Artcurial’s auction sale dedicated to the Arts de la table and Arts de vivre of the Ritz Paris hotel realised an impressive total of 1,7 M€, over four times the estimate

Artcurial’s auction sale dedicated to the Arts de la table and Arts de vivre of the Ritz Paris hotel realised an impressive total of 1,7 M€, over four times the estimate


Last week,  Artcurial held its sale event dedicated to the Arts de la table and Arts de vivre of the Ritz Paris hotel. 

This followed three days of viewing in which the sophisticated and elegant atmosphere of the iconic hotel was recreated in various rooms of the Hôtel Marcel Dassault. 

Over 10 000 items came under the hammer, from the Ritz hotel’s historic dinner services to glassware from the Bar Hemingway, sets of silverware and table and hotel linen. 

These items, presented in 1 500 lots, all sold with many exceeding their estimates multiple times, in an impressive “white gloves” result for this three-day marathon sale.

 With Stéphane Aubert and Vincent Héraud on the rostrum, the sales realised a total of 1 721 167 € / 1 944 919 $ including commission, equating to over four times the presale estimate. 

Having orchestrated the sales of furniture and furnishings from the Plaza Athénée, the Tour d’Argent and the Hôtel de Crillon in recent years, Artcurial has become the preferred partner for Paris’s coveted palace hotels.

 In April 2018, Artcurial made the headlines with the sale of historic items of furniture from the Ritz Paris in an auction that totalled 7,3 M€ / 9 M$, over seven times the estimate and establishing a world record for a hotel furniture sale.

 Two years later, this famous Parisian hotel entrusted Artcurial to sell its historic collections of “les arts de la table et les arts de vivre à la francaise”. 

The first day of the sale, on Sunday 21 June, started magnificently, realising 715 352 €, some seven times higher than estimated. Both French and international clients converged on the sale from all four corners of the world to bid in the room, online, on the telephone or by commission bid, in order to take away a small part of this legendary hotel, so loved by celebrities, artists, royalty and writers worldwide.

 Enamoured by the special provenance, bids were placed by buyers from 25 different countries and more than 500 people registered to bid live online.

 ‘After a three-day sale and 100% of lots sold, the legendary Ritz Paris has been honoured once again by Artcurial ! ‘ Stéphane Aubert, Auctioneer, Associate Director, Artcurial .


The renowned services from the Ritz Paris 

In this special sale event, collectors showed a particular interest in the six historic dinner services of the Ritz Paris hotel. 

The Ritz Club service, designed by Jean Boggio, attracted huge interest amongst buyers: one part of this service containing the elegant red plates embellished with the words Ritz Club sold for eighteen times the estimate, with lots 1026 and 1031 fetching 7 200€ each (est: 400 – 600 €) while twelve coffee cups (lot 549) from the same service sold for 2 100€ (est : 150 – 200 €). The hammer came down on several ashtrays bearing the Ritz Club insignia (lots 550, 1189 and 1190) for an astonishing 22 times their estimates, selling for 2 200 € a pair.

 The Marthe service decorated with an arabesque frieze, commissioned by César Ritz in 1898 for the opening of the hotel and used there ever since, also created a stir. Twelve plates in shades of green (lot 161) changed hands for 6 800 €, some 45 times above estimate.

 Gold and silverware from the famous hotel 

Nearly 400 items of gold and silverware belonging to the legendary hotel were offered in the sale. Highlights included the Christofle serving trolleys which achieved some of the highest prices, with lot 1283 selling for 18 200 € and lots 699 and 1051 each fetching 13 000 €. A display trolley for glasses and bottles (lot 186) sold for four times its estimate at 8 500 €.

 A silver plated five-arm candelabra (lot 826) exceeded its estimate by four times, selling to an international collector for 11 100 €. Amongst other highly sought-after items were the Champagne buckets, with bids rising to 11 700 € for lot 1381, over 50 times the estimate. Bidding was also strong for silver items, such as lot 424, twelve butter knives, that found a new owner for 6 500 € (est : 150 – 200 €).

 A glass at the Bar Hemingway 

One of the many highlights in the sale was the glassware from Bar Hemingway, named after the American writer who, from 1925 after his meeting with Francis Scott Fitzgerald, made this bar his own. The ‘liberation’ of the Ritz by Ernest Hemingway on 24 August 1944 has gone down in history. Some of the pieces offered from Bar Hemingway included six Martini glasses engraved with «Bar Hemingway Ritz Paris» (lot 933) which sold for 2 100 €, five times the estimate, while the lots of six vodka glasses from Maison Ercuis (lots 948 and 949) achieved 1 800 € each (est : 200 – 300 €). 

The «Ritz» table, bath and bed linen 

Prior to the sale Artcurial held three days of viewing in an exhibition that recreated the ambience of the interior and bedrooms of the hotel Ritz , including the 200 lots of table, bath and bed linen. Every item of bath linen found a new owner with prices ranging from 200 to 2 000 €. The “Ritz” embroidered bathrobes, together with their bath sheets and towels sold well, including lot 79 that made 2 000 €. Amongst the lots of table linen, bidders were particularly keen on the tablecloths with Imperial decoration and matching beige cotton napkins (lot 513) that changed hands for 2 000 € (est : 300 – 400 €).

Image: The Ritz Paris exhibition, Arts of the table and Arts of living, displayed in rooms at the Hôtel Dassault for Artcurial from 18 to 20 June 2020.

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