The Ritz Paris hotel auctions 1,500 lots after 110m revamp 


Historic silver, crystal and ashtrays from the Paris Ritz hotel are to go under the hammer in the French capital in a two-day sale starting Saturday.

The mythic hotel on Place Vendome was a favourite of such icons as actress Audrey Hepburn, fashion designer Coco Chanel – who spent part of World War II tucked up there with her lover, a German spy – and the American writer Ernest Hemingway, who ‘liberated’ its bar when the Allies retook the city. 

Now, you could own a piece of what Le Figaro magazine called ‘the Mona Lisa of the luxury hotel world’ as more than 1,500 lots are auctioned off.

Historic silver, crystal and ashtrays from the Paris Ritz hotel are to go under the hammer in the French capital in a two-day sale starting Saturday

Historic silver, crystal and ashtrays from the Paris Ritz hotel are to go under the hammer in the French capital in a two-day sale starting Saturday

The mythic hotel on Place Vendome was a favourite of such icons as actress Audrey Hepburn. Pictured: Some of the items up for grabs

The mythic hotel on Place Vendome was a favourite of such icons as actress Audrey Hepburn. Pictured: Some of the items up for grabs

Fashion designer Coco Chanel spent part of World War II tucked up there with her lover, a German spy. Pictured: Some of the items up for auction

Fashion designer Coco Chanel spent part of World War II tucked up there with her lover, a German spy. Pictured: Some of the items up for auction

The American writer Ernest Hemingway 'liberated' its bar when the Allies retook the city. Pictured: Some of the items up for auction

The American writer Ernest Hemingway ‘liberated’ its bar when the Allies retook the city. Pictured: Some of the items up for auction

Now, you could own a piece of what Le Figaro magazine called 'the Mona Lisa of the luxury hotel world' as more than 1,500 lots are auctioned off, including bed linen (pictured)

Now, you could own a piece of what Le Figaro magazine called ‘the Mona Lisa of the luxury hotel world’ as more than 1,500 lots are auctioned off, including bed linen (pictured)

Luxury items including bed linen, bathrobes and ashtrays from the Ritz Club - which are estimated to go between 100 and 150 euros ($168) apiece - will be sold off by the auction house Artcurial on Saturday and Monday. Pictured: Some of the items up for auction

Luxury items including bed linen, bathrobes and ashtrays from the Ritz Club – which are estimated to go between 100 and 150 euros ($168) apiece – will be sold off by the auction house Artcurial on Saturday and Monday. Pictured: Some of the items up for auction

Bed linen, bath robes and china tea sets are some of the items that will be sold off by the auction house Artcurial for the two-day sale

Bed linen, bath robes and china tea sets are some of the items that will be sold off by the auction house Artcurial for the two-day sale

The auction house set up a dining table to showcase how ornate the china, silverware and crystal looked in the grand hotel

The auction house set up a dining table to showcase how ornate the china, silverware and crystal looked in the grand hotel

A bath towel from the famous Ritz hotel is displayed at the Artcurial Auction House. A bath set of two women's robes, two bath towels and two smaller towels is on sale for between £270 and £360

A bath towel from the famous Ritz hotel is displayed at the Artcurial Auction House. A bath set of two women’s robes, two bath towels and two smaller towels is on sale for between £270 and £360

Two years ago some of the hotel's historic furniture was sold off for 7.2 million euros (£6.52 million) - seven times the estimate - after a major refurbishment of the hotel. Pictured: The lots to be sold this year

Two years ago some of the hotel’s historic furniture was sold off for 7.2 million euros (£6.52 million) – seven times the estimate – after a major refurbishment of the hotel. Pictured: The lots to be sold this year

Bidders from 53 countries competed for the pieces last year, many of which dated from its earliest era days at the turn of the 20th century under founder Cesar Ritz and the legendary French chef Auguste Escoffier. Pictured: The lots to be sold this year

Bidders from 53 countries competed for the pieces last year, many of which dated from its earliest era days at the turn of the 20th century under founder Cesar Ritz and the legendary French chef Auguste Escoffier. Pictured: The lots to be sold this year

