France's Ritz hotel smashes record with furniture sell-off
PARIS - AFP
The Paris hotel, home for a while to Ernest Hemingway, Marcel Proust and They included stools from the Hemingway Bar, a 19th-century bathtub, and sofas and a harp from the Proust Lounge.
The Ritz sale outperformed other hotels around the world, the auction house said. In 2013 in Paris, Hotel de Crillon made 5.9 million euros from a furniture sale while Plaza Athenee made 1.4 million euros.
The 3,400 lots that were up for grabs were on sale between April 17 and 21.
Buyers bid on objects ranging from velvet security cordons and curtain ties, to rugs, bedframes and sets of bathrobes and slippers embroidered with the Ritz insignia.
Price estimates ran 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.
The Ritz decided to sell the pieces from its famous Place Vendome address when it reopened in June 2016 after four years of extensive renovations.
Owned by Egyptian billionaire Mohamed Al-Fayed since 1979, the hotel had accumulated impressive quantities of objects since it was opened in 1898 by Cesar Ritz.
It has served as the backdrop to several key moments in French history.