Escape to Provence

Escape to Provence

The allure of Provence has long been an inspiration for artists and writers looking to enjoy its relaxed atmosphere and slower pace of life. Fortunately, our upcoming Fine Interiors auction is well-supplied with beautiful pieces that encapsulate this style and can inject a little Provencal magic into the home, wherever that may be.

24 August 2021

The fascination this area held for Van Gogh, Matisse, and Cezanne is understandable, with its beautiful light and cheerful – yet not overbearing – spattering of colour (hues of orange, green, yellow, and violet abound in the area’s vernacular buildings and natural landscape). This distinctive character is reflected in its houses and interiors, from relaxed and comfortable farmhouses to magnificent châteaux.

Clockwise from top left: lot 697 Henry Louyot (French, 1863-1940) A view on the River Doubs, France, est. £1,000-1,500, lot 10 a painted oak larder cupboard, 20th century, est. £400-600, lot 2 a large Continental painted coffee table, est. £600-800 


As popular in glossy interiors magazines as it is with the home decorator, the French country style is a universal favourite due to the ease at which it is to emulate or borrow from. Just as chic as but less ostentatious than its Parisian cousin – it is lighter and more refined – the style still favours lots of furniture, art and decorative objects (see lots 2 and 10) but it is more forgiving. Collections can be eclectic and mismatched with gentle traces of wear that add to an overall charm and rusticity (lots 3, 11, 182 and 408).


Clockwise from top left: lot 3 a flatweave Aubusson design ruglate 20th century, est. £600-800, lot 182 a blue-painted cupboard, 19th century, est. £400-600, lot 11 a painted dummy board, 20th century, est. £200-300, lot 408 a pair of verdigris candlestick lamps, 20th century, est. £200 400


Exposed stone and plaster walls are offset with lots of pale wood (lots 7 and 8) and touches of soft blues, greens and yellows (lots 1, 179 and 408).



Clockwise from top left: lot 7 a small French Louis XVI-style settee, early 20th century, est. £300-500, lot 1 a pair of large French pottery vases, 20th century, est. £200-300 (part lot), lot 745 Jean-Franck Baudoin (French, 1870-1961) 'Fleurs, Jaunes et Roses', est. £800-1,200, lot 179 a pair of pottery ewers, early 20th century, French, est. £200-300 


Interiors are also led by the French lifestyle and as a result, there is a focus on enjoyment, with large dining setups that can accommodate long leisurely lunches en famille (lunch is treated with the highest importance and never rushed or postponed) (see lots 218, 285, 286).


Clockwise from top left: lot 738 Jean-Franck Baudoin (French, 1870-1961) 'The sand dunes', est. £400- 600, lot 286 a set of eighteen Longchamp majolica oyster plates, 20th century, est. £200-300, lot 285 a set of eighty-eight small conical wine glasses, of recent manufacture, est. £300-500, lot 218 a French provincial kitchen prep table,19th century, est. £600-800 


These pieces will be included in our next Fine Interiors auction, to be held on Tuesday 14 and Wednesday 15 September. The sale includes close to 740 lots of furniture, paintings, silver and works of art, with estimates ranging from £100 to £10,000.




Author: Charlotte Lee-Finglas




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