The collection of a French spy who posed as an art dealer during World War II is coming up for auction at Sotheby’s.
Jean Dewasne, Age de vivre, glycerophthalic lacquer (97 x 130 cm / 38 3/16 x 51 3/16 in), est. €7,000–10,000. Courtesy S
What started as a clever cover became a lifelong passion for French spy and war hero Daniel Cordier. He and his mentor, the French resistance leader Jean Moulin, traveled across Nazi-occupied France under the guise of art dealers, collecting paintings, and unifying disparate underground resistance networks.
Earlier this year, Cordier was awarded the Great Cross of the Légion d’Honneur, the highest decoration of the French state. His art collection is a “time capsule back to another moment in time, another world,” Olivier Fau, Sotheby’s senior director for contemporary art, told The Guardian.