Thursday, 6 March 2014

Les Trois Garcons Auction at Christie's

There are a few times when I wish
I could organize a little field trip with all of you.
The Christie's auction sale catalogue of Les Trois Garcons made me think it would have been so much fun for all of us to go to the preview and possibly even bid on a few items together.

Via
Les Trois Garcons is a London institution - it is a restaurant started and still run by three men in Shoreditch.  Before Shoreditch became the trendy neighbourhood it is today, that restaurant was one of the few reasons to go to the area. 



 Les Trois Garcons is an expanding empire as I saw when I went to visit Shoreditch that is my brother's new neighborhood.  They have the main restaurant, a cafe, a drinks lounge and an interior decoration service.
Via
The sale was from the various objects in their homes but mostly from a French chateau they own but now rent out.


I love an auction. 
I love the drama and the unexpected outcomes.
The auction did better than expected and raised £1.5 million.
Most items went for more than their estimates.
I think the pricing was very conservative as auction houses tend to do to lure the punters in.  
But just for those who may not know, the three founders are very much the aspirational role models for not just the design world but the gay community so there was a lot of buzz around it.
So I thought we could have a browse of some of the items.

I think they bought a lot of the brass furniture when it was trendy more than a decade ago.
This brass table was way too low-balled.
Coffee tables at mid range John Lewis can cost more than their estimate.  But for a one off piece that would now be considered vintage, then this price is competitive with Alfie's Antique Market which is where one would otherwise go for pieces like this.


This Pierre Cardin designed cocktail bar is also something 
you would find at Alfies or on the Jetsons.
I think the price reflects that this piece would be hard to coordinate in a lot of decor schemes.

The coffee table below reminds me of the 
Sou Fujimoto installation that was at the Serpentine  last year.


If you want something more lively you could have gotten 
this tortoise or is it a turtle coffee table?


This wall light is amazing and I am not surprised it went more than ten times its lower estimate.
One just doesn't even get to see fixtures like this plus it combines period and preferred materials very much on trend.


One wouldn't get to see these elephant chairs at IKEA.


We all knew taxidermy made a comeback a few years ago and 
boy did the prices reflect that!
£4000 for that hare with a gun?
Well that hare must have pointed it at someone's head...



Ok admit it - who put in the absentee bid for the Wallaby?

After that, £7500 doesn't seem to bad for a horse light.

The sum of the whole is greater than the sum of the parts applies in both the lots below.
One hat mould could work decor wise but a grouping makes a design statement.


All these together is like a pina colada vignette.
But pineapples were a lot more popular than the valuers realized.


This sofa probably went for more because it was conditioned with what seems to be leather upholstery against the Gustavian period sofa.  But I am sure it went to a loving home. 





Hey, I saw you raise your eyebrows!
But it was a Les Trois Garcons auction after all.
I thought it was acceptable to put it in the post as Christie's did after all.  But I wish I was there during the auction to see who was outbidding each other for it...

But my personal favorite was this sale lot.
Still don't believe in unicorns?



 The object, the original estimate and the final sale price would have gotten so much applause!

I really wish we could have all been there for that moment...
Have a great weekend everyone x

44 comments:

  1. Hello Naomi,

    A decorator friend alerted us to this sale and so we have spent happy hours browsing through the catalogue on line.

    You are right to say that low estimates do lure prospective purchasers to the sale in anticipation of a bargain. However, sadly, bargains are terrifically hard to come by these days but one may be fortunate and obtain a signature piece for a reasonable sum.

    Taxidermy has found its way into our houses over the years and now we are 'stuffed' with it in every room. And, how we should have loved the white unicorns, eyeing each other in our entrance hall, just as they did at Les Trois Garcons' French chateau.

    We have attended many house sales in our time, most of which were rather sad affairs as contents amassed over a lifetime were sold off , the family members dispersed to more comfortable homes with central heating. As one of our mothers once remarked......it is such a pity that all my friends' houses are now hotels...!

