This week, Artcurial, the Parisian Auction House, will stage a 5-day exhibition (from April 12-16) ahead of the coming auction, transforming the Hôtel Marcel Dassault into a place of imaginary décor, a film set recounting the history of the Ritz, the legendary Parisian grand hotel.
Since 1898, when the Ritz opened, Swiss hotelier César Ritz “envisioned a grand Parisian pied-à-terre that offered all the refinements that a prince could wish in his own house.” (Quartzy) From the beginning, the hotel embodied French luxury and modernity (it was the first hotel to have en-suite bathrooms for every room), signalling modernity and respectability to the tourist class of the Belle Époque.
Artcurial’s Associate Director, Stéphane Aubert, of the 3,500 lots (made up of 10,000 pieces) of furniture and other objets on auction, the most exciting piece to her, is a bathtub: “The first bathtub of the Ritz we found is undoubtedly the most unusual item,” he says. “It is also probably an older one, dating from the opening of the hotel. She reminds us of the comfort César Ritz wanted for the customers—modern bathrooms with the latest technologies, this from the end of the 19th century.”
In charge of this ‘Movie Set’ is Vincent Darré, the interior designer know for his baroque creations and eccentricity. L’hotel mythique de Paris, the quintessential luxury hotel, a Parisian emblème—this is what the Ritz Hotel represents for the man curating the Ritz Project for ArtCurial: “I carry with me a multitude of personal memories of the Ritz and I am delighted to be a part of this event—auction, staging objects that are familiar to me and that I love.”
Gilded wood Louis XVI style beds, leather sofas from the bar, marble baroque consoles, an impressive collection of curtains and a lot more will be en vente this weekend in the 8th arrondissement of Paris.
Here are a few of the former pieces of furniture of the Ritz Paris that you’ll be able to bid for this weekend.
Powder blue antique seating from the Windsor Suite (shown top) estimated to fetch from $2,400 to $3,600. The Windsor suite measures nearly 1,800 square feet and has a view overlooking the Place Vendôme. Its nightly rate begins at €12,000. Source: Artcurial (via Bloomberg)
17 April 2018 – 10:00am & 2:30pm
18 April 2018 – 10:00am & 2:30pm
19 April 2018 – 10:00am & 2:30pm
20 April – 10:00am & 2:30pm
21 April – 10:00am & 2:30pm
If you can not make it to Paris for this momentous event, you can still bid by phone or through the live bidding section of the auction house’s website.
An archival view of the Ritz’s courtyard (via Bloomberg)
Un canapé et deux fauteuils en fer forgé laqué blanc / A sofa and a pair of armchairs 1 000 – 1 5 000 €
A garden statue that was positioned over a small fountain at the head of the Ritz’s garden is estimated to fetch $2,400 to $3,600 at auction (via Bloomberg)
12 April, 11am-7pm
13 April, 11am-9pm
14 April, 11am-7pm
15 April, 11am-7pm
16 April, by appointment
As mentioned earlier, French decorator Vincent Darré recreated a few of the rooms from the Ritz in the form of 19 vignettes at the Hôtel Marcel Dassault, where bidders (and those who are curious) can view the pieces ahead of the auction. This exhibition opened today and I was lucky enough to have a chance to visit and take a few photos. It is stunning to see all these beautiful things in person — I highly recommend a visit if you happen to be in Paris. The exhibition runs until April 16, and the auction begins on April 17.