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Picasso for a snip at London sale

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LONDON, Oct 25 (AFP) - A leading London auction house Wednesday will put on sale about 100 ceramic works by Pablo Picasso at prices it says ordinary people can afford.

"Estimates range from 1,000 pounds (1,480 euros, 1,780 dollars) to 35,000 pounds and each individual piece offers a fantastic opportunity to acquire a work by the greatest master of twentieth century art at a fraction of the cost of a painting or sculpture by him," Sotheby's said.

That is a far cry from the world record of 55 million dollars paid for a Picasso painting, "Femme aux bras croises," five years ago.

The works are the product of Picasso's connection with Madoura, a ceramics workshop in southern France, and its owners George and Suzanne Ramie.

Picasso worked between 1947 and 1953 at the workshop, where he met Jacqueline Roque, who became his muse and later his wife.

Most of the works on sale were created by craftsmen at the workshop to Picasso's designs and are in effect limited editions of between 25 and 500 examples. Picasso, who was then in his 60s, also decorated jugs, plates and vases made by the craftsmen.

"Their success is based on the fact that they are affordable," said Jennie Rose, a specialist in modern art at Sotheby's. "His paintings, drawings and even prints are not affordable."

A similar sale took place in London in 2002. So popular have the Picasso ceramics become that Sotheby's this year is devoting a special catalogue to them.



COPYRIGHT 2005 Agence France-Presse. All rights reserved.

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