Jacqueline de Ribes’ collection from her family’s Parisian mansion will go under the hammer in December

Countess de Ribes once confessed that she’d never write a memoir, but the public will soon get a peek into her extravagant life at Sotheby’s two-part sale starting on December 11, when the auction house will place the French aristocrat and her late husband’s collection under the hammer. Key items include one-of-a-kind paintings and books that belonged to French royalty.

“It is a huge honour to have been entrusted with this historic collection which began in the middle of the 19th century,” Mario Tavella, Sotheby’s France chairman, wrote in a press release. “In pursuing this heritage, the Count and the Countess de Ribes have preserved it and enriched it with the most beautiful pieces of fine arts, decorative arts and French literature.”

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Born in 1929 into one of the last living noble families in France, Jacqueline de Ribes is often associated with the height of French glamour and society. Valentino once called her “The Last Queen of Paris,” and she’s donned multiple titles as a designer, TV producer and entrepreneur.

She married her husband Édouard in 1948, and she was catapulted to international stardom in 1969 when de Ribes was photographed by Richard Avedon for a Harper’s Bazaar’s cover. Writer Truman Capote counted her as one of his famed society swans.

Naturally, the countess’ collection, curated from her hôtel particulier in Paris, reflects her sybaritic tastes. Items up for auction include artwork once owned by Marie Antoinette, 17th century sculptures and de Ribes’s many haute couture and ready-to-wear ensembles. A portion of the auction’s proceeds will go to charity.

The first auction will be held in Paris on December 11 and 12, and a second sale will be hosted in the Spring. Before then, the pieces will be displayed in a public exhibit at Sotheby's in Paris from December 7 to 11.

For more information, visit sothebys.com

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