Paris Ritz hotel items sell for quadruple the auction estimate

Historic silver, crystal and even towels sold off at auction by the swanky Paris Ritz hotel were snapped up for a total of 1.7 million euros ($1.9 million), Artcurial auctioneers said

Historic silver, crystal and even towels sold off at auction by the swanky Paris Ritz hotel were snapped up for a total of 1.7 million euros ($1.9 million), more than four times the pre-sale estimate, the Artcurial auctioneers said Tuesday.

Some 1,500 lots of bed linen to bathrobes and ashtrays were sold to buyers from 25 countries, after more than 500 people registered online for the luxury sell off.

The famous hotel on Place Vendome in the French capital was a favourite of such icons as actress Audrey Hepburn, fashion designer Coco Chanel -- who spent part of World War II tucked up there with her lover, a German spy -- and the American writer Ernest Hemingway, who "liberated" its bar when the Allies retook the city.

Among the used items on sale, a 12-plate "Marthe service" commissioned by Cesar Ritz in 1898 for the opening of the hotel was sold for 13,000 euros, 45 times the estimate.

Christofle serving trollies also sold well while champagne buckets brought in up to 11,700 euros, a mighty 58 times the auction estimate.

The auction had been originally scheduled to take place in April but was postponed due to the coronavirus epidemic.

Two years ago some of the hotel's historic furniture was sold off for 7.2 million euros -- seven times the estimate -- after a major refurbishment of the hotel.