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One of Paris's ultra-luxurious palace hotels, the Plaza Athénée on Avenue Montaigne has decided to part with some of the furniture and decorations from its former gourmet restaurant run by chef Alain Ducasse. An auction directed by Artcurial has been scheduled for November 23 with no less than 70 pieces featuring, some of which have played a major role in the international reputation of the legendary gastronomic establishment.
Back in 2014, Alain Ducasse not only succeeded in reinventing the Plaza Athénée's gourmet restaurant by removing meat from the menu; the top chef introduced the world of fine dining to his concept of "naturalité." And of course the restaurant's sparkling ambiance also helped contribute to its three-star success. Behind the decor was renowned designer and frequent Ducasse collaborator Patrick Jouin. Working with Sanjit Manku, Jouin created an extraordinary setting for the restaurant. When customers passed through the wrought iron door of the Avenue Montaigne hotel, they entered a sumptuous room whose characteristic Swarovski chandeliers created dazzling light effects including reflections on huge stainless steel 'bells' that enclosed bench-style seating.
After turning the page on the collaboration with Ducasse, the Plaza Athénée plans to auction off the various pieces that made this restaurant a truly refined experience for the senses. To afford one of the furnishings from the former fine dining space, your budget will have to start at least at 400 euros (or around US$460). That's the starting price for a set of creamy white leather chairs made by the Italian company Poliform.
Even the tables, which reinforced Alain Ducasse's "naturalité" concept, will find new owners. Either round or oval in shape and topped with a solid oak tabletop, they were a surprising feature when the hotel reopened due to their use without tablecloths. Manufactured by the Rinck Company, they had been specially designed not to accommodate any material cover. In fact, they were designed so that if a fork falls on the surface it makes almost no noise. Underneath the top surface was a leather covering. The starting price for an average model of these tables will start at 1,500 to 2,000 euros.
And of course the famous silver sphere-like structures that defined the restaurant's space -- and which required no less than 3,500 hours to be created -- will make an appearance at this auction. Anyone curious about their size can check them out during a public exhibition scheduled for November 20, 22 and 23. If you're interested in acquiring one for yourself, count on spending at least 5000 to 6000 euros for the ones which served as separators and between 8000 and 10,000 euros for those that feature a bench seat.
The auction will also present photophores in thick, hand-blown Murano glass from the workshop of Aristide Najean, as well as housewares, cheese carts and dessert trolleys.