eBay Launches Authentication for Fine Jewelry

In collaboration GIA, the Gemological Institute of America, eBay’s ‘Authenticity Guarantee’ service expands to include fine jewelry from brands like Bvlgari, Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels.

As the marketplace’s luxury categories continue to gain momentum with double digit growth, eBay announces the expansion of its Authenticity Guarantee to fine jewelry. Beginning today, in collaboration with GIA, the Gemological Institute of America, eligible new and pre-owned fine jewelry sold for $500+ will be available for the service. The offering will soon expand to include top designer brands like Bvlgari, Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, David Yurman, and Tiffany & Co. This marks the expansion of eBay’s authentication service to its fifth category, which currently includes sneakers, watches, handbags, and trading cards.

Jewelry has always been a popular category on the marketplace, and its growth shows how consumer demand is only increasing. As we continue to listen to our community of luxury enthusiasts in order to foster an even more trusted shopping and selling environment, expanding Authenticity Guarantee to jewelry was a crucial next step for our luxury business.

Tirath Kamdar, GM of Luxury at eBay

eBay’s collaboration with GIA – preeminent experts in gems and jewelry – will power the marketplace’s authentication in this category, which has grown significantly over the past year: sales of Bvlgari, David Yurman and Van Cleef & Arpels were all up double-digits month-over-month in May of this year, while eight pieces of fine jewelry were bought every minute on eBay in 2021.

With 90 years of expertise, GIA’s unparalleled category knowledge will help ensure that buyers can shop and sellers can sell with total confidence.  As part of the collaboration, GIA experts, including gemologists, will perform a multi-point inspection, verifying metal type, purity, and gemstone quality, to confirm the authenticity of every eligible item.

GIA is the trusted independent source of knowledge, standards, and education in gems and jewelry; our mission is to protect consumers,” said . “Collaborating with eBay on its Authentication Guarantee extends our mission, helping to protect the millions of eBay fine jewelry buyers and sellers.

Pritesh Patel, GIA Chief Operating Officer

eBay has authenticated more than two million items across authenticated categories since introducing Authenticity Guarantee in 2020, and in the next two years, the program is expected to surpass five million items. The addition of fine jewelry to eBay’s Authenticity Guarantee service builds upon the existing assortment of luxury goods available on the marketplace backed by the authentication service, underpinning its growth as a top luxury destination. By the end of 2022, jewelry authentication will roll out to all eligible listings and identified brands on the platform, making it easier and more trusted than ever to browse and buy fine jewelry on the marketplace.

How eBay’s Authenticity Guarantee for Jewelry works

GIA experts use best in class techniques to verify the condition and quality of the jewelry, ensuring the authenticity and accuracy as compared to the listing.  Every piece of jewelry that goes through eBay’s Authenticity Guarantee service is examined by GIA experts who inspect the item to verify it is as described in the listing. They also confirm that its condition and quality are as described in the listing. Our Authenticity Guarantee service collaborates with GIA,  the preeminent experts in gems and jewelry, so you can shop with confidence. Details on the jewelry authentication process are as follows:

  • Multi-point inspection by experts: Jewelry is examined for authenticity by GIA experts with years of industry experience and knowledge. GIA then performs a multi-point inspection, so you know your jewelry is authentic. Once verified, GIA will ship your item to you safely and discreetly, with signature confirmation required.
  • Unique Authentication Card: Verified jewelry will receive a unique authentication card with a QR code. Scan the code to access your item’s documentation, and learn more about your jewelry and its authentication journey.
  • Verified Returns: In the event of a return, every item is inspected by GIA experts before it’s sent back to the seller. Returns are shipped back directly to the authentication collaborators, verifying its authenticity.

