On Tuesday 10 May 2022, auctioneer Claude Aguttes auctioned off the first part of Michel Siméon's (1926-2020) collection of scientific and other objects. A "white glove" sale paid tribute to this inveterate hunter, who is well known in collecting circles.

TOP 5 results
1 - Lot 174 – Ondes musicales Martenot : 32 500 €  
2 - Lot 61 – Bobine de Ruhmkorff : 5 200 € 
3 - Lot 87 –  Machine de Wimshurst : 2 860 €
4 - Lot 42 – Grand tube de Geissler : 2 470 €  
5 - Lot 41 – Tube de Geissler : 2 080 €  

All prices are inclusive of fees
See the complete sale results

Dispersal of a Lyon collection and safeguarding of an entire heritage
The six children of this prodigious collector wanted to honour their father's memory and give new life to all these objects. The family spent a whole year inventorying each piece of this collection before deciding to sell it at auction. It took more than 800 boxes to transport the entire house, including some 900 records and more than 700 radios... A long process carried out with Claude Aguttes, auctioneer, Marie de Calbiac, head of the Lyon office of Aguttes, and François Rault, head of the sale!


"This sale was a tribute to a collector who devoted half his life to saving everyday objects and modern inventions in photography, electricity and communication. Michel Siméon had himself preserved these items, and we in turn allowed specialists in each of the fields represented to include them in their collections, whether public or private. In this way we have completed the work of this great enthusiast, passing on these objects to connoisseurs, and have also highlighted the work of a lifetime". Claude Aguttes, auctioneer


Michel Siméon, an experienced bargain hunter in the middle of his astonishing and remarkable collection

Lot 174  
Ondes musicales Martenot 

Light wood cabinet on four legs, movable ribbon keyboard. No. 144 is written on it
H. 82 x L. 123 x P. 50 cm
Result : 32 500 € 


The auctioneer has, once again, fulfilled his role as a conduit for objects and enabled them to be safeguarded, while shedding light on their history, particularly through the catalogue.

"With my sisters and one of my brothers, I attended the sale on 10 May 2022, and the five of us fully experienced every minute of this extraordinary auction, conducted by Claude Aguttes and François Rault. Some moments were unreal, like the bids on the Onde Martenot rising beyond all expectations!" Pascal Siméon, one of Michel Siméon's six children

A unique museum quality collection 

Almost all of these objects are still in use today and, thanks to a very precise inventory, the use of each device is still known. This rare collection bears witness to a passion, a knowledge and the beginnings of electricity and telecommunications, while telling us what a collector is... A collection, built up over 55 years, worthy of those in certain museums! 



Lot 16
Geissler tube "Paris"

L. totale : 22 cm 

Result: 1170 € 


In the assembly, a representative of the future French Museum of Radiology and Medical Imaging took 27 lots. Looking for objects and equipment related to the discovery of X-rays or the history of radiology, Frédéric Roz notably set his sights on a brass and wood vacuum pump (lot 156: €1,820) or the Geissler "Paris" tube (lot 16: €1,170).



Lot 61 
E. Ducretet & Cie à Paris

Ruhmkorff coil, the lyre-shaped inverter (9v DC supply)
H. 27 x L. 50 x P. 21 cm

Result: 5200 € 

This he did brilliantly, as this remarkable collection was crowned with a "white glove" sale: witnesses of man's inventiveness and research as well as of the evolution of society, these pieces dating from the 19th and 20th centuries all found buyers. Illustrating by their modernity, the ingenuity necessary for their creation, but also by their aesthetic qualities, they were noticed by collectors and museums.



Lot 87
Wimshurst machine in glass and metal, the base in blackened wood
H. 62 x L. 50 x P. 28 cm

Result: 2860 € 


"It is an immense pleasure to have been able to bring to the eyes of all the curious and amateurs this fascinating collection, witness of centuries of innovations, and moreover coming from Lyon, city of the Lumière brothers! The discovery of these thousands of objects, their history and that of this passionate collector was an unforgettable moment."  Marie de Calbiac, Head of the Lyon Representative Office

Throughout his life, Michel Siméon collected over 3,000 objects and restored many of them to working order.
Online sales follow this first part: 
- from 13 to 23 June 2022  
- from 11 to 20 July 2022 
Aguttes will organise other sales in the coming months...

Click here for all the results


Next sale: from 13 to 23 June 2022 on the Aguttes Online platform
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François RAULT : • +33 6 69 33 85 16