Saturday, April 13, 2013

For Sale - 3,500 Objects from the Hôtel de Crillon in Paris!

Bedroom furniture on display in the Marie-Antoinette Salon on the first floor of the Hôtel de Crillon.

Are you in the market for a new couch, some silverware, a grand piano or a marble fireplace? Do you like to regal your guests with fascinating stories about how you acquired your home furnishings? Would you like to own a piece of Parisian history?

If you answered "yes" to the above questions, stop reading this post and make haste to the Hôtel de Crillon. From April 12-16, this historic Parisian hotel has opened its doors to the public to preview the 3,500 pieces of furniture, fine wine and hotel linens that will be auctioned by Artcurial from April 18-22.


After a short five-minute wait in line yesterday afternoon, I followed the signs directing the flow of curious people from the Marie-Antoinette Salon, where Marie-Antoinette took piano lessons, to the Presidential Suite, the Leonard Bernstein Suite and back down five flights of stairs to Les Ambassadeurs restaurant. In between, I admired the spectacular view of the Place de la Concorde and imagined what it would have been like to have spent a couple of nights in this palatial hotel, like Madonna, President Bill Clinton and Michael Jackson did in the past. The elderly French people around me must have had other "guests" on their minds because I overheard several references to the German forces, who occupied the hotel during World War II, and to General Eisenhower, who moved the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces into the Hôtel de Crillon until 1945.

Having worked up a thirst while admiring the fine wines for sale, I ordered a glass of champagne (half of all the proceeds go to the Foyer de la Madeleine) in the Cesar Bar and asked the barman what he will do while the hotel is transformed to include a swimming pool, a spa and larger rooms. Carefully considering the tulip shaped champagne flute in his hand, he explained that he'll be on stand-by until asked to return. The hotel, which was recently purchased by a member of the Saudi royal family, may also ask him to do a short assignment at one of their other properties. Curious to know what my French companions thought of the hotel being owned by a foreigner, I asked the woman seated next to me. As Parisians are pragmatists, her response wasn't surprising: "Given the poor economic situation, it doesn't matter who owns the hotel as long as it provides jobs in France." The Hôtel de Crillon plans to re-open in 2015 with 125 instead of 147 rooms.

Hôtel de Crillon
10 Place de la Concorde
75008 Paris

Please click here to view more photos of some of the items for sale and click here to view the complete Buyers Guide for the auction. It's possible to place bids online. Prior to the auction, people are invited to view the objects at the Hôtel de Crillon from 10 am until 8 pm, April 12-16, 2013.

View of the Place de la Concorde from the Presidential Suite at the Hôtel de Crillon. 

11 comments:

  1. You are so lucky to be able to view all the items that will be sold - wish I could jump on a plane and come and have a look! Love the special designer chairs!! One of them would look lovely in my living room! Thanks for this nice post!

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    1. Ooooops - signed in on my husband's Google acct - this should have said from Sandy M! Sorry for the error!

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    2. No problem! The chairs are great - and I think that 100% of the proceeds go to the Foyer de la Madeleine, a very worthy cause. I didn't take a photo of it, but one of the artists combined two chairs to make a loveseat! They're also going to auction off a dinner at the restaurant of the newly opened Crillon Hotel for 2015.

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  2. Hmmm, your French lady's comment isn't quite the same comment other French people have said about the Starbucks coming to Montmarte. Agree?

    I'm so glad you got to preview the listings, and I'm just a tad jealous. I can't decide how serious I am for a silver champagne bucket. Did you see those lots? I thought the linens were tagged with high estimates, as were some of the draperies. Of course good linens are hard to find these days.



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    1. When Stephane and I went back to the Crillon on Sunday morning, I took a photo of one of the silver champagne buckets especially for you! I'll email it to you. I didn't see any of the linens but the draperies were all in good shape. Lots of people seemed to be interested in them.

      The French lady's comment reminded me of my discussions with the artists in Montmartre. They seemed alright with their friend selling the restaurant to Starbucks because he needed the money. I'm generalizing, of course, but they often seem to view things more practically than emotionally, eg the economy is bad and people need jobs so it's not important who owns the hotel/restaurant/etc.

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  3. It would be very easy to lose oneself here...and lose the contents of one's wallet Mary Kay. Mmmm. I wonder how hard it would be to transport the odd chandelier or two to Australia?

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    1. I'm sure that they would be more than happy to ship an odd chandelier or two to you in Australia, Baron! While visiting the hotel, I noticed that there was an entire office dedicated to shipments abroad.

      One of the more entertaining conversations that I overheard involved a fireplace. A well-dressed man asked if he had to dismantle it on his own! The agent from the auction company quickly replied that professionals would be in charge of removing all of the fireplaces, chandeliers, etc -- for a fee, of course!

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  4. Ahhh- that is something I definitely would have done if I were there! SO glad you went. Will you go to the auction at ArtCurial? Miss you! Not sure when I'll be back- canceled my April trip because I had too much going on here.

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    1. I miss you, too! It has been ages since I've had the chance to tell someone that she has gold dust from a champagne cocktail on her lips. I hope that it won't be too much longer until you're back in town!

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  5. I hope they don't make the hotel too modern. Reopenings have a tendency to over-vamp an already beautiful space. That would make me sad. I used to come here for dinner with my uncle, I have fond memories here.

    Sooooo, aside from the bubbly, did you purchase anything? Maybe some wine?

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    1. Sorry to say that you probably won't recognize the inside of the hotel when they finish the renovations. Stephane was wondering what they're going to do with the wooden floors so he asked about the future style of the hotel. They said that it will be contemporary, with the exception of the rooms at the front that are listed as historic monuments. They'll have to leave those as they are.

      I was tempted by a few items, including some of the wine (!) but I think that the prices will be too high when the auction starts on Friday. They are a lot of interested buyers!

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