Haute Couture Living: A Selection of Highlights from the Upcoming Givenchy Auction

The 2022 Givenchy Auction Catalogue from Christie's Auction House.

The Hubert de Givenchy live auction is less than 2 weeks away! Beginning June 14, Christie’s will be auctioning off the collections of the late French couturier.

Givenchy next to a dress form in the 1960s.
Givenchy in the 1960s. Photo from Grailed.

Of course, Givenchy is known for his fashion designs, including the famous little black dress worn by Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” However, he also had excellent taste in interiors and assembled an impressive collection of beautiful furnishings, decor, and art. He was, after all, a French aristocrat!

Audrey hepburn window-shopping in Breakfast at Tiffany's.
Givenchy and Audrey Hepburn had a long working relationship, and she wore many Givenchy designs on and off the screen.

I have just received a copy of the catalogue from Christie’s. So many treasures! Below, I want to highlight some lots that personally stand out to me from this auction. Feel free to check out more information at Christie’s. Online sales run from June 8-23, 2022.

The Lots

Givenchy green sofa with tassel skirt trim.

Lot 182: Estimated USD $7,400-11,000

THIS is the very sofa that inspired the one which now sits in the Manhattan apartment of Tory Burch! However, it appears I was correct in assuming influence from famed decorator Georges Geoffroy in the production of this piece made by Decour for Givenchy. A beautiful, plush piece of upholstery.

Lot λ35: Estimate USD $440,000-650,000

Swiss sculptor Diego Giacometti grated this beautiful cocktail table in 1976. It is created in patinated bronze with a glass top and features small figural shrubs at each corner and a ribbon motif at the center of the cross-stretchers. Giacometti’s work focused quite a bit on furniture after the death of his brother, Alberto, and he was commissioned by famed decorators Georges Geoffroy and Henri Samuel to create functional pieces. Givenchy had quite a collection of Giacometti works, many of which are being auctioned.

Gilt photophores by David Hicks design..

Lot 1355: Estimate USD $2,200-3,200

interestingly, Givenchy possessed a vast collection of photophores (hurricanes). This pair is just one of the many available for bidding. I point it out simply because they were designed by English decorator David Hicks!

Lot λ436: Estimated USD $1,100-1,600

A painting of the exotic Indian blackbuck would be an adventurous addition to any space. This particular painting, however, is quite famous. It was originally painted by Jean-Baptiste Oudry and is a beautiful example of rococo art. This piece, however, is a 20th-century reproduction by Jean-Marc Winckler. Fans of the Netflix series “Ozark” may recognize this painting as a copy can be seen hanging in the office of Kansas City Mob boss Frank Cosgrove.

Lot 272: Estimate USD $4,300-5,300

French clocks come in all shapes and sizes. Lot 272 features a clock in the shape of a planted sunflower and was created in the early 19th-century under the restoration of France’s monarchy.

Lot 451: Estimated USD $440-660

I love animals and animal figurines will always feature somewhere in my decor. These two white porcelain rhinos, one of which is from the Nymphenburg Porcelain Manufactory, evoke the excitement of an Indian safari.

Lot 709: Estimate USD $6,400-11,000

This pair of kennels are created in Louis XV style in the shape of bombe commodes. One is actually an 18th-century original while the other is a copy executed in the 20th-century. They feature green cushions. A stylish place for fur babies to lounge!

Lot λ667: Estimate USD $53,000-74,000

This untitled painting was created by German Dada artist Max Earnst in 1961. It features fiery colors and a large sunburst-like graphic reminiscent of Islamic art.

Lot 203: Estimate USD $2,200-3,200

Small tables seem to be everywhere these days. However, we don’t see too many telescoping tables like this one from Maison Toulouse. Made in brass with a granite top, it features a pierced gallery to keep things in place.

Lot 713: Estimate USD $1,100-1,600

Faience pottery in Trompe-L’Oeil style has become quite popular again. Here, a cabbage tureen from the Strasbourg-Haguenau company still looks as remarkably fresh today as it must have in the 18th century when it was made!

Lot λ62: Estimated USD $440,000-650,000

Created by Francois-Xavier Lalanne in 2001, this large patinated bronze sculpture of a bird is one of two which adorned the outdoor space of Givenchy’s Hotel D’Orrouer.

Lot 748: Estimate USD $7,400-11,000

This late 18th-century walnut fauteuil chair is sold in a lot with one other chair in similar style. It features neoclassical carving and a pierced back in the shape of a monogram medallion. This chair was part of the decor of the Bunny Mellon room at Givenchy’s Manoir du Jonchet due to Mellon herself owning chairs very similar in style. Givenchy developed a great friendship with the American society maven, and the Bunny Mellon room was to be a home away from home for her.

Lot 608: Estimate USD $5,300-8,400

This stunning console table is made of carved linden wood and features a sculptural stag supporting a top on its antlers. The table has been gilded. A showstopping piece of furniture!

A gilded bronze mantle clock with an elephant originally owned by Coco Chanel.

Lot 151: Estimate USD $53,000-84,000

This monumental clock comes from the collection of none other than Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel. As you can see by reading my post on the interiors of Coco Chanel, it would seem to fit right in with the decor of her 31 Rue Cambon apartment! Per Givenchy’s documentation, the clock was given by Chanel to her friend Herve Mille, journalist and director of Paris Match, before being acquired by Givenchy. It is a stunning example of the 18th-century fascination with exotic fantasy.

Lot λ605: Estimate USD $53,000-74,000

A large painting of a swan being frightened by a fox would make a great focal point in an entryway or over a sofa. This 17th-century work measuring roughly 60×78 inches was painted by Dirck Wijntrack during the Dutch Golden Age.

These are just a few of the things that caught my eye. Yet, they represent just a tiny sampling of the many beautiful things to be found in this auction. There are many hundreds of exquisite objects, furniture, artworks, decor, and other items to be had! Happy bidding!

“I am not a collector. I act out of love at first sight; I put things together to live with them.”

–Hubert de Givenchy


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