The exquisite collection of Hubert De Givenchy
Christie’s has announced the full list of 1,229 lots from the highly anticipated Hubert de Givenchy Collectionneur, which will be auctioned live in Paris and online from June 8-23.
The life and work of Hubert de Givenchy illustrated a constant and successful quest for an ideal, that of classical beauty, as a passionate esthete deeply rooted in the culture of his country. The extraordinary variety and wealth of works by Collector Hubert de Givenchy perfectly represent the world-renowned couturier’s deep passion for objects and impeccable taste, ensuring that these auctions will be an unmissable event as well as a tribute to the great collector. The collection is expected to cost around 50 million euros in total.
Selected auction highlights as follows:
For Hubert de Givenchy, each object had a life of its own, appreciating its seduction and the memory that was born in it. For him, appreciation and engagement come not just from the beauty of the object, but also from its provenance, and auctions are full of such prestigious provenance pieces.
In the 1950s, the young couturier began his “second career” as an art collector. From the collection of Coco Chanel, who regularly invited her to dinner, comes a superb Régence console (estimate 60,000-100,000 euros), while from the collection of José-Maria and Misia Sert comes a rare neoclassical Italian console, probably the work of artisans from Torino working at the court of Savoy (estimate 12,000-18,000 euros).
From the “Palais Murat”, housing a very important collection visited by the royal families of the 19th century, comes a potpourri vase in shaped porphyry, probably acquired by the King of Naples around 1780 (estimate 60,000-100,000 euros). Of imperial provenance, a pair of monumental candelabra attributed to Pierre-Philippe Thomire for Tsar Paul I of Russia (estimate 700,000-1,000,000 euros). These sculptural pieces surrounded the access to the garden of his Parisian house, the Hôtel d’Orrouer. In the same salon, the visitor’s eye was caught by a set of Regency vases mounted in gilt bronze attributed to Vulliamy & Son delivered around 1807 to the 1st 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 demanding collectors.
From fashion to decoration, Hubert de Givenchy approaches his projects as an architect, just like his mentor Cristobal Balenciaga. The architecture embodies Givenchy’s ideal of balance, harmony and majesty, and is therefore omnipresent in many pieces of the Collection, as is the case of a superb Baroque incense burner in bronze by Augsburg (estimate 30,000-50,000 euros), and a pair of late Louis XV candlesticks attributed to Pierre Gouthière (estimate 60,000-100,000 euros).
Architecture is also present in paintings, such as The Pool in the Terms of Hubert Robert (estimate €12,000-15,000) and Landscape with Obelisk and Colonnade (estimate €250,000-350,000). In Givenchy’s room at the Hôtel d’Orrouer, the neoclassical lines of Roentgen’s monumental desk are perfectly matched with those of a mechanical box by the same artist (estimate €8,000-12,000), and a Louis XVI by Pierre Garnier (estimate 200,000-400,000 euros).
For Hubert de Givenchy, “each object is the result of an encounter, of love at first sight”. The 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” with a Louis XVI armchair, de Givenchy was also seduced by a pair of bergères stamped Georges Jacob from the same period (estimate 15,000 – 25,000 euros). He also appreciated the lines of a pair of Régence armchairs, formerly from the collection of Lady Baillie at Leeds Castle (estimate €100,000-200,000). Hubert de Givenchy often reupholsters furniture with modern textiles such as a Louis XVI bergere by Nicolas-Quinibert Foliot with a textile designed by Georges Braque (estimate €6,000-10,000), transcending eras and styles. The sale also includes some models of more modern seats from the 20th century, including the Decour bergères from the grand salon of the Manoir du Jonchet (estimate 800-1200 euros).
Hubert de Givenchy also liked to surround himself with representations of animals. They were omnipresent and gave life and majesty to the interiors he designed. For example, Jean-Marc Winckler’s Gazelle watched over the guests in the dining room of the Hôtel d’Orrouer (estimate 1000-1500 euros).
Hubert de Givenchy had three deer heads added to the facade of Le Jonchet in honor of its patron saint, and in 2011 he generously donated the casts that enabled the restoration of the Cour des Cerfs at the Palace of Versailles. Posthumously, François Pompon’s large stag was donated to the Château de Chambord, having originally decorated the grand salon of the Manoir Jonchet. In the park of the Manoir du Jonchet, lived a magnificent couple of bronze deer, executed in 1964 by Janine Janet, offered as a gift by Cristobal Balenciaga (estimate 80,000-120,000 euros each).
And approaching the house, visitors were greeted by the Garden Birds by François-Xavier Lalanne (estimate 400,000-600,000 euros each), while a 1973 turtle by the same artist slept in Hubert de Givenchy (estimate 20,000-30,000 euros). In addition, the park hosted five sculptures by Diego Giacometti (estimate €20,000-30,000 each) immortalizing Bucky, Lippo, Sandy and Aswan, Hubert de Givenchy’s canine companions. There were also animals at the Hôtel d’Orrouer, where a couple of Tibetan stags in gilded copper from the 19th century were placed on the fireplace in the large living room (estimate 20,000-30,000 euros).
Hubert de Givenchy’s eye was also drawn to Domenico Piola’s monumental 1695 painting Alexandre et la famille de Darius (estimate €80,000-120,000), the luminous and diminutive Untitled (Sun) from 1961 by Max Ernst (estimate €50,000-70,000) and the elegant minimalism of 1972’s Untitled Painting by Robert Courtright (estimate €10,000-15,000).
In the Collection, representations of the human figure abound, whether it is a pair of busts of emperors in the Antique style (estimate 250,000-350,000 euros) or the portrait Grande tête de Katia by Henri Matisse (estimate 7,000-10,000 euros). In keeping with the collector’s conception 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 )
Hubert de Givenchy has always loved imposing furniture and especially large wardrobes and bookcases. The sale offers two superb wardrobes, the first dating from the Louis XIV period, made using the Boulle technique, with ebony marquetry, and the second a replica made by Michel Jamet at the request of de Givenchy to form a pair (estimate 50,000-100,000 euros, the pair).
In addition, the Collection includes a splendid chest of drawers, attributed to Joseph Poitou (estimate 250,000-400,000 euros) as well as an important selection of pieces by Diego Giacometti, a close friend, including a Console bird and cup from 1976 (estimate 400,000-600,000 euros). Collectors will also be able to acquire an imposing contemporary dining table in travertine and granite (estimate 8,000-12,000 euros) from the Manoir du Jonchet.
GIVENCHY AND THE
True leitmotif of the interiors created by Hubert de Givenchy, the color green is undoubtedly not unrelated to the feeling of serenity and calm evoked by any visitor entering the Hôtel 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 bears its name.
A natural sponge, painted green by Charles Sevigny (estimate €2,000-3,000) is a nod to another great master of art mixing modern and classic works, Charles Sevigny. He decorated the first apartment of Hubert de Givenchy, in addition to those of the Empress of Iran and Bunny Mellon. (IANSlife)