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French & Continental Furniture

Prince Marc de Beauvau-Craon: A Man With Passionate Commitments and Tastes

Fine furniture, paintings and works of art from the collection of Prince Marc de Beauvau-Craon will be sold at Sotheby’s in Paris on 15 September in an event that will inaugurate the new auction room named after Laure de Beauvau-Craon, the former Présidente-Directrice Générale of Sotheby’s Paris.

The seventh and last prince of that name, Marc de Beauvau-Craon (1921–1982) and his second wife, Laure du Temple de Rougemont (1942–2017), were deeply happy in their lives and made a considerable impression on their contemporaries.

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PRINCE AND PRINCESS MARC DE BEAUVAU-CRAON

Marc de Beauvau died in 1982, and Laure only a few months ago, in April. Prince Marc de Beauvau-Craon was Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, recipient of the Médaille de la Résistance, and the godson of Maréchal Lyautey. He therefore played a leading role in the history of this international family.

Between 1972 and 1982, the Prince was the chairman of La Demeure Historique, an association dedicated to the preservation of private historical monuments. His wife Laure also helped develop the association before becoming Présidente-Directrice Générale of Sotheby’s Paris in 1991, when she opened up the French art market to international auction houses, ending the 400-year monopoly of commissaires-priseurs. Both of them strove constantly throughout their lives to enhance and preserve artistic heritage.

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COAT OF ARMS OF THE BEAUVAU-CRAON FAMILY

Loyal to his predecessors, Marc de Beauvau-Craon was a man with passionate commitments and tastes. Château d’Haroué, the family home of the Beauvau-Craon dynasty, was the raison d’être of this assiduous protector and promoter of the arts. It was built between 1720 and 1732 by the architect Germain Boffrand for the first Prince Marc de Beauvau Craon. Grand Connétable de Lorraine, Viceroy of the Grand-Duchy of Tuscany and a Grandee of Spain, this prince and builder was also given the rank of "King's cousin" by Louis XIV, confirmed by Louis XV, in the light of his ancestry. He grew up alongside Léopold I of Lorraine, who made him Marquis then Prince of Craon, and he subsequently became a Prince of the Holy Roman Empire.

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ENTRANCE OF THE CHÂTEAU D’HAROUÉ

Speaking ahead of the sale, Prince Marc de Beauvau-Craon’s daughter Diane de Beauvau-Craon said: "I spent my childhood worshipping the beauty of architecture and the arts. I was extraordinarily lucky: wherever I turned my gaze, it always fell on the beauty of life. On my father's death, the childhood home I loved turned into ‘Le Château’ overnight. I decided to leave with the magic of my childhood memories intact, filled with the love and tenderness my father had lavished on me.

“On 29 April 2017, my step-mother, Laure in turn passed away. I am now looking to the future. I hope with all my heart that the Beauvau- Craon collection will find new life with collectors who will perpetuate the love of beauty that Marc and Laure spread so generously around them."

MAIN IMAGE: CHÂTEAU D’HAROUÉ

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