Hemingway famously rallied a group of Resistance fighters to go and liberate his beloved hotel.However, he was too late as the Nazis had already left, so he took to the bar where he is said to have run up a tab for 51 dry Martinis. Pictured: Martini glasses from Hemingway Bar

Hemingway famously rallied a group of Resistance fighters to go and liberate his beloved hotel.However, he was too late as the Nazis had already left, so he took to the bar where he is said to have run up a tab for 51 dry Martinis. Pictured: Martini glasses from Hemingway Bar

A mahogany-stained wood display trolley and silver plate finishing is up for auction for £2,700 to £3,600.

Two water jugs are being sold for £180 to £270

Left: A mahogany-stained wood display trolley and silver plate finishing is up for auction for £2,700 to £3,600. Right: Two water jugs are being sold for £180 to £270

Twelve coffee cups and saucers are being sold in a set for between £135 and £180 by the auction house Artcurial

Twelve coffee cups and saucers are being sold in a set for between £135 and £180 by the auction house Artcurial

Audrey Hepburn and Coco Chanel’s favourite hotel: A brief history of celebrity-hit The Ritz Paris

The Ritz in Paris has housed such famous names as Ernest Hemingway and Coco Chanel and was the last place Princess Diana stayed before her fatal 1997 car crash in a Paris tunnel.

The hotel, founded by Swiss entrepreneur Cesar Ritz in 1898, is storied as the lodging of choice of Charlie Chaplin, too, who has a small bar named after him.

‘When I dream of afterlife in heaven, the action always takes place in the Paris Ritz,’ Hemingway once said of the hotel that inspired the word ‘ritzy’.

The American writer famously rallied a group of Resistance fighters to go and liberate his beloved hotel, which had been requisitioned in June 1940 by the Nazis and occupied by German brass including on occasions Hermann Goering and Joseph Goebbels.

However, he was too late as the Nazis had already left, so he took to the bar where he is said to have run up a tab for 51 dry Martinis.

In more recent history however, the Ritz has become known as the place where Britain’s Princess Diana spent her last hours before a car accident in a tunnel in the French capital while being pursued by paparazzi.

The refurbishment of the hotel, estimated at 140million euros (£110million) in 2012, was aimed at sprucing up the ageing hotel to cater to the tastes of its mega-rich clientele.

It reopened in 2016 and now boasts a summer restaurant under a movable glass canopy, a larger ballroom and the latest technology in its rooms.

It’s located in the prestigious Place Vendome neighborhood. 

Luxury items including bed linen, bathrobes and ashtrays from the Ritz Club – which are estimated to go between £90 and £140 apiece – will be sold off by the auction house Artcurial on Saturday and Monday.

Two years ago some of the hotel’s historic furniture was sold off for 7.2 million euros (£6.52 million) – seven times the estimate – after a major refurbishment of the hotel.

Bidders from 53 countries competed for the pieces, many of which dated from its earliest era days at the turn of the 20th century under founder Cesar Ritz and the legendary French chef Auguste Escoffier.

Some of the items sold then included paintings, chandeliers, service buttons, garden gates and French antiques from Louis XIV to Empire style, including Regency and Louis XVI representing more than a century of hotel history. 

This time the star attraction will be the 400 lots of its silver service as well as its vintage crystal, much of it from the famous ‘Bar Hemingway’ which was named after the hard-drinking novelist. 

Opened in 1898 by Swiss hotelier César Ritz, it was bought in 1979 by Egyptian billionaire Mohamid Al Fayad. It underwent four years of renovation before re-opening in 2016.

The hotel was famously a second home to the twentieth century writer Marcel Proust, using it to work on his masterpiece, Á la Recherche du Temps Perdu. 

The author is said to have liked the hotel so much he had dinner there practically every day.

Not everyone appreciated the hotel’s many luxuries, Oscar Wilde complained that the elevators moved too fast and the ensuite bathrooms were not ‘to his style’.

Coco Chanel, whose boutique was nearby, moved into a suite at the hotel in 1934 and stayed there until her death in 1971.

