When they closed the Ritz Paris for a four year renovation in 2012, my mind often went to that place where I imagine I can walk through walls and suddenly, I’m roaming empty hallways and rooms with the ghosts of the city’s most storied hotel. Sometimes I wandered into the secret Ritz warehouse (yes, such a place exists), where thousands of pieces of furniture and decorative objects lived during much of the renovation and redesign. It would be just like walking through the warehouse of treasures from the final scene of Citizen Kane…
As it turns out, the reality isn’t that far off. In 2017, a team of 10 lucky people were “locked inside” the secret Ritz furniture warehouse for 6 months to inventory 10,000 items in preparation for their auction this Spring. From Hemingway-era bar stools and beds from the Coco Chanel suite to minibars and the signature hotel bathrobes, it’s all there, and it’s all about to go up for sale. Take a look inside the warehouse…
So where do you even start with an inventory of 10,000 items? Well, I’ve spent my morning combing through the entire 5-part catalogue and narrowed down the most interesting pieces in the 5 day sale, which will be held in Paris between the 17th-21st of April by auction house Artcurial. Prices range from €80 for a candelabra, €100 for a box of doorknobs to upwards €10,000 for a pair of marble torchères that once stood in the hotel’s entrance hallway. As the legendary hotel’s interior designer says, “the Ritz is Paris”. Can you imagine owning a piece of it? Being able to tell your guests they’re sitting on an armchair from the F. Scott Fitzgerald suite of the Hotel Ritz? It’s every Paris lover’s dream.
My Top 3
Hemingway Bar sign, estimation 300 – 400 €, Lot No 2905.
Rest assured the Hemingway Bar at the Ritz remained almost exactly the same post-renovation, except for a few minor improvements.
Four seater quilted sofa. Estimation €4-6000 Lot 2921.
There are two of these fabulous statement sofas (and wouldn’t they would make the ultimate home cinema seating!)
Two wood and glass doors marked “Ritz Paris”. Estimation 300 – 400 €. Lot 2738.
For the Boudoir
Louis XVI style dressing table and a lyre-back chair. Estimation 400 – 600 €. Lot. 81
Ritz bath towels, bathrobe & slippers. Estimation 300 – 500 €. Lot. 354 – 358 & more.
There a quite a few of these up for grabs over the 5 day sale. The peach colour of the bathroom accessories has been the same since the hotel first opened. César Ritz chose it himself because he found it “softens and highlights the complexion of a woman”.
A four-leaf folding screen. Estimation 200 – 250 €. Lot 101.
For the Lover of all Things Velvet
A yellow velvet upholstered armchair with a blue and yellow damask cushion. Estimation 200 – 300 €. Lot 1552.
A Louis XVI style bedside table and head of bed. Estimation 300 – 400 €. Lot 613.
Bamboo gondola-shape bergère armchairs. Estimation 300 – 400 €. Lot 3155.
A three-seater sofa convertible into a bed. Estimation 400 – 600 €. Lot 1872.
Because really, who doesn’t need a pink velvet sofa?
A statement sofa from the Bar Vendôme. Estimation 600 – 800 €. Lot 198.
Revolving bar stools with backrests from the Ritz Club. Estimation 2 000 – 4 000 €. Lot 1052.
For the Den
Mini-bars labelled “Ritz Paris”. Estimation 300 – 500 €.
There are a number of these up for grabs over the 5 days. I could definitely use one at the MessyNessy HQ.
Lot of room accessories. Estimate 100 €. Lot 506. The remote on the left has four buttons, red for the sommelier, green for housekeeping and amber for the valet. The last blue button was for guests that came with their own servants to the hotel. There are several examples for sale.
A signpost. Estimation 400 – 600 €. Lot 2722.
Surely this is a must-have for any sign collector.
Wine distributor. Estimation 300 – 500 €. Lot 2925.
A cigar humidor. Estimation 600 – 800 €. Lot 2068.
A television stand. Estimation 200 – 300 €. Lot 2824.
Such an artful way to display a television without it ruining the ambiance of a room. It comes with the screen.
Reception lecter of the bar Vendôme. Estimation 400 – 600 €. Lot 197.
A circular wool carpet from the Ritz Health Club Estimation 400 – 800 €. Lot 2383.
For the walk-in wardrobe
Five boxes marked “Ritz Paris”. Estimation 100 – 150 €. Lot 1602.
These would make fun jewellery/ watch boxes, if indeed that it would they were intended for.
For the House in the French countryside
A bed canopy. Estimation 400 – 600 €. Lot 362.
They have the head board and side tables to match here.
The first bathtub of the Ritz Paris. Estimation 1 500 – 2 500 €. Lot 448.
Hygiene was one of César Ritz’s main concerns. His hotel was the very first to offer bathrooms (and telephone lines) in every rooms.
A big pile of curtains. Estimation 300 – 500 €. Lot 905.
The Coco Chanel Stuff
Photograph representing Mademoiselle Chanel at the Ritz Paris. Estimation 200 – 300 €. Lot 3212.
Dolphin carved floorlamp from the suite Mademoiselle C. Estimation 200 – 400 €. Lot 3222.
Two carpets from the suite Mademoiselle Chanel. Estimation 400 – 600 €. Lot 3230.
Headboard and a pair of bedside tables from the suite Mademoiselle C. Estimation 2,000 – 3,000 €. Lot 3213.