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    1. I would have attended the auction myself but dogsitting trumped a trip to the action. But yes there are some auctions that are great fun and some that really is selling off a decade. The best auction I ever went to was the Debbie Reynolds one where she sold off Marilyn Monroe's dress among others and the crowd was whooping and clapping and it was so much fun! But there shall be other unicorns for you!

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  2. I was going to write about them in my post today! I would love either of the brass/glass coffee tables and my brass pineapple could do with a companion. I love the crystal/lucite ones but they are a small fortune.

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    1. I think if you found them in a smaller city then you could nab a bargain but it seems bargain hunters scour places so bargains are harder and harder to find!

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  3. My God - the prices!! Those unicorns were out of control...But I suppose that there were some very unique pieces - they really were decorator pieces rather than strict antique collectors pieces, so perhaps that was also a contributing factor to the pricing - wider appeal.
    I loved that brass coffee table that you posted in the first image. xx

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    1. There was only one Venetian mirror that went for estimate so I think there must have been a chip or something bc it was a classic piece. But yes it was very much decorator pieces and not many places have wall space and cubic space for the horns on those unicorns!! I loved that brass table too but I only place cheeky bids so I would never have won it xx

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  4. So many amazing things! And what a great cover that is! xo Caroline

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    1. The cover was great and it is the entry hall to the chateau xx

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  5. You really do get caught up in auctions. My first was when Hunter and I were first married. I ended up with a plant stand and you would have thought I got the hope diamond...I was SO proud. Love the taxidermy stuff, so ridiculous. Would love to see the buyers...would have been fun!

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    1. I would have loved to see people outbid each other on certain items - the unicorns being one of them. I do love an auction too and do you still have the plant stand?

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    2. Surprisingly I had it up until last September. During the big nesting it was taken to Goodwill. I also bid and won a flight of wine a two years ago...that too is sadly gone but boy was it good!

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  6. I would have loved to go there, but just for curiosity. I never have been to an auction... The pineapples looked funny to me...

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    1. The Brits seem to have a thing about the pineapple and pineapple motifs are very popular especially in lamp form!

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    2. Is the symbol not related to the monarchy somehow?

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    3. It was more about wealth and the expansion of the empire so in a roundabout way I suppose it is a bit related to the monarchy!

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  7. I have never been to an auction and I would love to go to one some day. It would definitely make for a fun field trip! This one features so many fascinating objects (like those stuffed 'unicorns' and the hare with the gun!!). Those pineapples are fabulous but wow, I cannot believe how much they went for!

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    1. It is great - some are a lot more fun than others - Americans are the most exuberant and expressive where as a specialist auction with British dealers doesn't even get a whoop for anything!

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  8. What a fabulous collection of pineapples but what a price! There are always surprises at auctions though. They must have been delighted with the total. I was in Shoreditch a few weeks ago is and it really is a thriving area now.

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    1. Yes a collection of pineapples is lovely but could you imagine moving them around all the time? I am surprised they sold those though...

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  9. This does look like a lot of fun. Taxidermy is back. How Victorian! Love it!

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    1. And unicorns never went out of style Connie!

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    1. An outing with all the right ingredients!

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  11. What an interesting collection. I think I like the elephant chairs the best.I was cracking up at the wallaby comment... I would love to go to an auction like this. Kind of exciting and I'm sure good people watching.
    Have great weekend Naomi!! x

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    1. Those elephant chairs don't have a bad angle do they? Plus it would break the ice at a party too xx

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  12. gosh.

    still can't get over the words Shoreditch and "fabulous restaurant" that close together (because we left in 2001 ;-)

    and hello, gustavian sofa and teak wall light.

    *sighs_happily*

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    1. I want a leather gustavian sofa with elephant chairs and that wall light then my room would be done!

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  13. The unicorns were gorgeous! My older grand-daughter would have loved them - she has a real thing for fantasy and particularly unicorns. But as Heidi indicated - craazeee prices!!