During World War II, the Nazis took over several floors when they occupied Paris in 1940. It was used by German brass including on occasions Hermann Goering and Joseph Goebbels.

Hemingway famously rallied a group of Resistance fighters to go and liberate his beloved hotel. 

However, he was too late as the Nazis had already left, so he took to the bar where he is said to have run up a tab for 51 dry Martinis.

The Ritz originally didn’t have a bar, however with Americans such as Hemingway fleeing the prohibition, owner Cesar Ritz put one in.

The bar was originally just for men, however Cesar Ritz’s  daughter-in-law went in one evening, prompting the creation of a second bar only for women.

Opened in 1898 by Swiss hotelier César Ritz, it was bought in 1979 by Egyptian billionaire Mohamid Al Fayad. It underwent four years of renovation before re-opening in 2016. Pictured: The lots up for auction this year

Opened in 1898 by Swiss hotelier César Ritz, it was bought in 1979 by Egyptian billionaire Mohamid Al Fayad. It underwent four years of renovation before re-opening in 2016. Pictured: The lots up for auction this year

Le Figaro magazine called the Ritz Paris 'the Mona Lisa of the luxury hotel world'. Auction-goers can now buy a piece of this Parisian landmark

Le Figaro magazine called the Ritz Paris ‘the Mona Lisa of the luxury hotel world’. Auction-goers can now buy a piece of this Parisian landmark

Four juice glasses are being sold by the auction house Artcurial for between £135 and £180

Two ashtrays are being sold for between £180 and £270

Left: Four juice glasses are being sold by the auction house Artcurial for between £135 and £180. Right: Two ashtrays are being sold for between £180 and £270

A chauffe-plat - or chafing dish - is up for grabs for between £360 and £450 by the auction house Artcurial

A chauffe-plat – or chafing dish – is up for grabs for between £360 and £450 by the auction house Artcurial

A coat rack and two luggage racks are up for sale for between £270 and £450.

A candelabra for two lights is being sold for £270 and £360

Left: A coat rack and two luggage racks are up for sale for between £270 and £450. Right: A candelabra for two lights is being sold for £270 and £360

A large serving tray (left) is expected to sell for between £720 and £1,090. An ice bucket (right) will be sold for between £270 and £360

A large serving tray (left) is expected to sell for between £720 and £1,090. An ice bucket (right) will be sold for between £270 and £360

Ashtrays from the Ritz Club - which are estimated to go for between £90 and £140 apiece - are also up for grabs

Ashtrays from the Ritz Club – which are estimated to go for between £90 and £140 apiece – are also up for grabs

A service trolley for bottles and glasses in cream lacquered wood and carved is on sale for between £1,800 and £2,700

A service trolley for bottles and glasses in cream lacquered wood and carved is on sale for between £1,800 and £2,700

Four candlesticks from the Ritz are up for grabs for between £270 and £360 in a two-day sale in Paris starting Saturday

Four candlesticks from the Ritz are up for grabs for between £270 and £360 in a two-day sale in Paris starting Saturday

Audrey Hepburn also stayed in the hotel

Coco Chanel, whose boutique was nearby, moved into a suite at the hotel in 1934 and stayed there until her death in 1971

Coco Chanel (right), whose boutique was nearby, moved into a suite at the hotel in 1934 and stayed there until her death in 1971. Audrey Hepburn (left) also stayed in the hotel

Six Louis XV style armchairs from the restaurant L’Espadon are on sale for between £540 and £720

Six Louis XV style armchairs from the restaurant L’Espadon are on sale for between £540 and £720

A woman browsing some of the silverware wears a protective facemask to prevent the spread of coronavirus in France's capital

A woman browsing some of the silverware wears a protective facemask to prevent the spread of coronavirus in France’s capital 

A bathrobe from the famous Ritz hotel is displayed at the Artcurial Auction House. A bath set of two robes, two bath towels and two smaller towels will be sold for between £270 and £360

A bathrobe from the famous Ritz hotel is displayed at the Artcurial Auction House. A bath set of two robes, two bath towels and two smaller towels will be sold for between £270 and £360

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