Paris Ritz sells off its silver... and ashtrays
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Historic silver, crystal and ashtrays from the Paris Ritz hotel are to go under the hammer in the French capital in a three-day sale starting Sunday. (AUCTION DATES IN FIRST AND THIRD PARAS TO SUNDAY-TUESDAY STED SATURDAY-MONDAY)
The mythic hotel on Place Vendome was a favourite of such icons as actress Audrey Hepburn, fashion designer Coco Chanel -- who spent part of World War II tucked up there with her lover, a German spy -- and the American writer Ernest Hemingway, who "liberated" its bar when the Allies retook the city.
More than 1,500 lots from bed linen to bathrobes and ashtrays from the Ritz Club, which are estimated to go between 100 and 150 euros ($168) apiece, will be sold off by the auction house Artcurial from Sunday to Tuesday.
Two years ago some of the hotel's historic furniture was sold off for 7.2 million euros -- seven times the estimate -- after a major refurbishment of the hotel.
Bidders from 53 countries competed for the pieces, many of which dated from its earliest era days at the turn of the 20th century under founder Cesar Ritz and the legendary French chef Auguste Escoffier.
This time the star attraction will be the 400 lots of its silver service as well as its vintage crystal, much of it from the famous "Hemingway Bar" named after the hard-drinking writer.