French imperial splendor revisit – “Jacques Garcia, Intemporel” auction by Sotheby’s Paris
Dear readers, Milan Design week is barely over just about a month ago, for those of you who are passionate about beautiful interior design and furniture, I possibly believe that you hadn't miss that, right? To be in such a fashionable Italian capital, and being inspired by the latest great design, or better yet, filling up your luggage with a piece or two of your beloved interior decorative pieces which purchased during the fair, isn't it the best? I certainly have the similar kind of craving about interior design lately, instead of being in Milan Design week, I was working on my fragrance’s visual for the social media page at home, those visuals are literally inspired by, and paying homage to one of my beloved French interior designer, Jacques Garcia. Renowned for his alluring, sometimes enigmatic and French opulent aesthetic, as well as his famously use of the sumptuous Bordeaux red color fabrics, his luxurious and alluring interior work is always impressive and it somehow has certain unexplainable charm and magic that keeps me going back for more and get inspired! Coming across the upcoming auction and exhibition by Sotheby’s Paris titled ‘Jacques Garcia, Intemporel’ which will be held in mid this month (live auction in 16th May 2023 in Paris), it thrills me even more!
There are 2 reasons that this auction exhibition excites me so much: first and needlessly to say, I love Jacques’ work! Secondly, it also takes me down to the memory lane as the proceeds of this auction is going to benefit the restoration of Château du Champ-de-Bataille, a Baroque French castle which owned by the French designer since 1992, and it’s one of my beloved French château that I have visited back in 2015! This auction, will be dedicated of 75 lots with royal provenances including Queen Marie-Antoniette, King Louis XV, Louis XVI & even Emperor Napoléon, which assembled by Jacques Garcia to house within Château du Champ-de-Bataille, as a tribute to the finest decorative arts of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, this auction will also mark the designer’s 75th birthday! But what exact treasures do we expect to see throughout this auction?
A selective range of exceptional furniture, porcelain and sculpture of course, which are collective masterworks that once belonged to royalty and nobility, some of the highlighted master pieces included the console table by Parisian marchand-mercier and ébéniste Adam Weisweiler, which bears the hallmarks of the innovations towards the end of Louis XVI’s reign, bringing together precious materials such as Japanese lacquer and porcelain plates.
Another piece which is a floral marquetry commode from the Louis XV period, attributed to Antoine-Robert Gaudreau (the principal supplier of furniture for the royal châteaux during the early years of Louis XV's reign), bears the mark of Louis XIV’s grandson, the Duke of Penthièvre. Penthièvre was one of the wealthiest men of his day, living in the Château de Bizy in Normandy, which he partly decorated with furniture from the Marquise de Pompadour.
Besides, if you are a collector of precious porcelain pieces, then you are in the right place! The reason is this auction will present the most important group of Sèvres porcelain collection that ever to appear on the market, among them is a pair of vases with Turkish-inspired decor from 1773, the compositions inspired by painter Jean-Baptiste Le Prince, which reflected the contemporary craze of transposing fashionable artworks onto vases intended for the royal court.
Another worth mentioning spectacular piece, is a pair of large "Lagrenée" vases, with a vibrant purple background, dated 1797, this pair has belonged to a number of the most prestigious European collections: purchased at the Sèvres factory in December 1799, before being presented to King Charles IV of Spain in circa 1800, acquired by Alexander Hamilton (the 10th Duke of Hamilton) in 1807-1808 and passed on by descent to the 12th Duke of Hamilton, William Alexander Louis Stephen Douglas-Hamilton.
While there is a long list of delicate and valuable masterpieces that couldn’t be mention here, but one thing for sure is that they are all curated by the French interior designer himself throughout all these years, picked by his tasteful hands and discerning eyes, on top of the history that hidden in each piece of the masterwork, this auction is definitely one of the most opulent and significant exhibition of the year, especially for those who are into European or French imperial antique and furniture!
I have no idea if I’ll be able to revisit Château du Champ-de-Bataille again any time soon, but having a view of these masterworks from this auction, it did bring back a lot of wonderful memories to me, and how grateful I was able to be there, to see the stunning interior work by Jacques as well as valuable historic furniture and decorative objects. For those who haven’t visit this spectacular French château at this point yet, perhaps visiting this auction exhibition might give you some idea about the beauty of the bygone French imperial splendor and modern interior design, I truly hope that you can feel the same way too.
at Château du Champ-de-Bataille, Jul 2015.
Image courtesy of Sotheby’s Paris.