If you think Dolly Parton’s beehive marked the heyday of big hair, or that Lady Gaga’s wild styles are a quirky new phenomenon, then think again. Women across the globe have been using their hair as a means of self-expression for millennia. The means have changed, but the end remains the same: hair arranged in so imaginative a manner that it, along with the woman wearing it, is impossible to ignore. Historical examples abound, but 18th-century Europe provides magnificent illustrations of the role women’s hair has played in conveying personality and power.
Hungarian-born tycoon Robert de Balkany made his fortune by introducing American-style shopping centres to France among other countries and lived life to the full with a passion for yachting and polo. He also spent more than 50 years as an enthusiastic collector who filled his houses including his Paris town house with English and Italian paintings, furniture and silver of royal provenance. Ahead of a September sale featuring 800 works of art from his collection, we take a look at some of the works in the splendour of one of his former homes, the Hôtel de Feuquières at Rue de Varenne, Paris. Click ahead to see a selection of the highlights. LAUNCH SLIDESHOW
A look inside the unique lifestyle of one of the world’s most extraordinary and passionate collectors. Robert de Balkany surrounded himself with works of art from the outstanding artists of their time, putting together one of the most important collections of decorative arts and Old Master Paintings ever to appear at auction in France.
The Treasures, Old Master and British Works on Paper and Old Masters Evening Sale on 5–6 July all produced strong results in the face of the Brexit turmoil, with records achieved for a Jan Brueghel flower still life (£3.85 million) and Jean-Étienne Liotard’s A Dutch Girl at Breakfast (£4.4 million), among other notable prices. Leading the Treasures sale was the spectacular Rothschild Orpheus Cup, a late-Renaissance rarity that brought £1.06 million. Click ahead to see more top lots from across sales. LAUNCH SLIDESHOW
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