The iconic Ritz, an enduring Parisian style symbol of history, luxury and glamour recently established a world record when it auctioned off a part of its 120 year old history earning $8,952,337 – or the same amount as a seven year vacation in one of its deluxe suites – according to Artcurial who masterminded the auction “the sale glorifies the Ritz style”.
Hospitality and Hemingway lovers, history buffs, actors, political figures and artists had the opportunity to bid on furniture used by Audrey Hepburn and Coco Chanel, all rendered part of history when the hotel underwent a four-year renovation before reopening in 2016.
Among the objects was the Ritz’s first bathtub. The white porcelain tub is chipped and stained gray, but its faucets, overhead shower and metal pipes are intact. It “needs renovating,” according to the catalogue. Other items include brass toilet paper holders and a set of Ritz bath linen, Parisian style. For lovers of Art Deco there were sconces and ceiling fixtures from the Old Ritz swimming pool.
The Swiss hotelier César Ritz ensured his hotel became synonymous with luxury, providing
all the refinement that a prince could desire in his own home
César Ritz was a visionary when it came to cleanliness. “Hygiene was one of the Ritz’s main concerns,” the auction catalogue stated. Indeed the Ritz was the first Paris hotel to install an en-suite bathroom in every room, ensuring the ultimate, Parisian style comfort for his guests.
Naturally, the décor had to match; the architect Charles Frederic Mewès took inspiration from visits to Versailles and Fontainebleau, and the hotel was filled with chandeliers,paintings and antiques in the classic French fashion, taking in designs from Louis XIV to the Empire style including Regency and Louis XVI.
Of the 10,000 objects only 10-15% went on public display prior to the auction at the headquarters of Artcurial, the mastermind behind it. It was there that the interior designer Mr. Vincent Darré created 18 fantasy stage sets which evoked the spirit of the salons, suites and rooms of the old Ritz, including the Windsor and Coco Chanel suites.
The Ritz represents the Versailles of the hotel world, the essence of Parisian (style) luxury and chic,” Mr. Darré said. “We’re selling dreams.
César Ritz built a brand which embodied a harmonious combination of American comfort and the elegance and intimate luxury synonym of the French “art de vivre”.
He invoked the spirit of the Ritz style and perfected the tone of intimate luxury, comfort and elegance making the hotel so desirable as to seduce the likes of Marcel Proust, Hemingway, Scott Fitzgerald, Gabrielle Chanel (who lived there for 30 years), Audrey Hepburn and Gary Cooper, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor (who began their honeymoon there) and Gianni Versace.
It was simply the Parisian style residence of choice for American billionaires when visiting the French capital and has also featured as a location for Hollywood movies and fashion shoots.
When I dream of an afterlife in heaven, the action always takes place in the Paris Ritz. (Hemingway)
The haute couture world of celebrities felt at home within its walls then and continues to do so even today.
PARISIAN BATHROOM COLLECTION
EXTO’s new Parisian bathroom collection has been created for clients who wish to celebrate their own individuality and make a statement about who they are – Parisian style!
Hand crafted from the finest natural materials – each item is beautiful, each item designed to perfectly fulfil its purpose – a seamless blending of function and form. Copper, marble and exotic woods are lavishly used to give a degree of opulence that reflects the taste and status of the client, with the added option of bespoke and specialised finishing to achieve total exclusivity.
Each piece of bathroom furniture in the Parisian collection including vanities, baths and accessories is an individual objet d’art, designed for the discerning client who has risen above the market for mass-produced goods, and who shows an appreciation of fine furniture. The collection provides the definitive opportunity to create a Parisian style bathroom to match lifestyle expectations.
We can help you create your own world of hedonism and unashamed extravagance with this new and exclusive Parisian bathroom collection.
Inherent in our collection are the layers of history associated with French furniture making and the beautiful finishing techniques that were applied.
Also inherent in the design of our bathrooms is a layer of energy and exuberance associated with the Paris Ritz.
Exto’s design team includes French natives whose great grandfathers were craftsman themselves and who experienced and passed down their knowledge and passion through the generations. This passion and personality has we hope come alive in the quirky and exuberant pieces of bathroom furniture we present to you in this Parisian style collection.
César Ritz wanted the furniture in his hotel to look as if it had been accumulated over an extended period, just like a private residence. Consequently, many different styles are on offer from Louis XV, Louis XVI and from the Empire style to Napoleon III.
Pieces in the style of Louis XV were auctioned off at the Ritz like these Chesterfield chairs from the Coco Chanel suite.
Their elegance and craftsmanship epitomises the mastery of French furniture makers characteristic of this era.
In our Parisian bathroom collection we too have celebrated this finesse of decoration in our ‘Chinon’ design with its geometric parquetry design and marquetry inlays, gilded carvings and cabriole legs.
Another era of great furniture making was celebrated in the Ritz auction in the style of Louis XVI.
These Louis XVI style chairs give a stately ambiance to a private residence or hotel. They share many refined features including the slender fluted legs and gilded carvings with our ‘Poitiers’ bathroom vanity from the new Parisian style bathroom collection.
Empire furniture was another style of furniture that César Ritz celebrated throughout his prestigious Ritz hotel like this stunning Empire style sofa from the Windsor suite.
Its rich features and strong geometric lines are typical of the Empire period in C19th France, features which are also celebrated in the form of our ‘Sevres’ bathroom vanity from our new Parisian collection. The ‘Sevres’ support posts can either be expertly carved in volute consoles or alternatively carved with male and female caryatid and in an array of speciality finishes.
In true celebrity style the Louis XIV ‘Marquise’ bath from the Parisian style bathroom collection has been inspired by the original ‘Marie Antoinette’ bathtub with its grandiose luxury mirroring the queen’s status and privilege. A bath that once stood proud in the famous landmark of Harrods would certainly not look out of place in the prestigious Ritz hotel.
The distinctive ‘Nimes’ vanity is another bathroom piece from our new Parisian bathroom collection. Its Empire appeal seen in the elaborate ornament and hand-carved antique motifs makes a strong statement and is individual in character like so many of the personalities that passed and continue to pass through the doors of the iconic landmark the ‘Ritz’.
For further information or to view a brochure of Exto’s new Parisian bathroom collection please contact us at [email protected] or call +44 (020) 8050 1454
We would love to discuss your next Parisian style bathroom project!