announced details of the full 1229 lots in the Hubert de Givenchy Collectionneur, which will be offered in auctions taking place live in Paris and online between 8 and 23 June 2022.
A passionate aesthete, deeply rooted in the culture of his country, the life and work of Hubert de Givenchy embodied a constant and successful quest for an ideal, that of classical beauty. The extraordinary variety and richness of works in the Hubert de Givenchy Collectionneur perfectly represents the world renowned couturiers deep passion for objects and impeccable good taste, ensuring these auctions will be an unmissable event as well as a tribute to the great collector. The overall estimate for the collection is in the region of 50 million.
Christies will present selected highlights from the auctions as follows:
For Hubert de Givenchy, each object had a life of its own, appreciating its seduction and the memory which originated from it. For him, appreciation and engagement came not only from the beauty of the object, but also from its provenance, and the auctions are filled with such pieces of prestigious provenance. In the 1950s, the young couturier began his "second career" as an art collector. From the collection of Coco Chanel, who invited him regularly for dinner, comes a superb Régence console (estimate 60,000-100,000), while from the collection of José-Maria and Misia Sert comes a rare Italian neoclassical console table, probably the work of Torinese craftsmen active at the court of Savoy (estimate 12,000-18,000). From the "Palais Murat", the home of a very important collection visited by the royal families of the 19th century, comes a shaped porphyry potpourri vase , probably acquired by the King of Naples around 1780 (estimate 60,000-100,000). Of Imperial provenance are a pair of monumental girandoles attributed to Pierre-Philippe Thomire for Tsar Paul I of Russia (estimate 700,000-1,000,000). These sculptural pieces surrounded the access to the garden at his Paris home, the Hôtel d'Orrouer. In the same salon, any visitors' eye was drawn to a set of Regency ormolu-mounted vases 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 discerning collectors.
From fashion to decoration, Hubert de Givenchy approached his projects as an architect, as did his mentor Cristóbal Balenciaga. Architecture embodies Givenchys ideal of balance, harmony and majesty, and is therefore omnipresent in many of the pieces included in the Collection, as it is the case with a superb baroque bronze censer from Augsburg (estimate 30,000-50,000), and a pair of late Louis XV candlesticks attributed to Pierre Gouthière (estimate 60,000-100,000). Architecture is also present in paintings, such as Hubert Robert's The Pool in the Terms (estimate 12,000-15,000) and the Landscape with Obelisk and Colonnade (estimate 250,000-350,000). In Givenchys bedroom at Hôtel dOrrouer the neoclassical lines of the monumental desk by Roentgen are perfectly matched by those of a mechanical box by the same artist (estimate 8,000 - 12,000), and a Louis XVI commode by Pierre Garnier (estimate 200 000-400 000).
For Hubert de Givenchy, "every object is the result of an encounter, of love at first sight" (2). 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" (1) with a Louis XVI fauteuil, de Givenchy was also seduced by a pair of bergères stamped by Georges Jacob from the same period (estimate 15,000 - 25,000). Equally, he appreciated the lines of a pair of Régence armchairs, formerly from the collection of Lady Baillie at Leeds Castle (estimate 100,000 - 200,000). Often Hubert de Givenchy reupholstered furniture with modern textiles such as a Louis XVI bergère by Nicolas-Quinibert Foliot with a designed textile by Georges Braque (estimate 6,000-10,000), transcending periods and styles. The sale also includes a number of more modern seat models from the 20th century, including Decour bergères from the grand salon of the Manoir du Jonchet (estimate 800-1,200).
Hubert de Givenchy also liked to be surrounded by representations of animals . They were omnipresent and gave life and majesty to the interiors he designed. For example, the Gazelle by Jean-Marc Winckler watched over the guests in the dining room of Hôtel d'Orrouer (estimate 1,000-1,500). Hubert de Givenchy had three deer heads added to the façade of the Jonchet in honour of his patron saint, and in 2011 he generously donated the casts that allowed the restoration of the Cour des Cerfs to the Château de Versailles. Posthumously, the large stag by François Pompon, was donated to the Château de Chambord, having originally decorated the grand salon at Manoir Jonchet. In the park of the Manoir du Jonchet, lived a splendid pair of bronze deer , executed in 1964 by Janine Janet, gifted as a present by Cristóbal Balenciaga (estimate 80,000-120,000 each). And approaching the house, visitors were greeted by François-Xavier Lalanne's Oiseaux de jardin (estimate 400,000-600,000 each), while a 1973 turtle by the same artist slumbered in Hubert de Givenchy's bedroom (estimate 20,000-30,000). Furthermore, the park held five sculptures by Diego Giacometti (estimate 20,000-30,000 each) immortalising Bucky, Lippo, Sandy and Assouan, Hubert de Givenchys canine companions. Animals were also to be found at the Hôtel d'Orrouer, where a pair of 19th century gilded copper Tibetan deers were placed on the mantel piece of the main salon (estimate 20,000-30,000).
Hubert de Givenchy's eye was equally drawn to Domenico Piola's monumental 1695 painting Alexander and the Family of Darius (estimate 80,000-120,000), Max Ernst's luminous, tiny 1961 Untitled (Soleil) (estimate 50,000-70,000), and the elegant minimalism in Robert Courtright's 1972 painting Untitled (estimate 10,000-15,000). In the Collection, representations of the human figure abound, whether a pair of busts of emperors in the Antique style (estimate 250,000-350,000) or the portrait Grande tête de Katia by Henri Matisse (estimate 7,000-10,000). Keeping with the collectors concept 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 had always loved imposing furniture and especially large armoires and bookcases. The auction offers two superb armoires, the first dating from the Louis XIV period, made in the Boulle technique, with ebony marquetry, and the second a replica made by Michel Jamet at de Givenchys request to form a pair (estimate 50,000-100,000, the pair). Furthermore, the Collection includes a splendid commode, attributed to Joseph Poitou (estimate 250,000-400,000) as well as an important selection of pieces by Diego Giacometti, a close friend, including a Console oiseau et coupelle from 1976 (estimate 400,000-600,000). Collectors will also be able to acquire an imposing contemporary travertine and granite dining table (estimate 8,000-12,000) which comes from the Manoir du Jonchet.
GIVENCHY AND THE COLOUR GREEN
A true leitmotif of the interiors created by Hubert de Givenchy, the colour green is undoubtedly not foreign to the feeling of serenity and calm evoked by all visitors entering Hôtel dOrrouer or the Manoir du Jonchet. Green is omnipresent in the Collection, and the salon on the second floor of the Hôtel d'Orrouer is named in its honour. A natural sponge, painted in green by Charles Sevigny (estimate 2,000-3,000) is a nod to another great master of the art mixing modern and classical works, Charles Sevigny. He decorated Hubert de Givenchys first apartment, in addition to those of the Empress of Iran and Bunny Mellon.