Shoppers can visit eBay.com/authenticjewelry to browse and buy from a selection of new and pre-owned fine jewelry marked with an Authenticity Guarantee badge.

eBay Jewelry By the Numbers

  • On average, there are 7.8 million fine jewelry listings on eBay every day
  • eBay sold 8 fine jewelry items every minute in 2021
  • In 2021, eBay sold over 4.2 million fine jewelry items
  • Purchases of fine jewelry from brands like Chopard, Harry Winston and Hermes are +38% YoY in the past six months
  • Sales of poplar herringbone style bracelets and necklaces are up 48% and 26% respectively YoY

About eBay

eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY) is a global commerce leader that connects people and builds communities to create economic opportunity for all. Our technology empowers millions of buyers and sellers in more than 190 markets around the world, providing everyone the opportunity to grow and thrive. Founded in 1995 in San Jose, California, eBay is one of the world’s largest and most vibrant marketplaces for discovering great value and unique selection. In 2021, eBay enabled over $87 billion of gross merchandise volume. For more information about the company and its global portfolio of online brands, visit www.ebayinc.com.

About GIA

An independent nonprofit organization, GIA (Gemological Institute of America), established in 1931, is recognized as the world’s foremost authority in gemology. GIA invented the famous 4Cs of Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat Weight and, in 1953, created the International Diamond Grading System™ which is recognized around the world as the standard for diamond quality.

Through research, education, gemological laboratory services and instrument development, the Institute is dedicated to ensuring the public trust in gems and jewelry by upholding the highest standards of integrity, academics, science and professionalism. Visit GIA.edu.

Unique Cartier Cheich watch awarded to Paris-Dakar racing legend Gaston Rahier appears at auction

Most people have heard of the Paris-Dakar Rally, the gruelling motorsport event that began in 1979 as a 6,200 mile race from France to Senegal via the Sahara desert – but who can remember the Cartier Challenge?

The world’s toughest off-road competition and the high-end jeweller may seem worlds apart, but they came together 39 years ago in an unlikely collaboration to be remembered in the sale of a unique wristwatch that is now tipped to fetch as much as €400,000 at auction.

The story dates back to the start of the fifth Paris-Dakar in 1983, when the then Cartier CEO Alain Dominique Perrin approached the event’s founder Thierry Sabine with the idea of offering a glittering prize to anyone who could achieve what both men considered impossible: to win the Paris-Dakar two years in succession using the same category of vehicle.

But the pair had not counted on the remarkable talent and superhuman endurance of diminutive Belgian motorcycle racer Gaston Rahier, the triple 125cc motocross world champion who, after giving up scrambling, became a BMW-mounted rally raid superstar.

No sooner had the Cartier Challenge been announced than Mr Rahier clinched victory in the 1984 event, and proceeded to follow it up with a win in 1985 – thus meeting the requirements of ‘the challenge’. His prize was the decidedly, er, unusual ‘Cheich’ watch. This incredibly rare timepiece remained with Rahier until his death in early 2005, it will be offered for sale direct from his family at Sotheby’s Paris in September.

Inspired by the rally’s logo – the silhouetted face of a Tuareg tribesman wearing the traditional cotton head protector known as a ‘cheich’ – the watch is forged from three colours of 18 carat gold (white, rose and yellow) to create a monumental case that meticulously replicates every one of the garment’s soft folds.

Nestled within them is a typical Cartier dress watch dial with a rectangular central minutes track, hour markers in the form of a combination of batons and Roman numerals and a winding crown set with the maker’s signature blue cabochon.

Such is the design of the case that conventional lugs could not be used – instead, the leather band passes ‘invisibly’ through the back. As well as that original strap, the watch is also accompanied by the bespoke case in which it was presented to Mr Rahier, the lid of which carries the legend ‘Trophee Paris Alger Dakar’ in gold script.

Only three Cartier Cheich watches are known to have been created: the one awarded to Mr Rahier; another for a potential woman winner and a third made in 1985 for anyone else who achieved the necessary ‘double’.

In the event, the Cartier Challenge came to an end almost as quickly as it had begun due to the sudden death of Thierry Sabine in a helicopter crash in january of 1986, that was caused by a sandstorm towards the end of the event.

