The 1229 lots of “Hubert De Givenchy Collectionneur”

New Delhi, June 1 (IANSlife) Christie’s announces the full list of 1,229 lots in the much-anticipated Hubert de Givenchy Collectionneur, which will be auctioned live in Paris and online between June 8 and 23.

Hubert de Givenchy’s life and work exemplified a constant and successful quest for an ideal, that of classical beauty, as a passionate aesthete deeply rooted in his country’s culture. The extraordinary variety and richness of works in the Hubert de Givenchy Collectionneur perfectly represents the world-renowned couturier’s deep passion for objects and impeccable taste, ensuring that these auctions will be a must-see event as well as a tribute to the great collector. The collection is expected to cost around €50 million in total.

Selected highlights from the auctions as follows:

PROVENANCE

For Hubert de Givenchy, each object had a life of its own, appreciating its seduction and the memory which originated from it. For him, appreciation and engagement came not only from the beauty of the object, but also from its provenance, and the auctions are filled with such pieces of prestigious provenance.

In the 1950s, the young couturier began his “second career” as an art collector. From the collection of Coco Chanel, who invited him regularly for dinner, comes a superb Régence console (estimate €60,000-100,000), while from the collection of José-Maria and Misia Sert comes a rare Italian neoclassical console table, probably the work of Torinese craftsmen active at the court of Savoy (estimate €12,000-18,000).

From the “Palais Murat”, the home of a very important collection visited by the royal families of the 19th century, comes a shaped porphyry potpourri vase , probably acquired by the King of Naples around 1780 (estimate €60,000-100,000). Of Imperial provenance are a pair of monumental girandoles attributed to Pierre-Philippe Thomire for Tsar Paul I of Russia (estimate €700,000-1,000,000). These sculptural pieces surrounded the access to the garden at his Paris home, the Hotel d’Orrouer. In the same salon, any visitors’ eye was drawn to a set of Regency ormolu-mounted vases attributed to Vulliamy & Son delivered around 1807 to the 1 st Earl of Harewood (estimate €100,000-150,000). Today, the name of Hubert de Givenchy is synonymous with a prestigious provenance, sought-after by the most discerning collectors.

ARCHITECTURE

From fashion to decoration, Hubert de Givenchy approached his projects as an architect, as did his mentor Cristóbal Balenciaga. Architecture embodies Givenchy’s ideal of balance, harmony and majesty, and is therefore omnipresent in many of the pieces included in the Collection, as it is the case with a superb baroque bronze censer from Augsburg (estimate €30,000-50,000), and a pair of late Louis XV candlesticks attributed to Pierre Gouthiere (estimate €60,000-100,000).

Architecture is also present in paintings, such as Hubert Robert’s The Pool in the Terms (estimate €12,000-15,000) and the Landscape with Obelisk and Colonnade (estimate €250,000-350,000). In Givenchy’s bedroom at Hôtel d’Orrouer the neoclassical lines of the monumental desk by Roentgen are perfectly matched by those of a mechanical box by the same artist (estimate €8,000 – 12,000), and a Louis XVI commode by Pierre Garnier (estimate €200 000-400 000).

SEAT FURNITURE

For Hubert de Givenchy, “every object is the result of an encounter, of love at first sight” (2). Chairs – which are represented by more than 400 examples -, occupy a very special place in this Collection. Not hesitating to declare himself “madly in love” (1) with a Louis XVI fauteuil, de Givenchy was also seduced by a pair of bergeres stamped by Georges Jacob from the same period (estimate €15,000 – 25,000). Equally, he appreciated the lines of a pair of Régence armchairs, formerly from the collection of Lady Baillie at Leeds Castle (estimate €100,000 – 200,000). Often Hubert de Givenchy reupholstered furniture with modern textiles such as a Louis XVI bergere by Nicolas-Quinibert Foliot with a designed textile by Georges Braque (estimate €6,000-10,000), transcending periods and styles. The sale also includes a number of more modern seat models from the 20th century, including Decour bergeres from the grand salon of the Manoir du Jonchet (estimate €800-1,200).

