Vollard died in 1939 in the exercise of his job a bit like Aeschylus, supposedly because a jolt unbalanced a statue that fell on his neck in the back seat of a car in which he was sleeping. The series of the hundred pictures had no title and will never have one. It will be known as La Suite Vollard.
Vollard had just started distributing the Suite. Picasso had numbered and signed 15 sets. Around 1941 the merchant Henri M. Petiet recovers all the stock. He has signed the prints by Picasso as and when he gets customers from his first sale in 1950 until his dispute with the artist in 1969.
Complete series in deluxe format are rare. One of them including ten sheets numbered by Picasso was sold for CHF 2.65M including premium by Kornfeld on June 15, 2012. The set assembled by the printer Lacourière for his personal collection was sold for $ 2.53M including premium by Sotheby's on November 14, 2016.
The Petiet stock was split between both formats. A deluxe set signed by Picasso was sold for £ 2.65M including premium by Sotheby's on June 19, 2013.
Petiet was a competent merchant but also a demanding collector. Curiously the Vollard Suite he had kept for his collection is with small margins. It has been entirely signed by Picasso.
It has taken 50 auction sessions since 1991 to disperse Petiet's collection of prints in 12,000 lots. His Vollard Suite waited for the very last sale. It is estimated € 1,2M for sale by Ader-Nordmann in Paris on November 25, lot 317.
SOLD for € 1.94M including premium