Picasso ceramics, etchings to go on auction block in London

London, Jun 10 (EFE).- A total of 172 ceramic works and etchings by Spanish master Pablo Picasso will go on the auction block on June 18 in London, Christie's said Monday.

Some of the ceramics are expected to sell for as little as 700 euros ($925), while the etchings could go for 500 euros ($660) and posters for exhibitions could bring in 100 euros ($132), the auction house said.

"The unprecedented success of the 2012 Madoura collection sale has seen the appreciation for Picasso's ceramics rise considerably. The last few years, with the increased buzz around the sales as well as greater academic and curatorial interest in this important area of the artist's working life - he spent 25 years continuously work (sic) in this medium - has seen the market for the ceramic editions continuing to grow even more than we anticipated," Christie's impressionist and modern art specialist Michelle McMullan said.

One of the most valuable works going on the market is Visage Tourmente, a large solid gold plate estimated to be worth nearly 200,000 euros ($264,000) and not seen in public in more than 40 years, the auction house said.

"It is extremely rare to see gold pieces by Picasso on the auction market, as the artist only created a limited number of designs for platters in precious metals. Of the 19 designs made in collaboration with celebrated goldsmith Fran├žois Hugo, 20 were produced in silver and only one in gold. Visage Tourmente was bought by the current owner directly from Fran├žois Hugo in the early 1970s," Christie's said.

The works going on the auction block are relatively inexpensive because "it was always Picasso's intention that his ceramics should be accessible, hence the creation of editions of up to 500," Christie's said.