WILD LIFE

Hubert de Givenchy also liked to be surrounded by representations of animals . They were omnipresent and gave life and majesty to the interiors he designed. For example, the Gazelle by Jean-Marc Winckler watched over the guests in the dining room of Hotel d’Orrouer (estimate €1,000-1,500).

Hubert de Givenchy had three deer heads added to the facade of the Jonchet in honour of his patron saint, and in 2011 he generously donated the casts that allowed the restoration of the Cour des Cerfs to the Château de Versailles. Posthumously, the large stag by Francois Pompon, was donated to the Château de Chambord, having originally decorated the grand salon at Manoir Jonchet. In the park of the Manoir du Jonchet, lived a splendid pair of bronze deer , executed in 1964 by Janine Janet, gifted as a present by Cristóbal Balenciaga (estimate €80,000-120,000 each).

And approaching the house, visitors were greeted by Francois-Xavier Lalanne’s Oiseaux de jardin (estimate €400,000-600,000 each), while a 1973 turtle by the same artist slumbered in Hubert de Givenchy’s bedroom (estimate €20,000-30,000). Furthermore, the park held five sculptures by Diego Giacometti (estimate €20,000-30,000 each) immortalising Bucky, Lippo, Sandy and Assouan, Hubert de Givenchy’s canine companions. Animals were also to be found at the Hotel d’Orrouer, where a pair of 19th century gilded copper Tibetan deers were placed on the mantel piece of the main salon (estimate €20,000-30,000).

FINE ARTS

Hubert de Givenchy’s eye was equally drawn to Domenico Piola’s monumental 1695 painting Alexander and the Family of Darius (estimate €80,000-120,000), Max Ernst’s luminous, tiny 1961 Untitled (Soleil) (estimate €50,000-70,000), and the elegant minimalism in Robert Courtright’s 1972 painting Untitled (estimate €10,000- 15,000). In the Collection, representations of the human figure abound, whether a pair of busts of emperors in the Antique style (estimate €250,000-350,000) or the portrait Grande tête de Katia by Henri Matisse (estimate €7,000-10,000). Keeping with the collector’s concept of architecture and fashion, fabric and clothing were important, as in the portrait of an Indian dignitary, luxuriously dressed in 17th century Persian fashion (estimate €60,000-80,000)

DECORATIVE ARTS

Hubert de Givenchy had always loved imposing furniture and especially large armoires and bookcases. The auction offers two superb armoires, the first dating from the Louis XIV period, made in the Boulle technique, with ebony marquetry, and the second a replica made by Michel Jamet at de Givenchy’s request to form a pair (estimate €50,000-100,000, the pair).

Furthermore, the Collection includes a splendid commode, attributed to Joseph Poitou (estimate €250,000-400,000) as well as an important selection of pieces by Diego Giacometti, a close friend, including a Console oiseau et coupelle from 1976 (estimate €400,000-600,000). Collectors will also be able to acquire an imposing contemporary travertine and granite dining table (estimate €8,000-12,000) which comes from the Manoir du Jonchet.

GIVENCHY AND THE COLOUR GREEN

A true leitmotif of the interiors created by Hubert de Givenchy, the colour green is undoubtedly not foreign to the feeling of serenity and calm evoked by all visitors entering Hotel d’Orrouer or the Manoir du Jonchet. Green is omnipresent in the Collection, and the salon on the second floor of the Hôtel d’Orrouer is named in its honour.

A natural sponge, painted in green by Charles Sevigny (estimate €2,000-3,000) is a nod to another great master of the art mixing modern and classical works, Charles Sevigny. He decorated Hubert de Givenchy’s first apartment, in addition to those of the Empress of Iran and Bunny Mellon.

(IANSlife can be contacted at ianslife@ians.in)

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