen and the new global network of auction houses under the wing of Bonhams.

A large group of people turned out to bid on a wide range of works by the biggest names of the movement such as Asger Jorn, Karel Appel, Pierre Alechinsky, Egill Jacobsen, Carl-Henning Pedersen and one of the group's few female members, Sonja Ferlov Mancoba.

The interest in purchasing art was great, and the bids flew across the saleroom, on the phones and via the live bidding online. As something new, Bonhams' international customers could also bid at the auction through Bonhams' own website.

Sky-rocketing Hammer Prices for Corneille, Jorn, Alechinsky og Appel

In total, CoBrA art was sold for more than EUR 6 million (including buyer's premium) thanks to the great enthusiasm for the works shown by customers from all over the world.

One attention grabbing moment of the evening came with a painting by the Dutch artist Corneille. The painting entitled "L'Orchestre de Jazz Be Bop" (Hommage à Charlie Parker) ended with a thrilling hammer price of EUR 532,401 (including buyer’s premium) against an estimate of EUR 161,333-201,667 and after a long and tense bidding war that led to thunderous applause in the saleroom. Another painting by Corneille, entitled "Peinture", also received an impressive hammer price of EUR 354.934 (including buyer’s premium). Thus, a world record for a work by the artists was achieved twice in one evening.

Another world record became a reality, when a painting by Stephen Gilbert made it to a hammer price of EUR 81,600 (including buyer’s premium) against an estimate of EUR 10,000-13,500.

The Danish artist and leading figure in CoBrA, Asger Jorn, was also in high demand at the evening's auction. A work by Jorn with the title "Le forgeron aveugle" - "d'une mythe muet" (The blind blacksmith – The silent myth) was sold for a whopping EUR 372,680 (including buyer’s premium) against an estimate of EUR 201,667-268,889, while two other works by Jorn each reached a fine hammer price of EUR 212,960 (including buyer’s premium).

And the fantastic hammer prices continued. A painting by the Dutch artist Karel Appel with the title "Grosses Tier verschlingt kleines Tier" (The big animal swallows the small animal) was knocked down for EUR 293,900 (including buyer’s premium), while a painting by the Belgian Pierre Alechinsky with the title "Au Tholonet" also achieved a hammer price of EUR 293,900 (including buyer’s premium). Another work by Alechinsky entitled "Bronzes de Toiture" also achieved a fine hammer price of EUR 161,400.

In addition, a plaster sculpture by Sonja Ferlov Mancoba, one of the few female artists of the CoBrA movement, made it to a hammer price of EUR 51,609 (including buyer’s premium) against an estimate of EUR 13,500-16,800.

Part of the Bonhams Network

In March 2022, Bruun Rasmussen changed owner to the British auction house Bonhams, and tonight's CoBrA auction was a result of the new major collaboration and global network between the auction houses under the wings of Bonhams.

As part of the collaboration, several of the works up for auction were part of a travelling exhibition in different European cities during the autumn. The exhibition began in Paris, where the CoBrA movement was founded in 1948, and concluded in Copenhagen.

More CoBrA at Online Auction

Tuesday's CoBrA auction will be followed by an Online Auction, where you can already bid on several CoBrA works online. The hammer will fall on 13 December from 6 pm.

View the offered CoBrA works at the Online Auction HERE.

CoBrA – Powerful Voices of Post-war Europe

The CoBrA movement was founded in 1948 by a group of artists with different nationalities. They included Asger Jorn, Christian Dotremont, Karel Appel and Corneille, who all shared the same ideas about the role of art in society. After the horrors of the two world wars, CoBrA's ideology emerged as a desire to reform society, transcend conventions and create a better world for humanity. Art was considered a means to this change. All previously held truths had to be broken down in the attempt to create a new kind of art.

