announced the sale of an exceptional collection from an extraordinary Parisian apartment designed by the renowned interior designer Alberto Pinto. This sale, entitled "Le Grand Style: An apartment on the Quai d'Orsay designed by Alberto Pinto", will take place on June 30 in Paris. The Thinker, by Auguste Rodin, will be offered in a cast dated circa 1928 (estimate 9,000,000-14,000,000). This iconic work by one of the greatest masters in the history of sculpture will undeniably be a highlight of the sale. With a great number of outstanding pieces, spanning a dazzling array of styles, periods and cultures, the 238 lots perfectly reflect the combination of the passionate search of the collector for the most beautiful works of art with Alberto Pintos masterly command of the setting in which to display then . In this stunning panorama of the arts across time and geography, the decorative arts and furniture form the major part. In both the fine and decorative arts fields, masterpieces and major works of significant historical value will be offered. Among these, collectors and bidders will discover several items with a Hubert de Givenchy provenance, highly sought after for their quality, opulence and the prestige of this celebrated collection. The overall estimate for the collection is between 26 and 40 million euros.
Charles Cator, Deputy Chairman, Christies International: With its extraordinary enfilade of rooms overlooking the Seine, the mise en scène on the Quai dOrsay magicked by Alberto Pinto as a setting for this extraordinary collection was thrilling to see Old Master paintings, superb French decorative arts, magnificent silver and silver-gilt, masterpiece sculpture spanning from the 16th century to Rodins iconic Le Penseur. Impressionist works by Chagall and Matisse as well as Post War examples by Yves Klein and Sigmar Polke added a 20th Century dimension. It has been a very special privilege to have been involved with the collection for many years. Built with a discerning eye, this collection is definitely the oeuvre of a great collector. Perpetually in search of a rare piece and a true lover of the arts, he followed public auctions of remarkable collections whether in London, Monte Carlo or New York. A particular high point was the acquisitions made at the landmark Christies sale of part of Hubert de Givenchys collection in December 1993 which were the crowning glory of the refurbishment of the apartment, making it one of most distinguished and successful in Paris. It was the greatest privilege to advise this great collector in his quest for the most exquisite art works.
Lionel Gosset, Deputy Chairman, Directeur des Collections, Christies France : It is a great honour to be entrusted with such a beautiful collection. The collector worked with his friend and world famous interior designer, Alberto Pinto, to decorate his Parisian apartment and create a setting for his superb collection .For the Quai d'Orsay, where he resided himself, Alberto Pinto gave the full measure of his talent. This sumptuous décor, thoroughly composed with highly refined pieces of furniture, Old Master paintings, sumptuous 19th century carpets, silverware and sculpture masterpieces, is truly extraordinary. The opportunity to offer such a collection in Paris is a rare event. It should arouse the interest of collectors from all over the world.
In the Quai d'Orsay apartment, which he introduced to his client, Pinto was entrusted with creating the setting for the collection. Visitors were greeted by a sumptuous Louis XIV ebony and Boulle marquetry bureau plat attributed to André-Charles Boulle while being watched over by a striking ensemble of antique busts.
In the Grand Salon, adorned with elaborately decorated boiseries set off by exotic silks, velvets and passementerie, ones eye was drawn irresistibly to a delicate and lavish Régence mirror, a rarity with its frame entirely of gilt-bronze, facing Rodin's masterpiece, The Thinker, and directly behind it, through the window, a wonderful view of the Seine.
The magic of the apartment was most fully revealed when one entered the dining room. The walls were entirely covered with silk velvet, a real tour de force of craftsmanship, creating an intimate atmosphere in a room that was in fact monumental. The rarest artefacts in silver and silver-gilt from all over Europe glinted in and reflected back the soft light thrown by the majestic carved and gilded chandelier. The effect, at once delicate and princely, is that of an appartement du soir, the quintessence of Alberto Pintos celebration of the French Art de Vivre. By bringing Versailles and the banks of the Seine together, Pinto created the most beautiful setting for an exquisite evening.
The rich textures and elaborate surfaces, ormolu, Boulle marquetry, lacquer bronze and silver-gilt were enhanced by their kunstkammer setting. In this rich mix are not only outstanding examples, but a galaxy of interesting, celebrated and romantic provenances from the 17th to the 20th Century. From the Duc de Richelieu, the Earls of Lonsdale, the Dukes of Buckingham, Count Palffy and, of course, the Rothschilds both the Viennese and the English branches - through Antenor Patiño and Duc de Talleyrand-Périgord to Peter Jay Sharp, François Catroux and Marcel Bissey.
A remarkable body of works bring another 20th Century dimension to this magnificent ensemble. LÉcuyer, a poetic work of Marc Chagall (estimate 1,000,000-1,500,000), or a delicate Portrait de Micheline by Henri Matisse, from the Pierre Bergé - Yves Saint Laurent collection (estimate 450,000-650,000), are definitely worth mentioning as they will count among the highlights of the sale on June 30.
Finally, the most contemporary works of the collection, including some major artists such as Yves Klein, Cosmogonie COS 31 (2,500,000-3,500,000), Sigmar Polke, How Fish can Boost your Brain Power (1,900,000-2,400,000), Fausto Melotti, Le Bugie (1974, 200,000-300,000) or as well Francesco Lo Savio, Spazio Luce (Monocromo Giallo), estimated at 300,000-500,000, will be offered in our contemporary art London to Paris sale, on 28 June.