The other two examples of the Cheich remain in French Maison’s historic collection and will never be sold – meaning that the sale of Mr Rahier’s, the only one ever to have been awarded, is likely to represent a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Gaston Rahier’s Cartier Cheich Watch is slated to cross the auction block at Sotheby’s upcoming Fine Watches Sale in Paris beginning September 16, 2022. If recent sales of vintage Cartier watches are anything to go by, however, potential buyers will need deep pockets – in May, online auction site Loupe This sold a 1967 ‘Crash’ model for $1.65m.

But while no more than a couple of dozen examples of the original Crash are thought to have been made, it is positively commonplace compared with the Cheich. So those with ‘only’ Euros 400,000 to spend may be left wanting. I wish I was rich and not so handsome.

The Gaston Rahier Cartier Cheich goes on show to the public for the first time this week at Sotheby’s Monaco gallery, 20, Avenue de la Costa. It can be seen there until July 17.

Week Of Luxury Auctions And Exhibitions At Doyle Begins June 18

Collectors, influencers and fans will converge at Doyle Auctioneers & Appraisers for the upcoming week of luxury auctions and exhibitions beginning on June 18. This landmark series of events showcases a dazzling array of Louis Vuitton Luggage & Trunks, Jewelry & Fine Watches, Stage & Screen Memorabilia and Photographs.

Doyle is pleased to present this exciting auction showcasing over 100 lots of luxurious trunks, suitcases, bags and other items by the legendary firm Louis Vuitton. Explore the wide range of rare designs spanning the era of the grand trans-Atlantic liners to the modern jet age. And be sure to take a few ‘travel pics’ at the exhibition! 

Photographs | Auction June 21

Philip Glass and Robert Wilson by Robert Mapplethorpe. Estimate: $10,000 – $15,000

Trace the history of the photographic genre through fine examples spanning early photography to contemporary works. Featured are an important large-scale print by Andreas Gursky and Edward Weston’s Fiftieth Anniversary Portfolio, as well as photographs by Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon, Bruce Davidson, Vivian Maier, Robert Mapplethorpe and Karl Struss.

Fine & Important Jewelry | Auction June 23

Tiffany & Co., Schlumberger Platinum, Gold, Diamond and Citrine ‘Bird on a Rock’ Brooch from the estate of Sandra Gusky Krakoff. Estimate: $15,000 – $20,000

Marvel at the glittering array of diamond and colored stone rings and stylish jewelry by such prestigious makers as Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Bvlgari, Oscar Heyman and Tiffany & Co. Among the fine watches for ladies and gentlemen are exceptional examples by Audemars Piguet, Breguet, Cartier, and Rolex.

Stage & Screen | Auction June 24

Bert Lahr (1895-1967) Photograph inscribed To “Harold’/with much affection/Bert” to Harold Arlen as the Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz. Estimate: $8,000 – $12,000

Join fans and collectors around the world vying for original drawings, stage and costume designs, photography, autographs and memorabilia celebrating Film, Theatre, Music and Dance. Highlights include Gershwin and Wizard of Oz memorabilia, original costume drawings by Edith Head, and property from the Estate of Academy Award-winning actress Celeste Holm.  

Exhibition & Catalogues

The public is invited to the exhibitions on view Saturday, June 18 through Monday, June 20 from Noon until 5pm. Doyle is located at 175 East 87th Street in New York City. Interested bidders across the country and around the world can conveniently browse the interactive auction catalogues and place bids online at Doyle.com.

About Doyle Auctioneers & Appraisers

Founded in 1962, Doyle is one of the world’s foremost auctioneers and appraisers of jewelry, art, furniture, decorations, Asian works of art, coins, stamps, rare books and other categories. Headquartered in New York City, Doyle offers auctions throughout the year that attract a broad base of buyers and consignors from around the world. Doyle operates a network of regional offices and advisors across the nation, including Palm Beach, Beverly Hills, Boston, Chicago, Connecticut, Long Island, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Washington DC.

