Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Soul of a French Palace

The Abbey-Palace of Royaumont.
The collection adorned the French neoclassical Abbey Palace of Royaumont near Chantilly, a late 18th-century mansion designed by Louis Le Masson for the Abbot of Royaumont, Henri Eléonore Le Cornut de Balivière, chaplain of Louis XVI. The actual abbey was destroyed in the French Revolution, but the Abbey Palace survived. The mansion changed hands until it was eventually bought by Baron and Baroness Eugène Fould-Springer in 1923. Their grandson Nathaniel de Rothschild says in the catalog that they immediately set out to restore the "magnificent property" and give it a "soul."

The Fould-Springers carefully selected works of art, furniture, lighting, clocks and ceramics that reflected the stately beauty of the house. Before the three-day auction, Sept. 19-21 in Paris, the collection will be on view Sept. 17-18 at Abbey Palace, offering an opportunity to see the pieces in their original surroundings and arrangements. (Read entire article.)

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