Sale: 496 / Evening Sale, Dec. 06. 2019 in Munich Lot 164

Marcel Duchamp
Bilboquet, 1910.
€ 100,000 - 150,000

$ 110,000 - 165,000

Lot description
Bilboquet. 1910.
Bilbouquet, Wood , - (in two parts).
Signed, dated and inscribed with a personal dedication on the ball. Unique object. Diameter of ball: 13 cm (5.1 in). Height of wooden handle: 23 cm ( 9 in).

Accompanied by a copy of a certificate issued by the Association Marcel Duchamp (duplicate 03/2015).

PROVENANCE: Collection Max Bergmann (gifted from the artist in 1910)
Ever since in possession of the family.

EXHIBITION: Marchel Duchamp, Palazzo Grassi, Venice April 1 - July 31, 1993.
Duchamp, Man Ray, Picabia, Tate Modern, London February 21 - May 26, 2008 and Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, Barchelona July 18 - October 12, 2008.
Toys of the Avant-garde; Musèe Picasso, Málaga, October 4, 2010 - January 30, 2011
Marcel Duchamp in München, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus and Kunstbau München, March 31 - July 15, 2012.

LITERATURE: F.M.Naumann, Marchel duchamp. The Art of Making Art in th Age of mechanical Reproduction, New York 1999, pp. 40ff
R.Herz, Marcel Duchamp - Le Mystère de Munich, Architekturmuseum der TU, Munich 2012, p. 58
Matthias Mühling: Bilboquet, 1910, in: exhibition catalog, Munich 2012, pp. 110 ff.
Francis Naumann, The Recurrent, hauntin Ghost: Essays on the Art, Life and Legacy of marcel Duchamp, New York, 2012, p. 59.

Called up: December 6, 2019 - ca. 18.57 h +/- 20 min.

Two fragments that promise perfection. The object itself looks strange. It consists of 2 parts, today that is, because back then it was used as "Bilboquet", as a toy advertised for children and "young men" – the two wooden parts were connected with a three-foot rope. It seems that one piece can be insert into the other. The aim of this skill game is to anticipate the trajectory and to balance the hole over the peg. Not all that easy and requiring quite some practice, so that the audience laughed harder at the players’ peculiar contorted movements than it would applaud the successful connection of the prim wooden parts. The “catch” was always announced by a loud snap, a very special sound.
The game is characterized by a success-failure-ratio of at least 1 to 20 – a mathematical approximation that experienced players deem realistic…. The game with the ‘Bilboquet’ is about ratio. What makes the game an"artwork" is the play of meanings. "La bille", the ball (marble) and "le boquet", the “small peg”, while "Bil le Bocquet" denotes the tip of a spear. A dedication identifies it as a “souvenir” that Duchamp gave to his friend Max Bergmann, a young German painter, on occasion of his return journey after an adventurous time in Paris. A gift with quite some thoughtful substance – with a hidden agenda and a winking reference to "intimate banalities" one may assume, as today every remark that Marcel Duchamp made throughout his long life, whether as artist or later as "Anti-Artist", became part of a tremendous inventory of documents and memorabilia that helps us to interpret and understand his works, commentaries, explanations and provocations. Enigma and allurement make for the comet tail behind Duchamp that not only attracts (…) a gaudy and inspiring cluster of descendants, curators, artists, experts, collectors and gallerists" (Rudolf Herz, p. 49), but also all those that strive to examine the art of the 21\up6 st century.
In his monograph "Marcel Duchamp. Le Mystère de Munich", Rudolf Herz impressively worked out all the innuendos and possible reflections around the occurrence of "Bilboquet" in Marcel Duchamp’s universe.
The question whether Duchamp’s ”Bilboquet“ is a “Ready-made” or a "Ready Maid" (Thomas Zaunschirm) – an object that is the perfect missing link owing to its abundance of possible references and which smoothly blends in with Duchamp’s "work canon" – or perhaps even a "Ready-made 'avant la lettre'" will remain a fascinating play of reception. The acclaimed Duchamp expert Francis Naumann from New York describes it as a "Pre-Ready-made", because it is a ready-made object “signed” by Duchamp. Different from those objects that Duchamp himself referred to as Ready-mades as of 1916, among which we count iconic works such as "Roue Bicyclette" (Bicycle Wheel), the snow shovel dangling from the ceiling known as "In Advance of a Broken Arm" or the legendary urinal on a white base which made art history as "Fountain", the answer to this question still lies with the observer.
After his visit to Neuilly on April 18, 1910 Max Bergmann notes in his journal: "Duchamp gave me his Bilboquet as souvenir", the very toy that young Marcel used to probe fortune and failure while his brothers burst into laughter. More "Duchamp" is hard to imagine. [AH]

Buyer's premium, taxation and resale right apportionment for Marcel Duchamp "Bilboquet"
This lot can be purchased subject to differential or regular taxation.

Differential taxation:
Hammer prices up to € 500,000: 32 % buyer's premium
Hammer prices above € 500,000: for the share up to € 500,000: 32%, for the share above € 500,000: 27% buyer's premium
The buyer's premium contains VAT, however, it is not shown.

Regular taxation:
Hammer prices up to € 500,000: 25 % buyer's premium plus statutory sales tax Hammer prices above € 500,000: for the share up to € 500,000: 25%, for the share above € 500.000: 20% buyer's premium, each plus statutory sales tax

We kindly ask you to notify us before invoicing if you wish to be subject to regular taxation.

Resale right apportionment:
Objects made by artists who have not died at least 70 years ago are subject to a resale right apportionment of 1.5% plus statutory sales tax.