Come into the beautiful world of Doyle.

Cunard and Julien’s Auctions Partner on Worldwide Exclusive Exhibition Preview of Property from the Life and Career of beloved actress and philanthropist Betty White

The Julien’s Auctions three-volume catalog: Property of the Life and Career of Betty White

Luxury cruise line Cunard announced today that the company will once again partner with Julien’s Auctions, the world-record breaking auction house to the stars, on an exhibition preview of the Property from the life and career of Betty White. White passed away on December 31, 2021 at the age of 99 years old in Los Angeles.

During the August 5th Transatlantic Crossing aboard flagship Queen Mary 2, guests will enjoy a sneak-peek preview of the auction’s highlights, and have the special opportunity to bid on select items prior to the official three-day auction event on Friday, September 23rd, Saturday, September 24th and Sunday, September 25th, 2022 at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills and online on Juliens Auctions.

The auction and exhibition will be an exclusive presentation and celebration of the legendary actress and cultural icon’s extraordinary life and eight decade spanning career.

On offer is an exclusive collection of over 1,500 lots featuring the Hollywood icon’s awards, scripts, wardrobe and memorabilia from her iconic television shows and films, as well as furnishings, artwork, fine jewelry, household and personal items from her beloved homes in Brentwood and Carmel, California.

“We are delighted to once again collaborate on a Transatlantic Crossing with our longtime partner, Julien’s Auctions, and privileged to bring our guests such a special enrichment opportunity,” said Jamie Paiko, vice president of Sales for Cunard North America. “Betty White epitomized warmth, grace and class, and we know our guests will be keen to learn more about the illustrious life of this beloved icon.”

During the seven-night Transatlantic Crossing, guests will enjoy:

  • A daily, rotating exhibit of the Property from the Estate of Betty White Collection
  • Q&A with Darren Julien, President/CEO of Julien’s Auctions and Martin Nolan, Executive Director of Julien’s Auctions

“Betty White was a beloved national treasure and a cross generational icon who made us laugh for eighty years with her illustrious work on film, radio and television classics such as The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Golden Girls”, said Darren Julien, President/CEO of Julien’s Auctions. “We are honored to work with her Estate in this exclusive presentation of these precious artifacts and personal mementos from her storied life and career which will be offered for the first time at auction to the public, museum curators and her legions of fans worldwide.”

American actress, comedian, television pioneer, producer, animal advocate and author, Betty White was one of the most beloved entertainers of the 20th and 21st centuries.  Among her voluminous career achievements, she became the first woman to produce a sitcom, ‘Life with Elizabeth’, in which she also starred. With her company Bandy Productions, she became one of the rare women with power in Hollywood during the early days of television. She starred in two iconic television series, ‘the ‘Mary Tyler Moore Show’ and the ‘Golden Girls’, winning Emmy® Awards for both. White’s superstardom and career surged and gained even more momentum in her later years when she starred in the film ‘The Proposal’ with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds and in the TV series ‘Hot in Cleveland’.

At the age of 88, White’s ubiquitous celebrity presence and persona on social media, film and television made her an even bigger pop culture icon, as she became the subject of a viral fan-based Facebook campaign to host Saturday Night Live where her appearance on May 8, 2010 (as the oldest person to ever host SNL) garnered 12 million viewers and her fifth career Emmy award win. She also appeared in a Snickers Super Bowl commercial, guest appeared in ‘My Name Is Earl’, ’30 Rock’, ‘Community’, ‘The Middle’, and received more Emmy® nominations as the host of the reality show ‘Off Their Rockers’.

A lifelong animal lover and advocate, White would often quip that she “had to do her show business to keep up with her animal business”.  Her work to raise awareness and funds for animal wellness included involvement with both the LA Zoo and Morris Animal Foundation as a board member and trustee, along with participation in several other charities around the world. 

