PARIS – The colourful Bernard Minoret was one of the last figures of the French Café Society celebrated by Marcel Proust and Étienne de Beaumont. His exuberantly witty conversation enticed illustrious guests from the world of art, fashion, cinema and literature to his apartment in the 7th arrondissement. Minoret, a novelist and playwright, loved literature and co-authored works with Philippe Jullian (Les Morot-Chandonneur), Claude Arnaud (Les Salons) and Roland Barthes & Danièle Vézolles (La Fuite en Chine). Among the items from Minoret’s collection to be offered at Sotheby’s on 22 May are furniture, portraits, sketches, photographs and sculpture – all evoking the sophisticated friends who enlivened his salon. Highlights range from Cecil Beaton’s majestic portrait of Hélène Rochas, drawings by Picasso and Max Jacob, and the Giacometti coffee-table in the lounge to works by the famous arts patron Marie-Laure de Noailles and her portrait, in ink, by Dora Maar. When he died last year, Bernard Minoret left behind a collection that provides a vibrant glimpse of a by-gone era, the final flourish of an old-time dandy.

Léonor Fini, Portrait de Bernard Minoret, signed, titled and dated 1953, oil on canvas. Estimate €3,000–5,000 (US$4,150–6,900).

Join us at Sotheby’s France for our sale of 20th Century Decorative Arts & Design
Exhibition: May 17, 19, 20, 21
Auction: Thursday 22 May at 2:30 PM

Florent Jeanniard is Director and Specialist in the department of 20th Century Decorative Arts & Design at Sotheby’s France.

Tags:Auction Previews, 20th Century Design, Paris, Collections, Exhibitions