Selling off the Ritz, one monogrammed slipper at a time

Furnitures of the Proust Salon from the prestigious Ritz hotel are displayed at the Artcurial Auction House before an auction of around 3,500 lots accumulated by the Ritz across decades in Paris, France, April 11, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 12 April 2018
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Selling off the Ritz, one monogrammed slipper at a time

  • The Ritz decided to sell the pieces when it reopened in June 2016 after four years of extensive renovations.
  • Buyers can bid on objects ranging from velvet security cordons and curtain ties, to rugs, bedframes and sets of bathrobes and slippers embroidered with the Ritz insignia.

Paris: Who wants a piece of the Ritz?
The legendary Paris hotel, home for a while to Ernest Hemingway, Marcel Proust and Coco Chanel, is auctioning off 10,000 pieces of furniture and decor through the auction house Artcurial.
The hotel’s reputation for luxury and celebrity has already created global buzz around the sale.
Although the pieces that will be on sale from April 17 to 21 might not have exceptional monetary value, they also pack a certain je ne sais quoi of something from the iconic Place Vendome establishment.
“The resonance of the Ritz abroad is very important,” Stephane Aubert, one of the two auctioneers, told AFP. “The first client who called me to ask about the auction was an American from Texas. We’ve also been in contact with some Australians.”
The 3,500 lots up for grabs are on display this weekend at Artcurial, which used stools from the Hemingway Bar, a 19th-century bathtub, and sofas and a harp from the Proust Lounge to recreate various rooms.
The Ritz decided to sell the pieces when it reopened in June 2016 after four years of extensive renovations.
Buyers can bid on objects ranging from velvet security cordons and curtain ties, to rugs, bedframes and sets of bathrobes and slippers embroidered with the Ritz insignia.
Price estimates run from 100 euros ($123.40) for a pair of tablecloths to 10,000 euros ($12,341) for a pair of nymph sculptures carrying bronze candelabras that used to decorate the lobby.
Opened in 1898 by Swiss entrepreneur Cesar Ritz the Ritz has served as the backdrop to several key moments in French history.
The Nazis requisitioned it during World War II but had cleared out by the time Ernest Hemingway burst in with a group of Resistance fighters on August 25, 1944, gun in hand, to “personally liberate” it.
Realising he was too late Hemingway took to the bar where he is said to have run up a tab for 51 dry Martinis.
In 1997, tragedy befell the hotel when Britain’s Princess Diana, who had been staying there, was killed in a car accident in a Paris tunnel while being pursued by paparazzi.
The hotel made global headlines again in January, when robbers armed with guns and hatchets ransacked jewelry shops on the ground floor, making off with over four million euros ($4.9 million) in gems and watches.


Harry and Meghan start 1st official tour as family in Africa

Updated 23 September 2019

Harry and Meghan start 1st official tour as family in Africa

  • On Monday they are spending the first day of their 10-day, multi-country tour in Cape Town
  • The royal couple’s visit also will focus on wildlife protection, entrepreneurship, mental health and mine clearance

CAPE TOWN: Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, are starting their first official tour as a family with their infant son, Archie, in South Africa.
On Monday they are spending the first day of their 10-day, multi-country tour in Cape Town, visiting girls’ empowerment projects and former residents of the District Six community. The vibrant mixed-race community was relocated from the inner city during South Africa’s harsh period of apartheid, or white minority rule.
The royal couple’s visit also will focus on wildlife protection, entrepreneurship, mental health and mine clearance — a topic given global attention by Harry’s late mother, Princess Diana, when she walked through an active mine field during an Africa visit years ago.
Harry later will break away for visits to Botswana, Angola and Malawi.