Artcurial Ritz Hotel, Paris Auction

The Place Vendôme is the most important square in Paris. A tribute to France’s culture, architecture, art, fashion, and jewellery, it has played a major part in the city. It is to Paris what the Piazza san Marco is to Venice, the centre of life, extentending on one side to the rue de Rivoli and on the other side Place de l’Opéra. Like Versailles, the Place Vendôme is a great expression of the Sun King Louis XIV’s power. The Statue by Giradon was knocked down after the French Revolution, and replaced by another effigy of power, Napoleon Bonaparte.

Much of the square’s grounds became a high luxury housing project in which the rich started speculating as they did in everything else.  This is when the Place Vendôme came on to the scene. Paris had for so many years been the centre of fashion. Ladies came from all over Europe for their dresses. First came couturier Frederic Worth, Coco Chanel, Madame Touissaint, Yves Saint Laurent and Christian Dior.

Wonderful things had arrived at the Place Vendôme and in 1898 the Ritz Hotel opened. This is when it began to be the place to stay.

We were in Paris last month (April 2018) when this exceptional sale organised by French auction house Artcurial, revisited the prestigious history of the Ritz Hotel through an auction of  10,000 pieces into 3500 lots. Its antique decorations, unique tastes and unsurpassed notoriety continues on its epic journey since its glitzy reopening in June 2016.

Collectors and enthusiasts of the 15 Place Vendome were offered the unique opportunity to return home with a piece of the Ritz Legend through this incredible week long sale. Whether you wanted Coco Chanel’s armchair from her suite (lot 3232), a pair of embellished silk curtains, champagne flutes (lot 1082, 12 engraved glasses estimated sale price 150€ went for 3900€!!) or a luggage rack, it was quite incredible to view what was up for grabs.

Above a detail of a pair of Louis XVI bench seats and a set of 12 green cushions from one of the suites.

The cheese service trolley above came from Restaurant L’Espadon (The Swordfish) named in memory of the owner César Ritz’s friend Hemmingway who a great fishing amateur.

The Louis XVI style bedside tables were seen throughout the suites at the hotel.

The blue signage above from the hotel corridor was listed at an estimate of 400-600€. The hammer price saw the lost sell at an enormous 7800€.

An eagerly anticipated collection of lots came from the suite inhabited by Coco Chanel. The Suite headboard, armchairs, bedside lamps, rug, bathroom accessories and accessories were all listed for auction.

Lot No. 1072 A Ritz Club Coffee Table & 3 Red Stools estimated sale price of 400€-600€ in fact sold for 5200€

This rather fun lot of bedroom accessories sold for 3 times its listing estimate

Since Nicky’s recent visit to interior designer Vincent Darre’s home in Paris we thought it would be rather apt to share this artwork. The designer was assigned by Artcurial to create the scenography of the Ritz Auction exhibition, held in the Hôtel Marcel Dassault, where bidders were able to inspect just 10% of the auctions listing.

Sharing a few words on his interview for the commission Vincent says,

“For me, the Ritz is the quintessential luxury hotel, a Parisian symbol as emblematic as the Eiffel Tower. With the Ritz, we are verging on the legend, we enter into the palace of French tater, with all its historical references.”

For the full auction final sales listings click here.

The Ritz Hotel, 15 Place Vendome, Paris

Nicky’s World, May 2018