    Liked the first glass and brass coffee table - but 8000!!. It reminded me rather of the ones the Sheraton Mirage (Southport, Queensland) had in the long lounge looking out to the garden and pools. They used them as display cases for a few large spectacularly beautiful shells. Looked fabulous! Not sure if they're still there, it's been a few years since our last visit.

    I guess the prices reflect not so much the intrinsic value of the items but their associations with the people and places, like the Kennedy auction. In Caroline Radziwill's book "What Remains" she writes about a broken down old favourite chair given to her husband by JFK. Jackie had its twin and it fetched a crazy price in the auction. Caroline contacted the auctioneer afterwards and someone who'd missed out on picking up the one in the auction paid a gi-normous price for theirs. It paid for the reno and refurb of their apartment!
    Loved the Yves St Laurent auction. So many real treasures. Was so enthusiastic I ordered the full catalogue beforehand. They must have thought I might be a serious buyer because DHL delivered it to me at work and then carried it to my car where put it in the boot for me - there were several heavy volumes. Such service - and so funny! Because of course, as was completely inevitable, everything went for astronomical prices. But then they really were great works of art. And I was just happy with the catalogue itself!! Cheers, Pamela xx

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    1. I am sure there are bargains to be had somewhere but only if you go digging deep!

      Yes anything JFK or Jackie O does seem to fetch crazy prices - I remember that even her imitation jewellry was fetching real gemstone brand name prices...I would have loved to get a catalogue but I remember I was on a big trip at the time and I was constantly teetering over the luggage allowance and that catalogue for the auction of the century would have tipped it over the edge I can safely say. I think that was the most sublime auction with the most incredible pieces - it would have done well even without the provenance. But they sure had an eye and I think Pierre Berge is an artisan's dream as he does hire them to do projects to such a high level so he keeps the bar high for the rest of the world. I have pics of his Normandy "hut" that I will publish next week and I think you will appreciate the wood work in the pics xx

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    2. Will so look forward to that! Do you have any of Pierre Berge's Provence house and garden too? I believe one of his houses has a beautiful garden room/study? The auction catalogue would have put you way into excess baggage on a trip! So heavy! Cheers, Pammie xx

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  14. Great post Naomi! ... I also love auctions! I'll make a point of trying to get to their restaurant next time! xxx

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    1. Yes their restaurant in Shoreditch is now in a trendy area so you could have a lovely walk after a great meal!xx

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  15. I have wall light envy! The only auction I went to was on the cruise ship last year where they were selling some beautiful artwork. I can see how dangerous those places could potentially be, for me anyway. I 'm not much of an art person but if I was it's likely Id still be paying off the credit card bill despite the fact that they advertised some very low estimates! xx

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    1. How cool is that wall light? It is the type of thing where if there was a market then there would be tons of rip offs but alas I don't know if they could reproduce that cheaply at all! yes those low estimates were still pretty high! xx

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  16. I never allow myself to go to auctions. I know that my competitive spirit is a little out of whack, and that I would end up being the guy with buyer's remorse at the end.

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    1. But the adrenaline is amazing - but you are right it is dangerously addictive. If I ever bid now I just do written bid and try not to be presetn!

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  17. Gah! Can't wait to make a trip to LDN to come see you! That'd be a trip in itself (and no, I don't know when I am coming but maybe sept this year) xxx

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    1. I do hope you are able to make it Cilla but give me plenty of time to think of stuff to do xx

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  18. Haha I like the auction too ! It's really fun !

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    1. I love them too and in fact Paris has some of the best auction houses!

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  19. I'm wondering... What will Les 3 do next?

    Oh it would have been so much fun to be at that auction!

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    1. They are still keeping the restaurant but apparently their interior decor business has taken off and they have a furniture line and want to keep expanding - it is very niche but very fun. I do think I should have attended the auction and regret not going!!

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  20. Elephant chairs for me, but I might need a cushion.

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    1. It is purely for posing in and photo shoots darling!!! ;)

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