CoBrA became one of the most pioneering art movements of the 20th century. The movement influenced a large group of artists over several decades and resonated far beyond the borders of Europe. The powerful name of CoBrA was formed from the initials of the hometowns of the artists involved: Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam. The group’s symbol was also very fitting the snake – precisely because they wanted to be considered poisonous, aggressive and deliver a true bite in their attempt to break down the structures of the bourgeoisie structures, norms, conformity and capitalism.

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"Going once, going twice. Sold to the lady in the front row”. For 75 years, Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers has sold art, antiques, design, jewellery, wristwatches and collector’s items in the heart of Copenhagen. It was Arne Bruun Rasmussen who founded the auction house at Bredgade 33 in 1948, and until 2022 the Bruun Rasmussen family owned the company. Today, the company is owned by the British auction house Bonhams - one of the world's leading and oldest auction houses.

Being a part of Bonhams, means that Bruun Rasmussen has joined a global network, which benefits both the art and the customers, the latter has gained access to far more auctions and the former has a better chance of achieving the market's best hammer prices. The goal is to constantly confirm to our customers that Bruun Rasmussen is a sought-after auction house with the highest expertise in valuation and sales. Bonhams and Bruun Rasmussen share the core values of knowledge, credibility, commitment and renewal, and the old Copenhagen auction house will thus continue to base its business on its well-known values under the auspices of Bonhams.

With CEO Jakob Dupont at the helm, an extensive digitization process has taken place during the past years, making the auction house a significant player on the international market. With solid experience and in-depth knowledge complemented by highly professional advice and appraisal service, the company is the link between sellers and interested buyers from all over the world. Every year, 70,000 unique works of art are sold at three types of auctions – the traditional Live Auctions and the two web-based auctions Online Auction and Direct Auction.

Contacts

Kirstine Dam Olsen

Kirstine Dam Olsen

Press contact +45 8818 1064

Bruun Rasmussen – Part of the Bonhams Network

"Going once, going twice. Sold to the lady in the front row". For more than 75 years, the auction house Bruun Rasmussen has sold art, antiques, design, jewellery, wristwatches and collector’s items such as wine, books, coins and stamps. After having been family-owned through three generations, we were bought in 2022 by the English auction house Bonhams, which was founded in England in 1793 and is today one of the world's leading auction houses. We are now part of an international network with a global reach, and we present and sell art where it makes the most sense in relation to potential buyers. This also means that through the network we offer more than 60 categories of items at our auctions.

Art and credibility are at the heart of everything we do. The work in the auction house places great demands on our knowledge of art and trends on the market. Our specialists are the most experienced and competent in the industry, and in the Bonhams Network we share knowledge and communicate across national borders with a large number of international specialists. This way, we can provide the best valuation and advice that have become our trademark – and thereby offer the best lots from all categories and achieve the highest hammer prices for the benefit of our customers.

Tradition and innovation go hand in hand. At Bruun Rasmussen, we are one of Europe's most modern and digital auction houses, and it is only natural for us to adapt to changes in the market. Innovation is part of our DNA, while we are also deeply rooted in our history. The foundation of the company rests on our two types of auctions – Online Auction and Live Auction. Every week we put more than a thousand lots up for auction at bruun-rasmussen.dk, and several times a year we present exclusive lots live in our saleroom. We are proud to sell art and design in virtually every category and price range to and for people all over the world who are driven by the same passion as we are.

We want to be a living centre of culture, and since the autumn of 2023, we have been located in Lyngby north of Copenhagen in a new, modern domicile. Here you can not only explore among all the art objects on display and bid on the exciting auctions, you can also meet our specialists, get an estimate on your own items, consign them for auction, listen to exciting lectures and participate in cultural events. We also have branches in Aarhus and Glostrup and regularly go on valuation trips around Denmark and abroad. Our goal is to always be available and for everyone to have a good experience in our auction house.

Welcome to Bruun Rasmussen – we can help you make a good purchase or achieve a great sale!

Bruun Rasmussen – Part of the Bonhams Network
Nørgaardsvej 3
2800 Kongens Lyngby
Denmark
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