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Article Published on: 17TH JAN 2023 |

As the Christie’s Hubert de Givenchy June auction is being prepared, a parallel exhibition at the Galerie Kugel pays tribute to the great couturier’s unique taste by bringing together a group of furniture and beautiful objects that once belonged to him. An extraordinary cabinet decorated with Apollo’s chariot by André-Charles Boulle, which has not been shown to the public since 1994 is the centerpiece attraction of the exhibition. A series of objects evoking this distinct Hubert de Givenchy taste will be presented alongside these exceptional works from his collection, within the grandiose exhibition space of the Galerie Kugel, located at 25, Quai Anatole France in the 7th arrondissement of Paris.

Nicolas and Alexis Kugel decided to pay tribute to Hubert de Givenchy as a collector after years of fruitful collaboration. The brothers were privileged, close witnesses of Hubert de Givenchy’s passion for art and are truly aware of the influence he had on their careers as antique dealers.

Precisely 30 years ago, in 1992, the famous couturier decided to entrust this iconic work of his collection, the famous cabinet with the Apollo chariot to the Kugel brothers. It was the first purchase of the young Hubert de Givenchy in the late 1950s and his long career as a collector was greatly inspired by this masterpiece. The cabinet contained his secret passion: Renaissance Limoges enamels, which he also handed over to the duo. As a friend, he agreed to display the cabinet and enamels on their stand at the Biennale des Antiquaires in 1994. Hubert de Givenchy was, until shortly before his death, a regular and enthusiastic visitor to the Galerie Kugel.

Unique for its bronze decoration representing the chariots of Apollo and Diana in high relief, the monumental double-leaf cabinet of 110 in. high, in ebony veneered oak and brass and tortoiseshell marquetry, ranks among the masterpieces of French furniture. The richness of the marquetry and the perfection of the design and proportions clearly make it the most iconic piece in the entire Hubert de Givenchy collection.

As well as this exceptional piece, other works will be presented including a pair of green marble and gilt bronze vases by Vassou whose prestigious provenance the Galerie Kugel has been able to trace from their creation to Hubert de Givenchy, a pair of armchairs upholstered in elegant fabric with daffodil motifs, a Louis XIV period desk by André-Charles Boulle, as well as a series of pieces evoking the unique Hubert de Givenchy taste.

Vassou, pair of Blondel de Gagny vases Mounted in gilt bronze Paris, around 1760-1765 By François-Nicolas Vassou.

H. 76 cm, L. 38 cm

Provenance: -

  • Augustin Blondel de Gagny (1695-1776) Its sale, Paris, December 10, 1776, lot 423, sold for 3 400 livres

  • his son, Barthélemy-Augustin Blondel d’Azincourt (1719-1783) Its sale, February 10, 1783, lot 306, bought by Julliot for 1 500 livres

  • Pierre-Victor de Besenval baron de Brünstatt (1721- 1791) in his bedroom, rue de Bourgogne in Paris Its sale, August 10, 1795 (23 Thermidor An III), lot 199

  • Sir Richard Wallace (1818-1890)

  • Lady Wallace (1818-1897)

  • Sir John E. A. Murray Scott (1847-1912)

  • Hubert de Givenchy (1927-2018)

‘‘Armoire au char d’Apollon’‘ by André-Charles Boull

Circa 1700

H. 279 cm, W. 155 cm, D. 59 cm


  • Collection of Baron Achille Seillère, Château de Mello, his sale, Paris, 5-10 May 1890, lot 556

  • Duc de Gramont Collection, its sale, Paris, Galerie Georges Petit, May 22, 1925, lot 51

  • José-Maria Sert Collection, then Misia Sert

  • Boulos Riestelhueber Collection

  • Hubert de Givenchy Collection

Over the years, the Kugels have embraced French and European culture and carried the values of excellence in the decorative arts and cultural universalism contributing to enriching the collections of the greatest museums in the world... Alexis and Nicolas are true and virtuous decorative art ‘‘influencers’’ of their time.

The Galerie Kugel, located since 2004 in the Hôtel Collot, quai Anatole France, in front of the Place de la Concorde in the center of Paris, has become an unmissable stop for collectors, curators, and art lovers. Nicolas and Alexis Kugel represent the fifth generation of a family of art dealers, a tradition established in the early 19th century. In 2015, Laura, representing the sixth generation, joined the gallery.

Showcasing works ranging from antiquity to the 19th century, the Galerie Kugel is known for its unique range of specialties. The Kugel taste passed down through generations is synonymous with authenticity, rarity, and quality. Alexis, Nicolas, and Laura Kugel accompany amateurs in their passion and help them to build their collections. The team of art historians, which relies on a library of more than 20,000 reference works, the Galerie Kugel is recognized for its thorough research into provenance and the rediscovery of lost treasures.

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