Treasures at the Ritz

Dear Diva Readers,

The Ritz renovation in Paris has me all a tizzy wondering when I’m going to be able to get my hands on the items they are sure to sell while doing the makeover.  News of the first treasure from the Ritz has hit the market in an upcoming Christie’s sale on 15 April 2013.

Chanel Ritz Paris Antiques Diva

A previously unrecorded painting by Charles Le Brun (1619-1690), official painter to the ‘Sun King’ Louis XIV, has been discovered hanging in the Coco Chanel Suite at the Hôtel Ritz in Paris by the  chi chi London-based fine art consultant Joseph Friedman.  Formerly Curator of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor’s residence in Paris, Friedman was advising the hotel on its current €200 million renovation project when he came across the work.  The painting, thought to depict The Sacrifice of Polyxena, will be auctioned by Christie’s in Paris and has a pre-sale estimate of €300,000-500,000.

Paris Ritz Chanel Antiques Diva

While I fear that painting might be out of my budget, I’m intrigued what else will be up for an auction….  I’m pretty much obsessing over their current auction calendar!

Antiques Diva

But can you imagine Friedman’s surprise when he realized what the painting was?  He said “I literally took a step backwards when I saw the painting.  It was clearly the work of a major 17th-century French master.”  With his assistant, Wanda Tymowska, he set about examining the painting and Tymowska discovered an inscription ‘C.L.B.F.’, which they realised could stand for ‘Charles Le Brun Fecit’, with a date 1647, potentially making this one of the very earliest masterpieces by the artist.  A search of the literature on Le Brun revealed no mention of this painting, but this only increased Friedman’s excitement since it meant that the painting could not be a copy or re-working of some well-known composition but in all probability an original, which despite being in the hotel for decades had somehow gone unnoticed!  Think of all the dignitaries who’ve slept in the suite not knowing what lay before them!

The painting was then shown to Christie’s in Paris as well as the acknowledged experts on Le Brun in the French museum world.  All were amazed, pronouncing it to be a major, fully autographed work by Le Brun, a highly important new discovery and addition to his oeuvre and to the study of 17th-century French art in general.

The owner of the Hôtel Ritz feels that a painting of such extraordinary importance and value should not remain there when it re-opens in two years time and has therefore consigned it to auction with Christie’s.  And perhaps those pennies earned will go towards making the rest of the Ritz more fabulous than it already is!!

Paris Ritz

Take a virtual tour through the Coco Chanel Suite at the Ritz

Ta Ta for Now,
The Antiques Diva® 

Auction News – Upcoming Amsterdam Sales

to 10px; WIDTH: 320px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 240px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ /> top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>If you’ve read many of my articles or blogs, then you’ve heard me time and time again wax poetically about attending auction houses in Europe. If you want to get the best deal on antique purchases, shopping at an auction house is the only way to go!

My advice – skip the middleman and shop at an auction yourself! Should you be afraid to go alone, never fear The Antiques Diva™ Tours offers auction house services whereby a local, native speaker attends auction events with you! We help you evaluate items for purchase in the pre-sale viewing, explain the auction process, either bid on your behalf at auction or better yet, teach you how an auction works so that you are able to bid in future auctions on your own!

Some upcoming “not to miss” auctions at De Eland Auction House in Diemen include:
Viewing Days / Auction Date
6,7,8,9 November 2008 / 9 November, 2008
15, 16, 17, 18 January 2008 / 18 January, 2009

De Zwaan Auction House in A’dam also has a very interesting sale from 4 – 19 November, 2008. See the website to view the online auction catalog and see which items will be auctioned on what days!

The viewing days will be:
Thursday, Oct 30 10am-5pm and 7pm–9pm
Friday, Oct 31 10am-5pm
Saturday, Nov 1 10am-5pm
Sunday, Nov 2 10am – 5pm

Last but not least, don’t forget the gorgeous upcoming Sotheby’s Sale – December 3, 2008. Sotheby’s Amsterdam will devote a special section of its Modern and Contemporary Art sale to CoBrA and the North European Avant Garde from the 1950’s. The young group of Northern European post-war artists that called themselves CoBrA (acronym for Copenhagen Brussels Amsterdam) in 1948 are nowadays considered the key representatives of a colorful and volatile expressionistic style. They are in fact one of a series of key movements in the unpredictable artistic developments that mark the mid 20th century in our region. Key figures of CoBrA are the Dutch artists Karel Appel, Corneille, Constant and Asger Jorn from Denmark.

Email”> for more information on auction house services and Antiques Diva Tours!

Going, Going, Gone!

The Antiques Diva™
(Photo Right with auction expert and Antiques Diva Tour Guide Lucretia)