Jewels, love letters …: memories of Montand and Signoret awarded for more than 662,000 euros

The typewriter of ‘Adieu Volodia’, novel of Simone Signoret published in 1985, texts corrected by the author, was awarded 1.000 euros, his typewriter 700 euros. A pair of actress’s earrings, platinum pendants each holding an impressive cabochon pear sapphire, experienced a runaway up to 92,000 euros (excluding fresh), nearly 8 times the high estimate. Her yellow gold wedding necklace set with diamonds left only 2,000 euros, estimated at 3,500 euros.
WE Y ÉTIONS – The auction organized by Digard Auction in Drouot, created a surprise totaling 662,519 euros. Many personal effects of the mythical couple have soared far beyond their estimates.

In the sales hall with red walls, a hundred fans and nostalgic people jostle to lean over several boxes. Inside are a multitude of objects imbued with a life unlike any other. That of a mythical couple. Digard Auction has collected scenarios, photographs, jewelery, furniture and love letters from Yves Montand and Simone Signoret for an auction held on June 26th. In more than four hours this Monday June 26, this collection will be sold for 662,519 euros.
‘We really enter into their intimacy,’ says a purchaser, leaning over a series of letters written to the beautiful woman of the Golden Helmet. And where one can distinguish these sweet words: ‘My beautiful Simone’, ‘Dear Simone’. Farther on, a man with white hair, scrutinizes some photographs. ‘Those taken on the quays of Paris. It reminds me of my childhood. I grew up with Catherine Allégret, Simone’s daughter, ‘says Claude Wortemann, smiling. ‘I lived in Place Dauphine, in the same building as the Montand-Signoret. I knew the family very well. To see all these objects … It is loaded with memories, ‘he explains, very moved.

Here, the pley Pleyel with the tired wood on which the fingers of Montand have played so many times. ‘I listened to him repeat in the court every day,’ recalls Claude Wortemann. Over there, the typewriter Olivetti, with blue paint faded. ‘It was the one on which she wrote her novels. Simone Signoret lived on the ground floor and I could see her from her window, which she always left open, ‘recalls the old neighbor, his eyes laughing behind thick glasses. His gaze runs through the room filled with objects that he once perceived to decorate the house of the two artists.
Organized until the last minute, the presale exhibition broke a record crowd, as in a fleeting museum. In front of the prizes estimated between 20 euros and 150,000 euros, film enthusiasts, but also curious people asked why there were so many people, up to the people who knew Montand and Signoret, near or far.

Typewriter by Simone Signoret.Master Marielle Digard holds the hammer. The auction will open on the jewelery of Simone Signoret. It bore very little, which explains their rarity. Lot 6, a Cartier watch in platinum, gray gold and diamonds, is sold 31,200 euros, nearly three times its high rating. The room is stunned. But the battle for numbers is just beginning. Lot number 10 creates surprise. A pair of earrings, made of diamonds and sapphires, is disputed for nearly ten minutes. An abnormally long time in public sale. A real duel that raises the price up to 119.600 euros. Applause is heard and the performance is honored.

The typewriter of Simone Signoret, it, returns to Jacqueline Dora, a close of the actress, for 700 euros. ‘She had promised to give her belongings to her friends. She did not have time. So I came today to try to recover a little and to do it in its place, ‘confides the acquirer. The beautiful half-tail piano finds online taker, for 13,000 euros, more than double its estimate. Several clothes change ownership, hats, glasses, leather coats … Up to the scenarios that have a particular success with the cultural institutions. Margaux L. and Nancy B. work at the Truffaut cinema library. ‘We made the trip to retrieve the scenarios. We are pleased to have been able to buy the one from Casque d’or, among others. We intend to expose it, ‘they proudly announce.

It is an exceptional sale: 98% of the lots will find taker. Jean-Pierre Raymond, the crier, ‘waltz’ through the room 5 in delirium. Marielle Digard resembles a conductor outdated by the frenzy of the bidders. ‘I can not talk any more!’ She says self-deprecatingly. The letters exchanged between Edith Piaf’s lovers, telegrams, notes and autograph letters addressed to Yves Montand, written between 1945 and 1950, are sold for 48,100 euros (against an estimate of 3,000-5,000).

Bidding: the tangible and intangible rights of the feature film The Threat of Alain Corneau (1977) are bought just above the estimate, at 169,312 euros.

Personal effects of the couple.At the end of this marathon sale of more than four hours, the room emptied. But almost all the seats remain occupied until the last hammer blow. In theaters, there were 200 of them to compete for the prizes. On the Internet, 250. ‘It’s a real success,’ rejoices Marielle Digard. We had real surprises: the pair of earrings, the scenarios, the piano, reached prices of madness. While the queue of buyers preparing to recover their lots lengthens, Marielle Digard comments: ‘This is proof that the greatness of French cinema continues. We wanted to pay tribute to two celebrities who allowed us to make a masterful sale. We have managed to tell their love story. ‘
All these objects were stored in a furniture repository, since the sale of the residence of the two artists, in Autheuil (Eure). The family finally decided to entrust the traces of the passage of Signoret and Montand. ‘It has not always been easy to organize, but the overall result is an exceptional sale,’ concludes the auctioneer.

It is more than 18 hours when the last victorious bidders leave with their lots. In one corner, one of the publishers of Fayard’s, the publishing house of Simone Signoret, having frequented the actress, contemplates one of her portraits in black and white: ‘I remember her before her death. She was even more beautiful than in Casque d’or. ‘