French Designer Jacques Garcia Is Auctioning Off a Dazzling Collection of His Fine Art and Furniture
French interior designer Jacques Garcia spent the better part of three decades renovating Château Champ de Bataille, a Baroque castle in Normandy. Now, in an effort to preserve the famed 17th-century estate and to commemorate his 75th birthday, he’s curated a collection of lavish pieces to go under the hammer.
Ranging from royal relics to historic artworks, 75 items that Garcia handpicked for the chateau’s interiors will be auctioned off at Sotheby’s Paris on May 16. The sale will highlight porcelain, sculptures and elaborate furnishings from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries that famously belonged to Kings Louis XV and Louis XVI, Queen Mary II of England and Queen Marie Leszczynska, to name a few. The coveted trove is collectively expected to realize between $108,000 (€100,000) and $2.1 million (€2 million).
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Among the most coveted artifacts are two pairs of Georges Jacob armchairs that were made for Marie-Antionette and a medallion-clad day-bed crafted by Jacob Desmalter for the wedding of Napoleon Bonaparte to Empress Marie-Louise. Additional furniture offerings include a Louis XV-period floral marquetry commode fashioned by Antoine-Robert Gaudreau and a console table from Adam Weisweiler. Those pining for some Sèvres porcelain should keep an eye on the circa 1797 Lagrenée vases and a partial table service inspired by the works of Georges Louis Le Clerc de Buffon that is decorated with more than 400 different birds.
Garcia, who acquired Champ de Bataille in 1992, has been hard at work restoring the building to its original grandeur. At the time when he bought it, only two of the rooms were in usable condition. The designer then proceeded to take on a painstaking revitalization, filling the abode with a collection of ornate furniture, paintings and artworks that he had collected throughout his career. With the help of master landscaper Patrick Pottier, the château now also features the largest private garden in Europe.
“The power of exceptional residences lies in the unforgettable feeling that stays with those who has visited them,” Mario Tavella, president of Sotheby’s France and chairman of Sotheby’s Europe, said in a press statement. “As with all of Jacques Garcia’s creations, Champ de Bataille is one such memorable place.”
On that note, another property that people no doubt have burned into their brains is the designer’s Villa Elena in Sicily. The former Italian monastery had a starring role as Quentin’s spooky palazzo in season two of The White Lotus. Fingers crossed Garcia decides to part with a selection of opulent furnishings from there, too.
Click here to see all the photos of the Jacques Garcia Sotheby’s auction.
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