SHARE
COPY LINK

AUCTION

France’s legendary Ritz hotel breaks record in furniture auction

Luxury furniture auctioned off by the legendary Ritz hotel in Paris sold for 7.3 million euros, a world record in the industry, auction house Artcurial said Saturday.

France's legendary Ritz hotel breaks record in furniture auction
Photo: AFP

The Paris hotel, home for a while to Ernest Hemingway, Marcel Proust and Coco Chanel, sold off all 10,000 pieces of furniture and decor.

They included stools from the Hemingway Bar, a 19th-century bathtub, and sofas and a harp from the Proust Lounge.

The Ritz sale outperformed other hotels around the world, the auction house said.

In 2013 in Paris, Hotel de Crillon made 5.9 million euros from a furniture sale while Plaza Athenee made 1.4 million euros.

The 3,400 lots that were up for grabs were on sale between April 17th and 21st.

Buyers bid on objects ranging from velvet security cordons and curtain ties, to rugs, bedframes and sets of bathrobes and slippers embroidered with the Ritz insignia.

Price estimates ran from 100 euros for a pair of tablecloths to 10,000 euros for a pair of nymph sculptures carrying bronze candelabras that used to decorate the lobby.

“The Ritz has excited a sudden passion, attracting buyers from all over the world,” auctioneer Francois Tajan told AFP.

The Ritz decided to sell the pieces from its famous Place Vendome address when it reopened in June 2016 after four years of extensive renovations.

Owned by Egyptian billionaire Mohamed Al-Fayed since 1979, the hotel had accumulated impressive quantities of objects since it was opened in 1898 by Cesar Ritz.

It has served as the backdrop to several key moments in French history.

The Nazis requisitioned it during World War II but had cleared out by the time Ernest Hemingway burst in with a group of Resistance fighters on August 25th, 1944, gun in hand, to “personally liberate” it.

Realising he was too late Hemingway took to the bar where he is said to have run up a tab for 51 dry Martinis.

In 1997, tragedy befell the hotel when Britain's Princess Diana, who had been staying there, was killed in a car accident in a Paris tunnel while being pursued by paparazzi.

The hotel made global headlines again in January, when robbers armed with guns and hatchets ransacked jewellery shops on the ground floor, making off with over four million euros in gems and watches. 

READ ALSO: Three charged with Paris Ritz jewellery heist: judicial source

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

AUCTION

Tintin print signed by Aldrin triples estimates at Paris auction

A print from a classic "Tintin" comic book signed by American astronaut Buzz Aldrin fetched 33,800 euros ($37,250), triple the auction house's estimate, at a Paris sale on Saturday.

Tintin print signed by Aldrin triples estimates at Paris auction
The print was signed by several US astronauts including Buzz Aldrin. Photo: Artcurial
The image from “Explorers on the Moon”, a 1950s adventure where the Belgian reporter becomes the first human on the Moon, features an inscription from Aldrin: “First moonwalkers after Tintin.”
   
Aldrin was famously the second man to walk on the lunar surface after Neil Armstrong during the 1969 Apollo 11 mission.
   
Interest in Tintin memorabilia has only strengthened since author Herge died in 1983 — an original drawing for a first edition was sold for $1.12 million in June this year.
 
Earlier this week in Paris, an original page from another Tintin book “King Ottokar's Sceptre” sold for 394,000 euros, far above its reserve price.   
 
However, the star item at Saturday's Paris auction failed to sell.   
 
The Paris auction house Artcurial valued a Tintin drawing from “The Shooting Star” adventure at €150,000 to €200,000, but no bidders were forthcoming.
   
More than 200 million Tintin books have now been sold worldwide, translated into roughly 70 languages.
 
READ ALSO: 
SHOW COMMENTS