An auction of more than 1,300 pieces of furniture, art, jewelry and interior decoration from the 17th to the 20th century, from one of the largest houses in Paris, has described as “sale of the century”.
The source material reads like a scroll through the history of European aristocracy: a sofa for the Duke and Duchess of Windsor; a kalaen dish given by Catherine the Great to her lover, Count Orlov; lamp belonging to Marie-Antoinette and Madame de Pompadour, mistress of King Louis XV.
Until recently, this great collection graced the Hôtel Lambert, a unique building located on Île Saint-Louis, in the center of Paris, a stone’s throw from Notre-Dame Cathedral. The property was built in 1640 by the royal architect Louis Le Vau, who designed the Palace of Versailles, and was listed as a historical monument in 1862.
The Polish owners included Prince Adam Jerzy Czartoryski, who invited the composer Chopin, the painter Eugène Delacroix, and Guy and Marie-Hélène Rothschild to live there.
The palace’s elegant rooms hosted literary parties attended by Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Voltaire and, in its heyday, glittering parties attended by the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Yves Saint Laurent , Cecil Beaton, Salvador Dali, Brigitte Bardot and a host of European royalty. .
In 2007, the Hôtel Lambert, whose Hercules statue was painted by the Versailles decorator Charles Le Brun, was acquired by Sheikh Hamad Bin Abdullah Al Thani, a member of the Qatari royal family, who carried out a renovation. 120 million euros and fill it. with his large private collection of art and jewelry. This collection is offered for sale by Sotheby’s in October.
Mario Tavella, who oversees sales and specializes in historic collections, said he was blown away when he first entered the Hôtel Lambert.
“It is the best property in private hands in Paris or in France and one of the best buildings in the world. The overall quality of every part of the interior completely blew me away. It was fascinating and magical. ,” said Mr. Tavella.
“The company has the largest collection of high-quality works of art, furniture, old paintings and antiques offered for sale in France. »
Others were given to members of the French royal family, including Marie Antoinette, or from the collections of artists, including Coco Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Karl Lagerfeld and Hubert de Givenchy.
The collection from Hotel Lambert was removed after the building was sold to French businessman Xavier Niel, a mobile phone billionaire, for €200m (£170m) – a record for a Paris property. . Niel needs to create a cultural foundation in the house.
Sale of the Hôtel Lambert: a royal collection will be held over several days in October. Tavella said the buyer is expected to be ahead of the sale of historic collections, including those of the Hanover Palace in 2005 that brought $50 million and the collections of Lily and Edmond Safra in 2005 and 2011 earned $ 100 million.
“This is a truly amazing collection, bought once every 100 years,” he said.