A public exhibition of the auction items will be held April 12th to 16th.
"This event will be the perfect synthesis between an ‘interiors’ sale and a ‘memorabilia’ sale, in which anyone will be able to own… a part of the dream of this unequalled Parisian palace,'' says François Tajan, co-president of Artcurial, the premier French auction house handling the sale.
The luxurious five-star hotel was first constructed in 1758 after King Louis XV commissioned the architect Jaques-Ange Gabriel to build two palaces on in what would become the Place de la Concorde. The two identical buildings, separated by the rue Royale, were designed to be government offices.
On February 6, 1778, the building was the venue for the official signing of the first treaties between France and the newly-founded United States.
Ten years later, the Count of Crillon acquired the building and moved in. But it was confiscated shortly thereafter by the government of the French Revolution in 1791. Two years later King Louis XVI was guillotined in the Place de la Concorde, directly in front of the building. Eventually the building was returned to its owner whose descendants lived there for more than a century. In 1907, the Societe du Louvre purchased the property and transformed it into a hotel. The building underwent a two-year refurbishment and two neighboring buildings were added. The new Hotel de Crillon opened on March 12, 1909.
The five-day sale will feature furniture, lighting, silver, porcelain, tapestries, trimmings….all of the decorative arts. Each piece will bear the name “Hotel de Crillon.’’ Certain pieces will be personalized by artists, couturiers and decorators, and will be sold to benefit charities. A selection of wines and spirits is also being auctioned.
So what might you pick up? How about a bar created by César in 1982 (valued up to €12,000) or a Philippe Starck for Baccarat “Dark Super’’ console table from the restaurant Les Ambassadeurs (€15,000)? Trop cher? Then perhaps a Christofle majogany and silver plate dessert trolley (€3000 to €4000), a molded crystal and silver plated Lalique light fixture (€3000 to €4000) or a large wood veneer, gilt bronze and marquetry Louis XVI-style desk from the lobby (€300 to €400) would be just the thing. There will also be silk curtains, linens with the Crillon crest, cast-iron garden furniture and much more.
Tough luck if you had your eye some of those Baccarat chandeliers or the fountains from the conservatory of the Château de Versailles—they’re not for sale.
Luc Delafosse, director of Crillon says the sale will “mark the beginning of the Crillon of tomorrow while continuing the magic of the myth.’’
The two-year renovation of the 147-room hotel will be led by three top interior decorators: Cyril Vergniol, Chahan Minassian and Tristan Auer, under the artistic direction of Aline d’Amman. The goal will be ‘’to enhance the noblesse and elegance of the site while conserving the atmosphere of an 18th century hôtel particulier, in which many salons and suites are classified Historical Monuments.”
Who will actually run the Crillon when it reopens remains anyone’s guess. It's currently owned by a Saudi Prince, who bought it in 2010 for a reported €250 million. The French press reports that the Prince has been talking with the U.S. hotelier Rosewood about taking over the management; Rosewood was bought by the Chinese firm New World Hospitality Group in 2011. I read that Rosewood is currently favored over Sofitel, part of the French hotel giant Accor. The Crillon says no decision has been made.
Here's all the auction info...
The Viewing: Friday April 12 to Tuesday 16 April 2013, 10 am to 8 pm. Evening hours: Monday April 15 until 10 pm.
The Auction: Thursday April 18, Friday 19, Saturday 20, Sunday 21 and Monday April 22, everyday at 10 am and 2:30 pm.
The Catalog (€50) is available from firstname.lastname@example.org. You can browse it here.
For more info: click here.
Photos: The Crillon as it looks today...and a poster celebrating the opening in 1909. Among the items to be auctioned are a bar made by César and furniture from the lobby, terraces, Presidential (and other) suites, terraces, lobby and restaurant Les Ambassadeurs.
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