Hôtel Lambert
Une Collection Princière, Volume III : À travers l’Hôtel Lambert
Live Auction: 13 October 2022 • 11:00 AM CEST • Paris

Hôtel Lambert, Une Collection Princière, Volume III : À travers l’Hôtel Lambert 13 October 2022 • 11:00 AM CEST • Paris

V olume III, À travers l’Hôtel Lambert offers the chance to discover the magnificent interiors of the Hôtel Lambert, stepping inside the beautifully decorated rooms that have been restored to their splendor by the celebrated decorator Alberto Pinto, from the Escalier d’Honneur, the Vestibule, the Grand Salon to the Salon des Muses. Some important works of art can be found in this room decorated with wood panellings painted by Eustache le Sueur, such as a spectacular Boulle marquetry commode and a pair of Louis XVI granit vases from the Demidoff Collections. Furniture and paintings boasting Royal provenances from Marie-Antoinette to King Charles X will sit alongside pieces with prestigious provenances such as Jean-Baptiste Machaut d’Arnouville with a porcelain and gilt-bronze clock, the Duke of Windsor with a rare canapé attributed to Heurtaut, Hubert de Givenchy with a pair of Regence candlesticks and Christian Dior with a pair of Directoire armchairs. One of the highlights of the sale is also the rare collection of paintings of the celebrated artist Hubert Robert in the Grand Salon.

Proceeds from the sale to support The Al Thani Collection Foundation.


L’Escalier d’Honneur

Le Salon Octogone

Le Cabinet des Muses

Le Vestibule

La Galerie d’Hercule

Le Grand Salon

Le Salon Rouge

Le Salon de Madame

Le Grand Salon Sur Jardin

A Duo of Connoisseurs~
A Conversation with Linda Pinto
by Eric Jansen

In the shadow of her brother Alberto, Linda Pinto witnessed the close relationship between the famous decorator and Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al Thani, who supervised the restoration of the Hôtel Lambert.

The Hôtel Lambert was acquired in 2007 by Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al Thani and his immediate family after Sheikh Hamad had fallen in love with the residence – formerly owned by Baron Guy de Rothschild and his wife Marie-Hélène. A great aficionado of the 17th and18th century decorative arts, the prince collector supervised a project which saw his dream come to life, entrusting the restoration to the decorator Alberto Pinto, with whom he enjoyed a productive friendship.

Alberto Pinto & Linda Pinto

Can you tell us how you came to cross paths with Sheik Hamad bin Abdullah Al Thani?

I believe that it was in 2006, when the prince came into the office to speak to Alberto about the house that he and his family had purchased in London. Dudley House was a historic building, but it had been partially destroyed by bombs during the war, and then it was converted into offices. Everything needed to be redesigned: the painting gallery and the ballroom had to be reconstructed, for example. Alberto explained to the prince that it was a colossal project, but the Sheikh did not flinch when presented with the scale of the work. He caught on to Alberto’s enthusiasm! Sheikh Hamad must have been only 25 years old at the time. We also met his parents after that.

And did Sheikh Hamad dream of a decoration paying tribute to the 18th century?

Yes, he has a passion for the decorative arts of the 17th and 18th centuries, which represent the height of refinement in his eyes. His mother taught him well, bringing him to visit museums since he was seven. She instilled that taste in him and trained his eye, and he went on to read and learn insatiably. He remembers every detail. He learns like a sponge. That is why his family completely trusted him with the renovation of the houses.

Was Dudley House a rehearsal for Hôtel Lambert?

Barely, since Hôtel Lambert came up very quickly, and we practically did both projects at the same time. You can imagine Alberto’s reaction when Sheikh Hamad spoke to him about the project. It is one of the most emblematic houses in Paris! It, too, is a historic building. The prince intended to turn it into something exceptional, and Alberto assured him that it would be possible. The Sheikh already knew its full history before the family visited the property. It was up to Alberto to bring the dream to life!

Is this project also the story of their relationship?

Absolutely. From the first time they met, they got along famously. They had great conversations with each other. The pursuit of beauty and excellence was something they had in common. Alberto was fascinated by the prince’s sensitivity and intelligence. As for the prince, he could listen to Alberto for hours on end. When Alberto fell ill, Sheikh Hamad visited his bedside for long periods of time. I think it’s safe to say that he saw him as a spiritual father-figure.

What were his instructions and desires?

The prince spoke in the same terms as Alberto, and they both agreed on the objective: to bring back the building’s original style, and to pay tribute to the French decorative arts of the 17th and 18th centuries. Before going forward, we showed Sheikh Hamad watercolour overviews of the rooms for his approval. He was very exacting in terms of quality. If, for example, we had to copy the design of a period trim spotted at a museum or in an antique document, he demanded that it be exactly the same colour. It didn’t matter if it took several months! The prince is a perfectionist, but so was Alberto.

Did they buy all the furniture and objects?

Many of them. Alberto pored endlessly over sales catalogues: that was his life. He would be on his bed with the catalogues propped up on a tray, and sticky notes would be flying all over the place! The marked catalogues were taken to the office in large baskets, while new, untouched ones were brought in. Alberto brought objects to the prince’s attention, and when the prince fell in love with something, he would ask Alberto’s opinion. It was a real partnership. They completely trusted each other, and it was amusing to see them together.

Alas, Alberto Pinto passed away in November 2012. Then there was the fire on 10 July 2013. I imagine that the moment remains engraved in your memory?

The house had just been finished. We still had to bring in the furniture and curtains. We were lucky in that regard! The day after the fire, I had Prince Hamad on the telephone. We were all devastated. He simply said, “We'll start over.” Almost anyone else would have given up. Not him. The construction site got started all over again, this time much more difficult and pragmatic: a race against the clock. There was water damage, mould was beginning to appear, ceilings were threatening to collapse, and woodwork needed to be replaced. It was a gigantic project that took five years. We restored everything to its identical condition.

In 2018, you finally turned over Hôtel Lambert to its owner. How did you feel?

It was a moment of pure joy. And the pride of having completed a project that had been particularly important to Alberto. He never saw it finished, but fortunately he didn’t see the fire, either. There was a silver lining in taking those five extra years: the prince continued his purchases, and over time, the furniture, objects and artwork were replaced by other, high-quality ones.

Do you have a favourite room?

I am particularly fond of the office at the back of the living room where there is a red sofa, as well as the gilded living room, which is spectacular in the sunlight.

How would you define the prince’s taste?

He has a confident, assertive taste, and takes perfectionism to the extreme. I knew very well that he was not going to merely restore Hôtel Lambert, but rather bring out the very best in it.

Is this total look a way to resist the trend towards eclecticism or the inevitable “twist”?

I prefer to think of it as chronological and stylistic harmony. But it is true that his approach is totally unique, flamboyant and admirable.

Read Less
Read More

Stay informed with Sotheby’s top stories, videos, events & news.

Receive the best from Sotheby’s delivered to your inbox.

By subscribing you are agreeing to Sotheby’s Privacy Policy. You can unsubscribe from Sotheby’s emails at any time by clicking the “Manage your Subscriptions” link in any of your emails.

Sell with Sotheby's

Sell with Sotheby's

Curious to know if your item is suitable for one of our upcoming sales?

Provide information and share images to request an online estimate now.

Start Selling
arrow Created with Sketch. Back To Top