She was also the author of several books including her 2010 memoir ‘Here We Go Again: My Life in Television’; the 2011 New York Times bestseller ‘If You Ask Me: (And Of Course You Won’t)’; ‘Betty & Friends: My Life at the Zoo’; ‘Betty White in Person’ and ‘Together: A Shared Vision’ and ‘The Leading Lady: Dinah’s Story’, both co-written with Tom Sullivan, and more.

Highlights of Betty White’s collection include (with estimates):

  • White’s original director chair from The Golden Girls set ($1,000-$2,000)
  • The Golden Girls pilot first draft script, read by White when considering taking the part of Rose ($1,000-$2,000)
  • A large number of production-used scripts for The Mary Tyler Moore ShowThe Golden Girls, and Hot in Cleveland, some with annotations by White ($500-$700 each lot)
  • An envelope from the 1976 Primetime Emmy® Awards, announcing the nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series and the winner, Betty White on The Mary Tyler Moore Show ($400-$600)
  • Cherished items from White’s marriage to her beloved third husband Allen Lunden will be featured such as White’s gold leaf design with brilliant diamond set wedding band and a gold leaf design wedding band, worn by Allen Ludden, engraved on the interior: “6-14-63 I really do”, in reference to their wedding June 14, 1963 at the Las Vegas, Nevada Convention Center (each lot $600-$800)
  • A vintage Van Cleef & Arpels gold flower brooch with brilliant diamond and blue sapphire details, seen in photographs of White wearing on multiple occasions ($14,000–$16,000)
  • White’s fine jewelry and showstopping gowns worn to her many awards shows and publicity appearances
  • An orange needlepoint director’s chair decorated with owls and reading ‘Allen’ on the seat back made by White for her husband.
  • White’s furnishings, home décor, artwork and items from her longtime Brentwood and Carmel homes

For more information about Cunard, or to book a voyage, contact your Travel Consultant, call Cunard Line at 1-800-728-6273 or visit www.cunard.com.

For Travel Advisors interested in further information, please contact your Business Development Manager, visit OneSource Cruises.com or call Cunard at 1-800-528-6273.

Cunard is a luxury British cruise line, renowned for creating unforgettable experiences around the world. Cunard has been a leading operator of passenger ships on the North Atlantic, since 1840, celebrating an incredible 182 years of operation. A pioneer in transatlantic journeys for generations, Cunard is world class. The Cunard experience is built on fine dining, hand-selected entertainment and outstanding service. From five-star restaurants and in-suite dining to inspiring guest speakers, the library and film screenings, every detail has been meticulously crafted to make the experience unforgettable. Destinations include Europe, the Caribbean, the Far East and Australia.

There are currently three Cunard ships, Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria and a fourth ship, Queen Anne, will be entering service in early 2024. This investment is part of the company’s ambitious plans for the future of Cunard globally and will be the first time since 1999 that Cunard will have four ships in simultaneous service.

Christie’s Geneva Will Auction Off 101 Unique Cartier Clocks

I love table clocks, especially those who are made by French Maisons, like Cartier. Horology and art deco enthusiasts will be delighted to learn that Christie’s Geneva will be hosting an auction for 101 rare clocks from French Maison Cartier this summer. I wish I was rich, and not so pretty…..

Long before it created the Santos wristwatch in 1904 and became the jeweler of choice for the Duchess of Windsor, Nina Dyer, and many celebs, Cartier carved out a reputation as a master of decorative desk clocks. Christie’s upcoming sale of 101 Cartier clocks demonstrates the French Maison’s considerable skills in the arts of enameling, engraving, gem setting and marquetry—all on a canvas much larger than the watch dial.

