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The personal collection of Fritz Schlumpf to be offered at Christie's Paris
Bugatti Baby 52, circa 1930. Estimate: €30,000-50,000. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2015.

PARIS.- On 28 April, the Christie’s Paris’ Interiors sale will include an important section dedicated to the personal items of the world’s greatest vintage cars collector: Fritz Schlumpf. This collection is permanently exhibited at the Cité de l’Automobile – Musée National – Collection Schlumpf of Mulhouse, France.

Flavien Gaillard, specialist at the 20/21 Design department: comments “We are extremely honored that the family of Fritz Schlumpf entrusted Christie’s with the sale of this collection. This auction marks an end of an era for one of the greatest vintage cars collector in the world. It is the last opportunity connoisseurs have to enjoy the collection as a whole, and acquire some of Fritz Schlumpf’s personal items. This previously unseen collection has remained within the family by descent and allows us to discover the hidden facets of such a charismatic collector. Within the collection, several items signed by Bugatti reflect Fritz’s passion for the Molsheim brand”.

Among the highlights of the collection is the celebrated mascot “Éléphant dressé” made of solid silver circa 1928 by Rembrandt Bugatti for the legendary Royal Bugatti (estimate: €150,000–200,000). This mascot, only six were ever made, was cast by Valsuani. Considered the most expensive car at the time, Ettore Bugatti wanted to pay tribute to his brother, who had passed away only few years earlier. Ettore went to his brother’s workshop to pick an original model from 1904 that he cast to adapt into a radiator cap. Alongside this legendary car, a 1902 Rochet, a 1906 Piccolo and a Baby 52 Bugatti model car for children will be offered during the sale.

Richard Rodier, consultant for the Fritz collection: “It is an honor and a true pleasure to be involved in the sale of this remarkable collection, a beautiful legacy of a rich and fascinating life”.

Collectors will have the opportunity to acquire some personal mementos such as photos, posters of the 1950’s Grand-Prix, documents, models of Bugatti pieces and custom Hermès scarves ordered by Fritz Schlumpf for the museum. In the 1960’s, Schlumpf had become acquainted with Robert Dumas, CIO of Hermès. In 1970, an Hermès scarf was created in tribute to the Sclumpf museum, which was under construction at the time. The drawing was handed to Philippe Ledoux, one of the official painters for Hermès.

The focal point of this scarf is an extremely rare 1960 two-seat Sage car, one of Fritz Schlumpf’s favourite. Inside two opposite-facing medallions, Fritz is depicted standing beside a 1906 5 PS Piccolo with his partner Arlette and driving a 1911 Maurer-Union with Martine, Arlette’s daughter (left). Scarves were printed on silk by the Ateliers Arnaud et Savy in the village of Pierre-Bénite in March 1971, and declined in 11 varying colors. Over 1000 pieces were produced. Fritz Schlumpf had planned to offer them to his guests during the inauguration of his museum, scheduled in 1975. Unfortunately, this opening never happened and as such the scarves were stored away.

Other legendary objects which belonged to Fritz Schlumpf will be offered during the auction, including a helmet and a pair of glasses he used when driving his T35 Bugatti, as well as two suits he wore on various races. In addition, the sale will comprise posters, champagne buckets stamped ‘Schlumpf’, car headlights, photographs of trophies won in the 1950’s and the museum’s guest book by Hermès, signed by famous personalities such as the Prince of Sweden and the Minister of Monaco’s Touristic Affairs.

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