PARIS, FRANCE.- Sotheby's is pleased to announce the sale of the estate of the Baron de Redé from the Hôtel Lambert. The sale will take place at the Galerie Charpentier in Paris on March 16 and 17, 2005. In 1949 the Baron de Redé, a man of exquisite taste, moved into the Hotel Lambert, a beautiful 17th-century hôtel particulier built by the architect Le Vau on the Ile Saint Louis. By returning the Hotel Lambert to its former glory, de Redé created one of the most beautiful domestic interiors in the French capital, and in recognition of the restoration was appointed Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres. His apartments were the centre of fashionable Paris and a worthy setting for his celebrated parties. His entertaining - as described by the great diarists of the time - was legendary and lunching at the Hotel Lambert was the summit of Ancien Régime elegance.
The collection, which is estimated to fetch in excess of € 5 million, includes some exquisite works of art which illustrate Alexis de Redé's fine sense of aesthetics and his modern, eclectic taste. A monumental Louis XV chandelier with 32 lights, in ormolu and rock crystal, stamped with a crowned C is estimated at €1 - 2 million, and a flat Louis XV desk, bearing the stamp of Dubois, in rose and violet wood veneer, is estimated at €500,000 - 800,000. A rare suite of English furniture composed of six armchairs and a sofa, formerly in the Earl of Cadogan's collection, is expected to fetch €200,000 to 300,000 and four monumental 18th century marble columns are estimated at €40,000 - 60,000.
Admiring one object after another, the eye is caught by a cubist mirror designed by Léon Jaillot, sculptures by Rodin and Lalanne, drawings by Bérard, Cocteau and Serebriakoff, and a late 17th-century travel case made by Bagard. Many of the objects and souvenirs reflect the passions of this elegant and sophisticated man.
The collection will be divided into two catalogues - the first will be devoted to French 18th century furniture, decorative arts of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, and Old Master Pictures.
The second catalogue will include books from the Baron's library, the majority of which date back to the 18th century and are covered with elegant bindings with mosaic patterns or bearing arms. Of particular interest is Théorie sur l'escrime by Alexander Muller from 1816, and L'Aveugle par amour written by Fanny de Beauharnais, the aunt of Empress Josephine and godmother of Queen Hortense. This particular copy was once in Napoleon's private library and is decorated with his coat of arms.
The collection will also include a large number of the Baron's personal mementoes - photographs, cigar boxes, cuff links, and souvenirs of parties and balls. The highlight of this section will be the album devoted to the Oriental Ball given by the Baron in 1969. This album in the grand tradition of 18th century Livres de fêtes, is covered in a sumptuous Indian binding of silk velvet embroidered with gold thread. It contains watercolours by Serebriakoff, as well as full-length portraits of some of the guests at the ball. It is estimated to fetch €150,000 - 200,000.
Speaking about the forthcoming sale, Laure de Beauvau Craon, Honorary Chairman of Sotheby's France, said: "Alexis' friendship and support were very important to me during all the years in which I was in charge of Sotheby's France and in which he was on our Advisory Board. Behind Alexis' image of elegance and charm lay an incredibly kind and generous nature. I knew I could count on him and would call him when I needed his advice. He would invite me to lunch at the Hotel Lambert - there in a few words he would express his opinion which was always accurate and to the point.
At the Hotel Lambert, Alexis always struck me as being in total harmony with the beauty and the perfection of the décor and works of art that surrounded him, as if they were revealing his true personality.