 

Christies-Geneva-Cartier-Art-Deco-Onyx-Enamel-and-Ruby-Mignonettte-Clock

Cartier Art Deco Onyx Enamel and Ruby Mignonettte Clock

 

Christies-Geneva-Cartier-Art-Deco-Enamel-and-Gold-Altar-Clock

Cartier Art Deco Enamel and Gold Altar Clock

The collection highlights the French brand’s innovative and painstakingly intricate approach to clockmaking, featuring an immense amount of timekeepers designed in all fashions imaginable. Some of its most complex pieces – known as ‘mystery’ clocks, which carry hands that are suspended in a transparent rock crystal pane seemingly disconnected to any mechanism – also form part of the auction.

Other notable lots include a carved onyx model with a mother of pearl dial and diamond accents from 1925, an Oriental enamel clock intricately decorated through a technique called laque burgauté where insets of polished blue-green abalone shells are made, as well as an early 20th century deep blue opaline glass, silver and enamel urn clock.

Christies-Geneve-Art-Deco-Mother-Of-Pearl-Onyx-Jade,-And-Enamel-Desk-ClockCartier Art Deco, Mother-Of-Pearl, Onyx, Jade, And Enamel Desk Clock

 

Christies-Geneva-Cartier-Art-Deco-Rock-Crystal-Enamel-and-Diamond-Clock

Cartier Art Deco Rock Crystal, Enamel and Diamond Clock

 

Christies-Geneva-Cartier-Art-Deco-Mother-of-Pearl-Enamel-Turquoise-Moonstone-and-Diamond-Clock-by-Maurice-Coüet

Cartier Art Deco Mother-of-Pearl, Enamel, Turquoise, Moonstone and Diamond Clock by Maurice Coüet

 

Christies-Geneva-Cartier-Belle-Epoque-Enamel-Agate-Moonstone-and-Diamond-Minute-Repeater-Clock-by-Maurice-Coüet

Cartier Belle Epoque Enamel, Agate, Moonstone and Diamond Minute Repeater Clock by Maurice Coüet

The auction itself will take place at Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues on July 1, with viewings available from June 27 through to 30. For more information or to view the full collection, visit the official Christie’s website here.

Come into the beautiful woorld of Cartier.

 

 

 

Jonathan Ive and Marc Newson designed an all-diamond ring for charity

Renowned designer Marc Newson and Jony Ive, Apple’s Chief Design Officer, have joined forces. Exclusive to (RED) by Diamond Foundry, Newson and Ive designed a unique diamond ring. The (RED) Diamond Ring will go up for auction at Sotheby’s auction house in Miami on December 5. This will also be the third (RED) auction, with proceeds going to a charity fighting AIDS.

Apple design head Sir Jonathan Ive and renowned industrial designer Marc Newson created a ring entirely from a single diamond for sale at a charity auction. Produced exclusively for an upcoming (RED) charity auction at Design Miami on December 5, the ring will be completely diamond without the traditional metal band.

The (RED) Diamond Ring was created from an unusually sized stone, allowing the ring to be made entirely of diamond. To achieve this, the solid stone has been faceted several thousand times. In order to create the shape of a ring, the inside was removed by means of a micrometer thick water jet with a laser beam inside. The result is a ring size with an inner diameter of 15.6 mm. All this makes the (RED) Diamond Ring the first finished ring to contain between 2000-3000 facets – according to auctioneers Sotheby’s.

The (RED) Diamond Ring will be created by Diamond Foundry, a San Francisco-based diamond producer that uses proprietary technology and is certified carbon neutral. It will be crafted bespoke for the buyer and made to fit up to a US size 5. Sotheby’s estimate is that the ring will go for $150,000 to $250,000. They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend. If that’s the case, this ring ought to provide a lifetime of companionship.

Consistent with their mutual obsession with transforming raw material into objects of value, Ive and Newson’s design is singular, clear and un-compromised by the traditional metal settings and bands that have previously been required to create ‘diamond rings’

Sotheby’s

Jony Ive and Marc Newson are friends and frequent collaborators who have worked together at Apple, where Ive is chief design officer. They also curated the last (RED) auction in 2013, for which they designed a one-off Leica camera, and put their own spin on a Christmas tree for Claridge’s Hotel in London, in 2016.

