Pierre Hardy knows a thing or two about style. He’s designed shoes for Dior, clothes for Balenciaga, jewellery for Hermès and now he’s turning his eye to helping stage a three-part auction (July 17-19) of vintage handbags, watches and fine jewellery at Monte Carlo’s Hôtel Hermitage (bids can also be placed online).
Invited by Artcurial deputy chairman François Tajan to sketch pictures of the lots for the auction catalogue, Hardy has reimagined each item’s history by integrating it into a 21st-century take on the cabinet of curiosities. A quaint wicker Hermès Kelly Picnic bag (€10,000-€15,000) from 2011 is shown in one sketch – a pair of parrots atop its calfskin handle, a cut passion fruit by its side – and will go under the hammer on July 19 at a sale dedicated to handbags from Hermès’ past summer collections. Other lots include a striking sapphire-blue crocodile Birkin Bag (€35,000-€45,000) from 1996 and an equally striking, if for different reasons, version of the first Hermès handbag to use a zipper. Initially designed as a limited edition in the 1920s by Emile-Maurice Hermès for his wife, this 2015/2016 blue Bolide Shark bag (€10,000-€15,000) features a mischievous rendition of a shark’s jaw on one side.
Highlights of the Fine Watches sale (July 17) include one of the most complicated chronographs ever made, a 1953 Rolex (estimate €100,000-€150,000) that was nicknamed after iconic Olympic ski champion Jean-Claude Killy. Among the other watches with celebrated owners are the 20 that belonged to sculptor Arman, who lived and worked just down the road from Monte Carlo in Vence. His Piaget Beta 21 (€2,500-€3,000) was a 60th birthday gift from Yves Piaget, while a 1976 Patek Philippe Nautilus (€16,000-€18,000) is Hardy’s favourite lot in the sale. “It’s a rare jewel that can be worn every day, combining practicality with passion,” he says. For women, the triple-coiled Bulgari Serpenti (€35,000-€45,000) is a standout.
Most noticeable among the Fine Jewellery lots (July 18-19) is a diamond, ruby, turquoise and 18ct gold ballerina clip (€60,000-€80,000) from Van Cleef & Arpels, inspired by Claude Arpels’ fascination with dance. An opulent Cartier Toi et Moi platinum ring (€45,000-€50,000), meanwhile, features a band of diamonds topped with an iridescent rectangular emerald.