The Jacques Grange auction at Sotheby’s Paris made a record amount for the institution – €28.4 million. Jacques Grange recently parted ways with a part of his private collection of art and furniture. The renowned interior designer has worked with clients such as YSL, Valentino and Princess Caroline of Monaco.

An impressive career

The 73-year-old French icon spent his career helping clients to choose and arrange art and furniture. Notably, he worked with Yves Saint Laurent and partner Pierre Bergé to build up an impressive collection. Christie’s France auctioned their collection in 2009. It was widely viewed as « the sale of the century. »

When not helping high-profile clients, Grange spent time amassing his own extensive collection. It includes modern and contemporary pieces from the 20th century. In addition, photographs and antiques form part of the collection.

Early beginnings 

Grange began his design career studying at Parisian design schools, the École Boulle and the École Camondo. He went on to apprentice for Henri Samuel and Didier Aaron, two prominent figures in design. Grange purchased his first piece in the 70s. It was an antique Nabis screen that he developed a payment plan to afford. This item was not included in the sale.

Throughout his career, Grange developed a particular liking for ceramics. He purchased pieces by Picasso, Miro and Gauguin. Furthermore, he soon discovered Art Nouveau, and became fond of the work of Hector Guimard. Grange emphasizes that he did not buy any of the pieces as investments. He bought them only because he loved them.

What prompted Grange to part with a large part of his collection?

The designer explains that he felt it was time to make a change. It was time for a « new energy. » He already had a good relationship with Sotheby’s through buying for clients. It was Sotheby’s that suggested the idea of a single-owner sale. Grange admits that he was at first hesitant, but saw the auction as an opportunity. It was « another creative project. « Despite the auction, Grange makes it clear that he will continue to collect. « It’s a beginning, a new birth. I can select many new things with this money. »

The results of the Jacques Grange auction

The Jacques Grange auction took place on November 21st and 22nd. It was held at Sotheby’s Paris, on the prestigious Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. In total the auction sold 150 lots. Works by Henri Matisee, David Hockney and François-Xavier Lalanne were up for auction. Moreover, notable guests included Princess Caroline of Monaco and Terry de Gunzberg.

The final figure was €28,4 million. Les Autruches de Lalanne, a rare piece, went for a staggering 6,191,150 €. A bidder purchased Damien Hirst’s Spin Painting for 945,000 €. Furthermore, an armchair by Alexandre Noll made 909,000 €. A total of 14 pieces by Noll found a new owner, bringing in €1.8 million. The Jacques Grange auction also went far beyond the pre-sale estimate of between €8.7 and €12.6 million. In addition, Sotheby’s sold 96% of everything that went to auction. 86% sold for more than their pre-sale estimate.

Damien Hirst, 2001 Estimate : 350,000 – 500,000 EUR Lot sold : 1,112,435 USD


Andy Warhol Liza Minnelli, 1978 Estimate: 8,000 – 12,000 – EUR

François-Xavier Lalanne et Manufacture de Sèvres Les Autruches Bar, 1967-1970
Estimate : 700,000 – 1,000,000 EUR
Lot sold : 7,288,098 USD

Grange’s Paris apartment


The pieces have until the auction resided in Grange’s enviable Paris apartment. Grange’s home near the Louvre museum overlooks the gardens of the Palais-Royal. The author Colette once lived there.

The tranquil historic gardens make this some of Paris’ most desirable real estate. A 1200 sq. ft. one bedroom apartment is currently for sale at the Palais Royal. It has impressive views of the gardens and is on the market for 3,400,000 €. This price range in excess of 31,000€/m² is not uncommon for such properties.

Apartments in the desirable but less spectacular neighborhood surrounding the Palais-Royal currently sell at an average of 11,420€/m², an increase of 3,3% over the last several months. The trick is to find one, as properties in this part of Paris rarely come on the market. Paris’ 1st district is prized by both French and international investors alike. It is home to the Louvre museum, the Tuileries gardens and the elegant Place Vendôme with its Ritz hotel and high end jewelry shops.

This sale highlights the endless fascination of Parisian antiques and architecture. To find out about purchasing or renting a property of your own in Paris, please contact us.


Collection photo credit: Sotheby’s
Palais Royal Gardens photo credit: Beckstet