Among the other pieces for auction on December 5 a red-tinted take on Zaha Hadid’s Liquid Glacial table, as well as unique metallic red versions of David Adjaye’s Washington Collection Corona Coffee Table and Skeleton Chairs for Knoll. 

This is the third such auction organised by (RED), the charity started by U2 musician and activist Bono to fight HIV/AIDS.

The live auction will be conducted on the evening of 5 December 2018 at the Moore Building in the Miami Design District. More than 50 works will be up for auction in total, and they’ll be exhibited publicly at the same location from 1 to 7 December.

Cartier makes heatwave more bearable

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It will not get cooler during a heat wave, but it is certainly a lot more bearable when you read the temperature of this thermometer.

This unique thermometer was made around 1915 by Maison Cartier. The rose quartz tablet with black enamelled bowl and rose-cut diamond detail, has a ruby cabochon and a diamond flower head on every corner. The golden and white enamel pieces rest on a rectangular rose quartz base and have a total height of 18.0 cm, and is signed by Cartier N.Y

This unique and expensive thermometer was estimated at GBP 18,000 – 20,000. It eventually sold for £ 22,500 on June 13, 2017 at Christie’s London.

 

 

 

 

Own A Piece Of The Luxurious Paris Ritz

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The façade of the Ritz hotel in Paris. Image: Vincent Leroux.

When it comes to Europe’s grand-dame hotels, none are quite as iconic as the Ritz Paris. The Ritz Paris has been synonymous with refined luxury and timeless glamour for over 100 years. Opened in 1898 by Swiss entrepreneur Cesar Ritz the Ritz 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 25, 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 ($4.9 million) in gems and watches.

The Ritz decided to sell the pieces when it reopened in June 2016 after four years of a fittingly glamorous top-to-bottom renovation. After being closed for over 4 years, the Ritz has long been a favorite of visitors to the City of Light, hosting everyone from Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan and Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel to the Duke and Duchess of Windsor in its opulent rooms and suites.

Ritz-HD-2-Photo-Quentin-Bertoux-pour-Artcurial.

Now, the hotel’s fans have a chance to own a piece of Ritz history – 3,500 lots consisting of 10,000 pieces of furniture and decorative objects from the property will be up for auction on the Champs Élysées this April. Organized by Artcurial – the firm that was also behind the sales of historic pieces from pre-renovation Hôtel de Crillon and the Plaza Athénée – the Ritz Paris auction will be held from April 17 through 21.

Price estimates run 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. Each lot in the auction’s extensive catalogue has been meticulously restored, inventoried, and catalogued by a team of 15 experts from Artcurial, who went to great lengths to ensure that every piece bearing the Ritz Paris insignia was returned to its former glory before heading to the auction block.

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A cross section of the Ritz Paris’ illustrious history, the auction includes pieces from the property’s 120 years as a hotel. When it was opened by Swiss hotelier César Ritz in 1989, the original décor was meant to entice well-heeled Americans visiting the city, combining elegant art with antiques and replicas of everything from Louis XIV– to Empire-style furniture to create a unique sense of traditional French elegance. The style of 15 Place Vendôme quickly became iconic, and hallmarks like the hotel’s plush red-velvet barstools, salon sofas from French writer Marcel Proust’s retreats at the hotel, the gilt-framed bed that starred alongside Audrey Hepburn and Gary Cooper in their 1957 film ‘Love In The Afternoon’, the first en-suite bathtub ever installed at the property (or in any hotel, for that matter), and ornate marble side tables are all up for loyalists to bid on.

In addition to hallmarks of the Ritz’s style, pieces from suites that some of property’s most famous inhabitants called home will be up for sale. Sure to spark bidding wars are pieces such as a pair of plush floral chesterfield armchairs, a gilded headboard, and sleek lacquered bedside tables from the Coco Chanel Suite. The legendary fashion designer called the hotel her home for more than 30 years – giving testament to both the hotel’s enduring stylishness and its famous homelike feel . . . if home is a Versailles-inspired mansion, of course.

