Artcurial to offer the most iconic Ritz Paris dinner services, glasses and silverware

Art Daily
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The Ritz Paris’ blue Marthe service, scenography by Laurent Buttazzoni © Charlotte Hess for Artcurial.
The Ritz Paris’ blue Marthe service, scenography by Laurent Buttazzoni © Charlotte Hess for Artcurial.

PARIS.- Following its spectacular 2018 sale dedicated to the historic furnishings of the Ritz Paris, Artcurial is to auction almost 1,500 lots dedicated to French Arts of the Table and Arts of Living on 21st, 22nd and 23st June 2020. Six of the most beautiful dinner services from the successive layouts of the Parisian palace hotel will be presented for sale. From the iconic Marthe service commissioned by César Ritz in 1898 for the opening of the hotel to the Ritz Club service designed by Jean Boggio, more than 450 lots of Limoges porcelain will go under the hammer.

Each piece embodies this legendary place that has always stood for elegance and the French art de vivre, and attracted guests from all over the world: celebrities, artists, royalty and writers, including Ernest Hemingway, Coco Chanel and Audrey Hepburn.

The hotel’s gold- and silverware will also be showcased, with around 400 lots including pieces bearing the “Hôtel Ritz” insignia, created by pre-eminent houses such as Christofle and Ercuis. Cutlery, shaped pieces, dishes and trays and tea and coffee sets will be presented alongside rarer items, such as three Christofle serving trolleys. Also featuring in the catalogue will be numerous glass and crystal sets, including sets of cocktail glasses from the legendary Hemingway Bar. The hotel’s linen will complete the session, with an array of 200 lots devoted to table, bath and bed linen.

These objects are an opportunity for enthusiasts and collectors to own refined pieces with unique provenance, with estimates ranging from €100-150 for two ashtrays from the famous Ritz Club to €4,000 – 6,000 for a Christofle serving trolley.

For this sale, Artcurial will hold an exhibition in the salons of the Hôtel Marcel Dassault, from 18th to 20th June 2020. Renowned French interior designer and author of the culinary guide Dîner à la maison Laurent Buttazzoni will be responsible for the scenography of the exhibition.

“This auction will be the ultimate chance to take home a piece of the iconic universe of the legendary hotel that is the Ritz Paris! ” –Stéphane Aubert, Auctioneer and Associate Director, Artcurial

The Ritz Paris, a gem of Parisian gastronomy
The history of the Ritz Paris is closely linked with that of gastronomy. In fact, Auguste Escoffier, the hotel’s first chef and the other half of the successful Ritz and Escoffier business partnership, is regarded as one of the fathers of modern cuisine. The two Michelin-starred gourmet restaurant La Table de l’Espadon continues this tradition of excellence today. It was opened in 1956 by Charles Ritz and its name is a nod to the 1952 novel The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway, with whom he shared a love of fishing.

A drink at the Hemingway Bar
It was during the Roaring Twenties that the adjective “Ritzy” first appeared in the American dictionary. It means luxurious, fashionable and elegant. It sums up the look and feel of the Ritz Paris in a single word. The hotel didn’t have a bar to begin with. It was at the instigation of the hotel’s American clientele and personalities like Cole Porter, Francis Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway, who were escaping Prohibition and making Paris the place to party, that César Ritz opened the Ritz Bar in 1921. Nowadays the hotel has three of them, including the famous Hemingway Bar where Colin Field, twice named “World’s Best Bartender”, helps perpetuate the legend of this special place.

Six iconic Ritz Paris dinner services come to Artcurial
Artcurial is the preferred partner of the capital’s palace hotels, having organised auctions of the furnishings of the Plaza Athénée, Tour d’Argent and Hôtel de Crillon in recent years. In April 2018, Artcurial hit the headlines when it auctioned the historic furnishings of the Ritz Paris. The sale totalled €7.3M / $9M, more than seven times the overall estimate and setting a new world record for a sale of hotel furnishings.

On this occasion, Artcurial will present more than 1500 lots for sale on 21st, 22nd and 23st June 2020 as part of an exceptional auction dedicated to the Arts of the Table and the Arts of Living at the Ritz Paris. This event will be an opportunity for collectors and enthusiasts to rediscover the iconic dinner services of the Ritz Paris:

• the Marthe service, decorated with a frieze of arabesques in blues or greens, commissioned by César Ritz in 1898 for the opening of the hotel, where it has remained ever since;

• the exclusive designs of Jean Boggio: the Ritz Club service, and the Psyché service, decorated with leafy tendrils;

• and finally, two older services with floral decorations, one pink, the other green, preserved by the hotel until now.

Glassware from the Hemingway Bar
This collection will be completed by a large selection of table, bath and bed linen stamped “Ritz Paris”, and beautiful silverware items bearing the “Hôtel Ritz” insignia. Three Christofle serving trolleys, as well as several sets of cocktail glasses from the Hemingway Bar feature amongst the unmissable pieces in the sale.

In particular, they include a set of six crystal Martini glasses engraved “Bar Hemingway Ritz Paris” (estimate: €400 – 600), four crystal dessert plates, in their case and stamped “Lalique France – Ritz Paris” (estimate: €400 – 600) and twelve round-based serving plates from the Marthe collection, made from Limoges porcelain and decorated with a frieze of arabesques in shades of blue, marked “Ritz Paris” underneath (estimate: €150-200). A so-called “carving trolley” by Christofle, made from dyed wood and silver-plated metal, has been estimated at between €4,000 and 6,000.