« The objet d’art is in itself the ambassador of an era: it embodies its customs and taste. To bear witness to it is the least we can do and it is one of the essential aspects of our profession. »
— Grégoire de Thoury
The Furniture, Sculptures and Objects of Art department of Aguttes defines itself as a transmitter of those things that often belong to the history of our families. There are still too many masterpieces that are forgotten or poorly considered, both in terms of their conservation and their appreciation. The request for our expertise services will almost always lead to the discovery of treasures that were previously unsuspected because they were discarded by the nonchalance of everyday life.
Disposing of a cultural asset for a reason of common sense, an economic reason, or even a family reason, is a matter to be considered with all the discretion and seriousness imposed by the important weight of history as well as the sensitivity that is linked to it. In our opinion, family memory is completely inseparable from this identification work.
As our interests are perfectly aligned with those of our clients, we systematically promote the properties entrusted to us by highlighting their importance and origin to a wide audience of bidders from all over the world. As was the case for the sale of the furniture of the Château de Montpatey and the sale of the Hache furniture collection of Mr B.
Doesn’t the proverb teach us that “It is not possessions that make you happy, but the good use you make of them”?
The fieldwork of our specialists, the Inventory & Collections department and our representative offices enable us to see a large quantity of goods, appraise them and allocate them intelligently to organise the specialised sales attended by our international collector clients each year. To appraise and allocate them intelligently in order to organise specialised sales that are attended by our international collector clients every year.
Our in-house expertise and our love of the history of objects – whether ceramics or sculptures – allow us to cover the entire history of French, European and foreign decorative arts from archaeology to the Gothic period to the end of the 19th century. High Period, Renaissance furniture, from the reigns of Louis XIII, Louis XIV, the Age of Enlightenment (Regency, Louis XV, Louis XVI) constitute the core of our sales. The Consulate, Directory and Empire periods are also dynamically addressed since the creation of auctions exclusively dedicated to the Empire theme. And finally, Restoration, Charles X and Second Empire furniture.
The world of furniture and art collection
In this very selective market, our department records more than 3 million euros in auctions each year and organises 8 sales per year. In order to obtain the best possible bids, we develop tailor-made sales strategies to best defend the interests of our seller clients on the market. A widely circulated catalogue, composed of academic descriptions, can be consulted on all our digital communication media. The firm carries out targeted advertising on numerous national and international specialist communication media, and offers buyers the possibility of bidding live. Finally, we organise public exhibitions prior to the sales during which we are available to meet our buyers and give them our best advice. Our sales feature pieces that are sought after for their quality of execution, the great signatures of cabinetmakers, watchmakers, sculptors, goldsmiths, chisellers and ornamentalists from the 15th to the 19th century.
About our sales
The Arts Classiques auctions present a selection of the most beautiful and rare pieces of furniture, objets d’art and sculptures that we discover for our collectors and lovers of classical art from both French and European collections. For each exhibition preceding the auction, the room is organised thematically or chronologically and thus forms a perfect setting for future buyers. The scenography reproduces the interiors of private residences. For these “prestige” sales, the selection favours rare and beautifully made furniture and objects. These include chairs signed by great carpenters, chests of drawers inlaid with rare woods (rosewood, satinwood, violet wood, rosewood, amaranth), ebony cabinets and mahogany furniture among others. The display cabinets contain rare, precious and often collector’s items such as 18th and 19th century gold and silverware, old earthenware, French, German and foreign porcelain, such as the porcelain of the Compagnie des Indes. In addition, there is a large number of curiosities and display objects.
The Empire sales bring together precious and rare historical souvenirs, drawings, paintings, war souvenirs, clothing, relics, sculptures, objets d’art, silverware, jewellery, tableware and handwritten letters. The Furniture & Works of Art department works in synergy with the Books & Manuscripts, Paintings & Antique Drawings, and Militaria departments to highlight these testimonies of this glorious period. The first sale organised on this period of French history marked by Napoleon Bonaparte produced an excellent result. A rare snuffbox bearing the Emperor Napoleon I’s number was the highest bidder at €48,100. In 2021, the bicentenary of the death of Napoleon I was celebrated in France with exhibitions, commemorations and events with international repercussions.
Haute Epoque (Medieaval and Renaissance furniture) refers to all the furniture and art objects that bear witness to the history of the Gothic Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the 17th century. Aguttes’ calendar of events, which includes a fine auction of High Period sculptures in wood, marble and ivory at the end of 2021, will honour this noble discipline at a specialised sale at the Hôtel Drouot in 2022 in collaboration with the Fligny firm, which specialises in the expertise of High Period art. This presentation is part of the auction dynamics of our furniture and sculpture specialties. This market, which is highly prized by collectors, records more than 3 million euros of auctions passed under the auctioneer’s hammer each year and organises numerous exhibitions and sales each year.
Collection and in-situ auctions
We take care to promote the art collections entrusted to us by highlighting their importance and origin, as was the case in 2019 for the sale of the furniture of the Château de Montpatey and the sale of Mr B’s Hache furniture collection, or during the sale of the furniture of the Château de Varvasse, owned by former president Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, or that of the house of the designer Kenzo Takada.
The department also offers a private sale service which provides a similar level of commitment to ensure that the sale is a real success in your favour.
Putting it up for sale, a tailor-made service
For our sales we are looking for items such as: antique furniture, quality marbles, furniture bronzes, sculptures, objets d’art, porcelain, earthenware and carpets & tapestries. As well as curiosities such as glassware, ivories, scientific and musical instruments.
Our appraisals are free and confidential. We travel to all the major cities in France and regularly receive our clients for appraisal days in our representative offices, appointments are possible in Paris, Lyon, Brussels and Aix-en-Provence.
Dear collectors, amateurs, curious, passionate and professionals,
The team of the Furniture, Sculptures and Works of Art Department is at your side, whether it be for the valuation and expertise of your objects, for the search for a unique work, for specific information on the provenance or condition of a lot, or for the smooth change of ownership after the sale.