A bedboard and lacquered bedside tables from the Coco Chanel Suite

A bedboard and lacquered bedside tables from the Coco Chanel Suite.

Believe it or not, many of the lots aren’t outrageous, either. Bids open at €150 for a pair of gilded lanterns, and €300 for a set of Louis XVI-style banquette. If the over-the-top opulence fits with your own personal aesthetic, then what better way to hold on to a piece of history? One thing’s for sure: there’ll never be another hotel quite like it.

Come into the world of the Ritz Paris.

 

 

 

 

Picasso Painting breaks auction record with $63.7 million

Pablo Picasso’s ‘Femme Assise’, painted in the summer of 1909 — when the artist traveled to the remote Spanish village of Horta de Ebro, which could only be reached by mule — sold for $63.7 million at Sotheby’s in London on Tuesday, marking it the most precious cubist painting ever sold at auction.

It has been decades since a Cubist painting of this caliber has been offered at auction. Virtually all the significant works of this period are in international museums and institutions.

Helena Newman, Sotheby’s global co-head of Impressionist and Modern Art

Depicting the French artist, model and Picasso’s mistress Fernande Olivier, the painting is one of a series of innovative paintings that helped him achieve the style we consider Cubism today. ‘Femme Assise’ has been part of a private collection since 1973, when Sotheby’s in London sold the painting for about $500,000 in today’s dollars.

After a bidding war between enthusiasts at Sotheby’s in London, the painting sold for $63.7 million on Tuesday, which is $20 million more than the expected price. The work was purchased on behalf of a telephone bidder by Adam Chinn, part of Art Agency, Partners, an art consultancy recently acquired by Sotheby’s.

The overall record for a Picasso was set last year when the 1955 painting ‘Les Femmes d’Alger (Version ‘O’)’ sold for $179.4 million at Christie’s.

The second most expensive work sold on Tuesday was a portrait of Amedeo Modigliani, ‘Jeanne Hébuterne (au Foulard)’, which sold for $56.7 million. A Modigliani painting of a reclining nude sold for $170.4 million at Christie’s last year.

Come into the beautiful world of Sotheby’s.

Christie’s: Joan Rivers Private Collection Auction

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Fans of the late host and television personality Joan Rivers, will soon have the chance to own several personal pieces from her Manhattan Penthouse. On June 22, Christies will be holding an auction featuring an assortment of 200 items from the woman whose personality was larger than life.

It’s a sale we only wish she could critique in her unconventional and honest Joan Rivers way.

Proceeds of the auction will go towards ‘God’s Love We Deliver’ and ‘Guide Dogs For The Blind’ – both charities that Rivers held close to her heart. A connoisseur of decorative arts, paintings and fine French furniture, Rivers’ personal items are expected to go under the hammer where prices will range from $500 to $200,000. One such piece, is the Edouard Vuillard painting Dans L’Atelier, circa 1915 ($120,000 – $180,000). Other items to look out for include a jewelled Nephrite study of a Lily of the Valley leaf by Fabergé ($200,000 – $300,000) and a silver water bowl from Tiffany & Co., engraved with ‘for Spike’ ($500 – $ 800) that she had bought for her beloved dog.

My mother’s legacy as a much loved comedienne and philanthropist will be commemorated in this collaboration with Christie’s and her generosity to charitable causes is something I will continue in her honor.

Melissa Rivers

Before the auction at Christie’s however, the auction house will also be hosting an online auction from June 16 – 23. During the online sale, unique costumes made by Bob Mackie, couture and personal jewelry from jewelers such as Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels as well as Harry Winston will be available. For someone as opinionated as Rivers, with a taste for the finer things in life, this sale will certainly not disappoint.